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Why I Support Newt Gingrich

Why I Support Newt Gingrich

I have been agnostic on the Republican primary so far, but the time for choosing has arrived.

For the reasons set forth below, I believe that the primaries will come down to Mitt Romney versus Newt Gingrich.  As such, the choice is not between Newt Gingrich and some hypothetical more perfect conservative candidate, as Newt’s most vocal critics would have us believe.

I’m supporting Newt Gingrich as the most conservative Republican who is electable and most qualified for the position of President.

The Case for Newt is Strong

It is not enough to have a “not” candidate.  There is a positive case for Newt.

As to Newt’s conservatism, one needs to view his almost 35 years in the public eye as a whole.  There are few politicians who have fought as hard over so sustained a period against the false narrative in which an ever-expanding central state is seen as necessary and the decline of the United States is deemed inevitable.

While any of the Republican candidates running can argue against a particular policy or piece of legislation, only Newt has shown the ability to see the historical forest for the trees, to argue for American exceptionalism and greatness founded in history and constitutional principles, not sound bites.  This description by Melanie Phillips seems most fitting:

Faced with the apparently overwhelming power of the left-wing media and intelligentsia, weaponised through their Orwellian hijacking of the language of the centre ground and their career-ending bullying and intimidation of all who dare to disagree, many conservatives have succumbed to the cultural mind-bending without even realising they have been in effect captured by the enemy.

The reason why Newt Gingrich is striking such a chord is principally because he does realise all this very well, and so delivers a very clear message and the hope of a return to reality. He gives expression, in other words, to an authentic conservative voice. Gingrich is very smart, a serious thinker and a good communicator.  He is also extremely tough and resilient. He is without doubt a Big Beast in the political jungle — beside whom Mitt Romney, his chief rival, seems a diminished figure….

Desperate times like these need a Big Beast not just to defeat Obama but to defend the free world.

Newt is uniquely capable of communicating a winning conservative vision in a persuasive and forceful manner, as the positive reaction to his debate performances demonstrates.  Obama versus Newt on stage before an audience of tens of millions of voters could lead to a catastrophic defeat for Obama, while Obama versus any other current candidate could have the opposite effect.

Newt has a political history which fits very well with the current political and economic conditions. While Newt was a combative Speaker of the House, he also was someone who fought successfully to balance the budget, reform welfare, and implement an economic growth agenda with a Democratic President in office. An electorate sick and tired of Washington politics and deficits will welcome this narrative.

The Case Against Newt is Weak

Many of the personal criticisms of Newt are fair game and well-known, and we would be foolish to discount them completely. But Americans are a forgiving people on personal matters, and Newt has atoned for his real and perceived sins.  Variations on “when I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible,” still work.

Newt has made some policy mistakes, but that is to be expected from someone who has been so forthcoming with ideas and solutions, not just polled talking points.  Some of those positions have been distorted and misrepresented, but some of the criticisms are fair, as Newt would acknowledge.

We never get a perfect candidate. We choose among those who are running. So don’t tell me about all Newt’s supposed heresies unless you are prepared to make the case why one of the other current candidates stacks up better.  Among those who are running, no other candidate measures up to Newt.

Romney is not Conservative and Cannot Inspire

You can make lists of Newt’s policy positions over the course of several decades which were not conservative, as many people have started doing since Newt’s rise in the polls.  But can you make lists of positions of Mitt Romney which were conservative prior to his decision in 2005 to set himself up to run for President in 2008?

And isn’t that the point?  Romney simply is not conservative; he doesn’t exude it, he didn’t govern that way, he didn’t run that way in Massachusetts, and deep down, I don’t think most Republicans believe it.

Someone who is pro big state government does not inspire trust that he will be anti big federal government when in office. As the 2010 elections demonstrate, electoral success will not be achieved through someone who wants better big government; we need someone who truly believes in better smaller government.

Romney is a smart, decent person who would make a better President than Obama, but there is a reason three-quarters of the Republican electorate desperately seeks someone who is not Romney.

This primary cycle has been not so much a search for a nominee as it is a search for a nominee who is not Romney. No other candidate has given rise to a “not” movement.  Romney is not capable of motivating the Republican electorate, and therefore damages the chances for victory against Obama.  See, Bob Dole, John McCain.

A candidate has to have an intangible quality that leads people to want to get out and work, and vote, and fight like hell for the candidate.  That is not enough to make one presidential (see, Obama), but it is a necessary component of general election victory which Romney does not possess.

Romney’s electability versus Obama simply is overstated.  As leading Republican candidate after Republican candidate has been put through the media grinder, Romney has not.  The mainstream media has been noticeably not going after Romney, saving the proctological examination of his business dealings at Bain for the general election grinder.   (This Chicago Sun-Times article is a rare media attack on Romney and a taste of things to come.)

We are in the absurd position that the one candidate who most needs testing because he is the most likely nominee is the one candidate the media ignores as it devours his opponents.  Buyer beware, we are being fed a false narrative of Romney electability.

Indeed, the most recent polling by McClatchy shows Newt as strong if not stronger against Obama.  Let that be a warning bell every time you hear the argument that Romney is most electable because he is more moderate.  Indeed, the argument that Romney is most electable because he appeals to moderates is ironic coming from people who argue that Gingrich actually is more moderate than the “Gingrich who stole Christmas” caricature.

How telling that one of Romney’s current most vocal supporters not long ago told us that if Romney were the nominee he would lose to Obama.

The Other “Not Romney” Candidates Are Weaker Than Newt

The other leading conservative candidates do no better than Romney in comparison to Newt.  Unlike in prior election cycles, when a candidate could lie in the weeds until Iowa to make a surge (see Huckabee, Obama), Bachmann, Perry and Cain all have had their surges and have fallen back due to a variety of problems which are not going to go away.

Perry has been a solid Governor who has been unable to bring it to the national stage.  I had very high hopes for Perry when the buzz of his possible presidential run started over the summer, but reality did not meet expectations, by a wide margin.  It is too late in this election cycle for Perry to change the nation’s first impression, not even a better than expected showing in Iowa.

Cain is a very likable and inspirational person, but has not yet demonstrated the command of issues or ability to govern effectively. I am not convinced that 9-9-9 is a good or winning theme but it is the centerpiece of Cain’s campaign on which the presidential election would rise or fall if he were the nominee. I am not willing to risk four more years of Obama on whether the nation accepts 9-9-9.

Michele Bachmann had her surge early on, a surge I did not support or think could be sustained.  As she has dwindled to low single digits in the polls, she has become more strident in her rhetoric and has taken herself pretty much out of contention.

That leaves Rick Santorum among the conservative candidates.  He has not had his surge, and he may beat expectations in Iowa.  But I do not think a candidate whose most recent electoral experience was a massive loss in Pennsylvania can make the case that he is a national candidate.

Paul is not a viable option to me, or in a national election.

Why I Support Newt At This Moment in Time

In many ways this is the riskiest of times to come out in support of Newt.  Since he climbed to the top of the polls recently the long knives have come out for him.  Newt is the first to acknowledge that such a process of extreme scrutiny is a good thing, which shows an electoral maturity that some others have lacked.

If my judgment proves incorrect, and Newt cannot survive the scrutiny, so be it.  But it would not change my reasons for supporting him and for believing that he is the best candidate among the Republicans who are running.

We need someone who is conservative, inspirational, has command of the facts and arguments, and has the ability to bring it all together without fear of time clocks, debate moderators, or the mainstream media.

We need a message and a messenger. That is why I am supporting Newt Gingrich.

Updates:  Ed Morrissey, Newt Gingrich is for real:

Those who want a fighter know that they can trust Gingrich not to embarrass them through incoherence or ignorance, and that he has a more natural inclination to confrontation than Romney. ….  And if it comes down to Gingrich and Romney, the Tea Party contingent may well put its shoulders behind a man who they know will outfight Barack Obama if a more consistently conservative alternative fails to emerge.

More from Morrissey here:

Gingrich may not be a conservative dream candidate, but he has worked with grassroots conservatives far more than Mitt Romney has over the last several years, and he shows a much greater tendency to fight than Romney does as well.  If there are no reliable conservatives whom voters can trust not to make fools of themselves in a long campaign, Gingrich at least fills that bill.  And compared to Mitt Romney, Gingrich may well be conservative enough to become a rally point — much like Romney himself was in 2008, albeit too late to stop John McCain from winning the nomination.

Don Surber:

I am not brushing aside his support of Dede Scozzafava, or that global warming commercial he made with Nancy Pelosi. His personal baggage is known.

But so is his record: He pushed for term limits, balanced budget, balanced budget amendment… He is pro-life and pro-liberty. I cannot think of another leader in Washington — he was 2 heartbeats from the presidency from 1995 through 1998 — who has publicly denounced secular humanism.

 

————————–
Note:  While I will actively support Newt, I want readers to know that this blog will remain a place where supporters of various Republican candidates are welcome to make their voices heard in the comments.

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Comments

You are right.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to RightKlik. | November 16, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Bzzzzt! No reason to support Newt at any point in time past the 90’s. Newt makes the right noises but he’s a wimp. He wants the LSM to love him and will do what’s necessary to be loved. That means We, The Peope, will get screwed because Newt cannot be trusted.

The real character problem with Gingrich is his character as a leader; Mickey Kaus highlights one aspect of this with his comment, “Gingrich always wants to be the hero who walks into the room and cuts the grand deal. As a result he is all-too-ready to make dramatic concessions, which is one reason Clinton cleaned his clock in the post-1994 budget negotiations. Fastest sellout in the West!” (http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/14/president-newt/). He didn’t run the House well and provoked a revolt. If elected President, his record gives plenty of reason to fear that he will mismanage the White House and ultimately disappoint conservatives. Sad but true.

    Voyager in reply to jeffp. | November 16, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Well, at this point, he’s the best we’ve got.

    Crawford in reply to jeffp. | November 16, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Mickey Kaus is not a Republican, and should not be expected to have the party’s best interests at heart.

      Kaus is an astute political observer who takes conservative positions on welfare and immigration among other issues. His remarks summarize his experience as an advocate of welfare reform in the 90s, in which Gingrich was inclined to sell conservatives out so as to have his name attached to the deal (other commenters have mentioned the Gingrich ego as a problem). To figure out what’s going on in national politics, it’s sometimes necessary to do a bit more research than noting whether there’s an R or a D following someone’s name.

        logos in reply to jeffp. | November 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

        Jeffp:

        So, you will vote Obama if the match up is Obama vs Gingrich?

        Will you vote for Obama if the match up is Obama vs Any Republican?

        Or will you vote for Anybody But Obama?

          Owen J in reply to logos. | November 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm

          That question,of course, has nothing to do with the subject, which is whether Newt is the best avaialable candidate or not.

Coincidentally, Jon Fleischman, the proprietor of The Flash Report (a political blog for California conservatives), has just published his reasons why he cannot support Gingrich. I thought I’d link them to provide another view: http://is.gd/6Wfvol

(I’m a mild Perry supporter, but I can be persuaded by other candidates (well, most of them); I don’t have the commitment for any that I felt for Saran Palin.)

[…] UPDATE: William Jacobsen is on board the Newt Express… […]

You have picked a winner. Good luck to all of us.

Sorry to hear that, Professor. I think it’s premature but you acknowledge the risky nature of your timing.

And thanks for the disclaimer that your site isn’t going to become a Newt apologist site aka RedState for Perry, and race42012 for Mitt, etc.

    boone in reply to hrh40. | November 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    You apparently haven’t actually been to RedState, because there is plenty of Cain, Newt, and even some Romney support there as well. But it’s easier to attack the people than the idea, I suppose.

      hrh40 in reply to boone. | November 17, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Perhaps Redstate has changed lately. Don’t know. Don’t care.

      Because Erick Erickson used his site to openly mock Palin and her supporters ON MANY occasions, including his twitter account.

      And after Perry made his prez announcement at Erickson’s inflated event, RedState made it VERY clear that criticism of Perry would not be allowed.

      I know of many anecdotal cases of folks being banned from Redstate for the heresy of criticizing Perry.

      Perhaps that has changed since Perry shot himself in the foot.

      I don’t know.

      Nor do I care.

      Erickson has shown himself to be comprised by both CNN and Eagle Publishing, particularly in the Jamie Radtke fiasco. Not to mention the “I have a big scoop from Will Folks regarding Nikki Haley, everybody keep clicking here” except “Oops, no, I don’t. Fooled ya’! But I got lots of traffic” fiasco from back in the 2010 election.

      How many strikes do you give Erickson before you bail?

      That’s your decision.

      I’m done with him and his site.

workingclass artist | November 16, 2011 at 8:59 am

So the facts of Gingrich having a meltdown and resigning both his speakership & congressional seat after conservatives in his own party (Boehner) led a coup against him isn’t a factor for consideration in his leadership ability?

In the current social climate nobody that made money from Fannie Mae/Lobbying (Newt) or off of Layoffs/Wall Street (Romney) will beat Obama.

There are at least two very big reasons why I can’t and won’t support Newt, and one enormous one.

Very big reason #1: Dede Scozzafava

Very big reason #2: His climate change PSA with Nancy Pelosi. Was he lying then or is he lying now when he says it was a mistake?

Enormous reason: Newt’s ego is at least as big as Obama’s.

I think Obama is the worst president since Hoover but I think it would be better to have a GOP Senate and House with Obama as president, then Newt as president with a GOP Congress.

BTW, I can not support Mitt because he is a big-government guy. His refusal to acknowledge that Romney-care is a disaster is either mere stubbornness or true belief. Neither answer is palatable to me and indicative of the type of programs he would endorse.

    logos in reply to BLBeamer. | November 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I’ve gotten over your reasons #1 and #2. When I look at the big picture, I am confident that not only will Newt be a feared candidate to the incumbent, he will be a better President than the incumbent – a very low bar to scale – and, from an historical viewpoint, a great President! The institutions of this nation are riddled with neo-Marxists (media and educational systems and unions) and “resistance” is too weak a word to describe what a Republican President will face. I believe Newt will be unflappable, unwavering and guided by principles – the type most reviled and maliciously defamed by the Left. The slander of Herman Cain will be nothing compared to the libelous smears the left will concoct – a la Alinsky – about Newt.

      boone in reply to logos. | November 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      I like Newt well enough, but you are kidding yourself if you think “unwavering, unflappable, and guided by principle” describes Newt ” right-wing social engineering” Gingrinch.

    fhensleytx in reply to BLBeamer. | November 16, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Since when has admitting he was wrong been equated to lying? As someone else said very well, if you are going to line up Newt’s strikeouts, then at least stack them up against all his homeruns….

      BLBeamer in reply to fhensleytx. | November 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      So, he’s the Dave Kingman of GOP candidates?

      Wow.

      Sorry, I also can’t get past #1 and #2 because I believe they effectively telegraph his “principles”, his “instincts” and, worst of all, his judgment.

      I believe if he hadn’t felt pressure from conservatives, he never would have said his PSA was a mistake.

workingclass artist | November 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

“Perry has been a solid Governor who has been unable to bring it to the national stage. I had very high hopes for Perry when the buzz of his possible presidential run started over the summer, but reality did not meet expectations, by a wide margin. It is too late in this election cycle for Perry to change the nation’s first impression, not even a better than expected showing in Iowa…”

It may be too late for political junkies and pundits who have been following the race for months…But most voters are only now starting to pay attention.

For those unfamiliar with Gov. Perry’s past campaigns he always polls low until the voting which is why he’s constantly underestimated (He was behind KBH 20+ points). He will stay in the race for a while yet & his has a red meat reform plan he released yesterday to drive the discussion & up the stakes on DC.

Here’s the link to his plan.
http://www.rickperry.org/uproot-and-overhaul-washington-html/

    VetHusbandFather in reply to workingclass artist. | November 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I like Perry better than Newt, It’s unfortunate that his campaign has been a disaster. If he could turn things around, and show people that he can lead the nation like his supporters say he’s lead Texas, than I’d be happy to vote for him.

I’m pleased to read of your endorsement, not only because you are such an influential blogger, but because I know your decision was a carefully considered one.

As a Palin supporter, I spent two weeks researching and evaluating the field of announced GOP candidates and come to the conclusion that, like Gov. Palin, Speaker Gingrich is a Reagan conservative. Unlike Palin, who was born into a newer generation, Gingrich had the opportunity as a young Congressman to actually work with President Reagan. Like with so many of us, Reagan changed Gingrich’s political thinking.

I’ve added Legal Insurrection to the blogroll at Conservatives with Newt: http://conservatives4newt.com/

Best Regards,
– JP

Right after Hurricane Katrina, Newt was on Fox saying that what President Bush should do was to “establish a Marshal Plan for the Gulf Coast” and pour billions into rebuilding, particularly Louisiana. He thought it should be announced immediately, so that Congress could act.

Congress did act, with haste, and poured billions into an ill-conceived recovery effort, which resulted in massive waste and fraud. (I am sure all of us remember the gift cards used in casinos, the dead people who never were, the trailers which were too expensive, etc.)

In August of the following year, about 9 months after his “Marshal Plan/spend billions” suggestion to President Bush, Newt was on Fox yet again discussing the fraud and waste. And you know what he said?

“Well, this is what happens when the federal government gets involved. It should have been done by the private sector.”

That is Newt in a nutshell. Grandiose ideas which shift with the way the wind is blowing. He is an opportunist who can debate really well. That is only one facet of being a good candidate and a good president.

Talking is not the be-all and end-all of politics. Sure it is important, but one of the worst speech makers in my lifetime was Dwight David Eisenhower, who also happened to lead the D-Day Invasion which ultimately saved Western Civilization. He also was a 2-term president who presided over a prosperous United States.

The presidency requires DOERS. Talk we have had in abundance over the last 3 years, and it has done nothing but cause more problems.

One other thing: I don’t think Obama will debate unless he has no choice. It looks to me like his plan is to get his numbers up by clever bits of bribery, class warfare, union support, and pointing at GOP infighting. If he gets those numbers high enough, he will simply drag out the negotiations and not debate at all. If he feels he HAS to debate, it will only be out of desperation and one time only, probably during the World Series in October.

So don’t put all your eggs in the debate basket.

workingclass artist | November 16, 2011 at 9:26 am

Gingrich hired as Historian?…C’mon.

“Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.

The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse…”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-11-16/gingrich-said-to-be-paid-at-least-1-6-million-by-freddie-mac.ht

    Will Newt produce the contracts for his services? That is a lot of money to pay a historian. Do historians forget details like an extra $1.5Million?
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-11-15/gingrich-said-to-be-paid-by-freddie-mac-to-win-republican-allies.html

    If you like/want the DC status quo, then Romney and Newt are your guys. Neither will fix the problems in DC. They will likely exacerbate the problems. The only difference between them is I believe Newt will appoint more conservative judges. It is not enough.

    As Rush says, don’t let the “media” select the Republican Presidential candidate, as it did in 2008, when it supported McCain during the primaries and turned on him when he became the Republican candidate. So Bloomberg News has its panties in a wad in November 2011 about a couple of consulting contracts Fannie Mae had with Gingrich?

    Where was Bloomberg News when James Johnson and Franklin Raines were perpetrating grand theft at Fannie Mae? Where was Bloomberg News when Pres Geo Bush pushed for an audit of Fannie Mae? Where was Bloomberg News when Rahm Emanuel was sitting on the Board of Freddie Mac?

    Bloomberg News is “looking out for” us conservatives, alright!

    James “Johnson left Fannie Mae in 1998. During his tenure there he amassed more than $100 million in compensation, as well as millions of dollars in guaranteed consulting fees and other perks…

    Franklin “Raines’ total compensation from 1998 through 2004 was $91.1 million, including some $52.6 million in bonuses, according to OFHEO.”
    http://frontpagemag.com/2011/11/01/fannie-maes-duo-of-destruction/

    “One of those allegedly asleep-at-the-switch board members was Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel—now chief of staff to President Barack Obama—who made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-rahm-emanuel-profit-26-mar26,0,5682373.story

      JEBurke in reply to logos. | November 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      Unfortunately for your weak argument, neither Johnson nor Raines is running for President.

      It would be odd to say the least, that conservatives who have properly called out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and their enablers for their role is fostering the insane housing bubble would now try to brush aside Newt’s (reported) lining his pockets courtesy of Franklin Raines.

Gingrich is not a conservative; he just plays one on TV when he’s not busy pocketing a million-plus of easy money from Fanny to make their bilking of taxpayers palatable to fellow Repub congress-critters (read: bought-off with our money). He’s a Beltway bullshitter to rival the best of ’em, but how in the world is it that when a large enough group of people identify a problem, they end up rallying around someone who is emblematic of the problem?

I say forget this silly cast of wannabes, and let’s draft from among the young, tough, savvy Republican governors and maybe senators.

Gingrich is a horrible prospect for the very reason that Clinton made Gingrich the focus of Clinton’s attack and criticism: Gingrich is a basically unlikable person.

He’s as arrogant as was Clinton, but with none of the likability.

Clinton knew it then. And the Democrats know it now. And they’d love to have Gingrich to make the mean horrible person that he was and probably still is.

Romney may not be conservative compared to Gingrich, et al; but compared to Obama, Mitt’s the second coming of Barry Goldwater. I’m really not sure we need the MOST conservative nominee. We need someone who (a) can beat Obama, and (b) can reverse Obama’s “change” (i.e., socialist) agenda, and (c) get America back on its feet both domestically and internationally. I believe America would STRONGLY support a GOP candidate who defined his task in terms of “(a),” “(b),” and “(c).” I think Republicans are somewhat misreading the mood of the electorate if they think that what the voters want in 2012 is the “most conservative” possible alternative to Obama.

For this reason, I think it’s a mistake to place so much emphasis on which candidate is the most conservative. All things equal, of course, I’d prefer a more conservative candidate. But we need a candidate the public can take a strong LIKING to, bordering on infatuation. Newt seems extremely unlikely to have that kind of appeal. At the risk of making my countrymen seem shallow, the kind of qualities that seem to work for a successful presidential candidate are as follows: good looks, charm, youth, personal charisma, appearing physically strong/rugged. Newt has none of these attributes. Throw in the fact that he’s “old hat,” a throwback to the early-to-mid 90s (during which time Clinton regularly smoked him on the PR battlefield.

It’s fine to wish Newt were president, but he still has to be elected. And for that to happen, the American people are going to have to exhibit a rather dramatic change in their traditional attitudes toward tubby old white, D.C.-insider Republicans who apparently want to shut down the government.

Well Prof, I think you have made a thoughtful argument in favor of your chosen candidate and I won’t have any problem voting for Newt. However, if Romney wins the nomination, I am definitely going to have a problem voting for him and just might write my own name in for POTUS to avoid casting my vote his way. I don’t trust Romney and his advisors and frankly, his style turns me off from even listening to his positions (when he finally figures out what his position is) on various issues. But, if Romney does win the whole thing and is our next POTUS, he will be an improvement over the current “no-where man” residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Newt’s comeback has been most impressive and Newt should be commended on his discipline during this campaign and staying focused when most people around him were abandoning him. If Newt does win the nomination, I think the presidential debates have a good possibility of being the most informative and illustrative debates in my lifetime.

[…] support for Newt from a legal blogger, William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, whom I enjoy reading: I have been agnostic on the Republican primary so far, but the time for […]

Gingrich has said in an interview that he has learned from the time he has been out of office, as well as having mellowed with age and becoming a grandfather. I think if he can show this, that it’s not a bullshit line, he can really BE a more effective leader and be electable. Yes, he has a lot of baggage, but if he can exude some leadership…whatever that elusive quality is…and not just display his intellectual firepower….he can be elected AND be a good President.

It’s not a question of if he’ll be better than Obama; I see psychotics where I work I’d trust more than O, who I think is a disaster of almost unmitigated proportions. I believe too that Newt could become a LEADER, at a time when that’s what we’re hungry for, not in the sense of celebrity, as O was in 2008, an empty suit, but Gingrich could be someone of substance who can work with Congress (well, at least with the few sane and not-as-corrupt members…ok, there must be a few? Maybe not, but still, Gingrich understands Congress.

Who else? None inspire confidence. The more I hear Gingrich talk…and I was a detractor early on, but as I see how he is growing in stature because of how he is acting and what he is saying…I’m starting to think he’s as close as we’re going to get.

Uh, oh, Professor, new trouble in Newtland. According to the Washington Post today, Newt did not just pull down $300,000 as a temporary consultant to Freddie Mac. He was paid at least $1.6 million (!) over eight years in the form of a $25-30,000 a month retainer by Freddie to do…er…something or other. Looks like he was expected to serve as a bridge from Freddie to the Bush White House, various Republicans, conservatives, etc.

In short, a handsomely paid shill for the ultimate example of taxpayer funded, government protected Pork Heaven for assorted current and former lawmakers of both parties and one of the key forces driving the reckless housing policies that blew up the financial system.

If true — and I do not take it as a given that it is all true as reported by the WaPo — Newt will need all of his impressive forensic powers to talk his way out of this — and there won’t be any attacking the reporters who ask about it.

Say what you will about Romney, the guy made a nice fortune as a private businessman and investor requiring (so far as we know) no comfortable place getting fat on the public teat.

    logos in reply to JEBurke. | November 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Nice caveat about the Wshington Post.

    The Washington Post – home of truly conservative media is my first choice for news, followed by the New York Times.

    I will rely upon these bastions of conservate media to influence my preference for the Republican nominee for President.

    If only the Washington Post had sounded the alarm when James Johnson paid himself $100 million and Franklin Raines paid himself $91 million from Fannie Mae coffers – or during Rahm Emanuel when he sat on the Board of Freddie Mac, when egregious mismanagement was occurring. Wonder what the archives of the Washington Post had to say about President Geo Bush calling for an audit of Fannie Mae?

    ANYBODY BUT OBAMA!

      JEBurke in reply to logos. | November 16, 2011 at 11:53 am

      Facts are facts, wherever they are published. So far as I know, Gingrich has not denied the story or challenged any part of it. It is possible that there is more to the story and will be interesting to hear what Newt has to say about it.

      It is one thing to be skeptical about stories in the hostile press or unnamed sources. It is quite another to simply wave off inconvenient facts because the same press didn’t look into someone else.

      Glad you mentioned leading Clintonista Franklin Raines who, during his 1999-2004 reign as Freddie Mac CEO raided the company’s treasury to pay himself and other senior execs tens of millions of dollars in “bonuses,” while attempting to hide the payouts with slippery accounting.

      Guess what! It was under Raines that Newt — reportedly — was paid $1.6 to $1.8 million. Which raises the question, was Newt’s dough part of what Raines was hiding, and why was Newt stuffing his pockets along with Raines and all the others who viewed Freddie Mac as a giant pork fest for Democratic Party aparatchiks?

        gasper in reply to JEBurke. | November 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if journalists provided facts without regard to party? We will know where every blemish on Newt’s body is by the end of the month and will still know no more about Obama’s past than we do now.

          JEBurke in reply to gasper. | November 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

          Yes, it would be wonderful but so what?

          If Newt lined his pockets with lots of Freddie Mac dough, courtesy of Clinton crony, Franklin Raines, beginning during the Clinton administration and the job for which he was paid was to help run interference for Freddie with Republicans and conservatives, why would that not be a big concern, regardless of where you learned it?

    gasper in reply to JEBurke. | November 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I’ll get concerned about Newt’s fees for services rendered when the WP and NYT become concerned about the half a billion dollar grants parceled out to failed solar companies and their political donors, and the hundreds killed due to the sale of weapons by the US Government to drug lords.

I guess he was “young and irresponsible” earlier this year when he called Paul Ryan’s plan “right-wing social engineering.” But that was earlier this year, when he didn’t know any better. Now he truly is a conservative’s conservative.

CenterRightMargin | November 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

Prof. Jacobson,

I greatly respect your intellect, opinions, and more than that, the public service that is this Blog.

However, I think you failed to raise the main argument against Newt.

It’s about trust and discipline.

Gov. Romney’s big problem is that the base, with good reason, does not trust him to govern as a conservative.

But Speaker Gingrich’s problem, and one that cannot be overlooked especially going into what will surely be a brutal and dirty election, is that is good reason not to trust Newt’s personal discipline.

Someone at NRO contrasted ideological conservatism with affective (personality) conservatism. Newt may be many things, but his personality, and with that his personal instincts, are not conservative in the Burkean “prudence and caution” mold. And, for all of his flaws, that is Gov. Romney’s greatest strength – his discipline.

Perry, for what it’s worth, has the greatest potential to rally the troops, IMO. He is the person on stage who is the most naturally likeable, he seems generally sunny. Unfortunately, like Palin before him, he wasn’t ready for a national election – it really seems most people have to run once, first, to get it. Also, I think this push to “go bold” with plans is going to end up backfiring in the general election.

People simply do not like big change. People voted for small change in 2008, notwithstanding the logo- that’s what Obama campaigned as – someone who is going to be a change from Bush, but not rock the boat, mainstream kind of guy. People got more than they bargained for.

Newt is not really likeable, either. He is combative, but not in a way that necessarily connects with normal people. Like Perry, his “go Bold” approach, which he will likely double down on (before abandoning x, y, or z) will I think hurt him.

Romney also is not particularly – but I think part of that is that Romney has not gone “all in” with being Romney – that is, embracing that he’s a moderate conservative who’s #1 principle in governing is to keep within the lines of the expectations of the majority of his constituents. “I am not going to piss the majority off. I’ll lean conservative, but I’m not going to make the middle go crazy.” Once he owns being Romney, I think he’ll do a lot better even in the primaries.

Bob McDonnell would be the perfect candidate. But he’s not running. Romney, IMO, warts and all is the best out there. Perry could be but he needs to scale back the boldness (a touch) and get schooled at record pace on everything he needs to know (or announce that Gingrich, Daniels, or Ryan would be his running mate).

But Gingrich… the risk that he does something to implode, that he goes to mean on the attack and doesn’t look Presidential… I believe there’s too much risk there to support in the primary. Even though, like all of the candidates (except possibly Ron Paul, due to the dangers of his isolationism) he would make a much, much, (much!) better President than the current occupier of the white house.

    An accurate and trenchant anslysis to which I can subscribe 100 percent.

    It is especially disappointing that Perry has not measured up to the challenge. By experience and accomplishment, he should be a standout. And he has that easy going personality and sunny disposition, as well as good looks and impressive bearing, that should make him the best of the lot in connecting with voters, whether in retail campaining or on the tube. Regrettably, he seems not to have taken seriously just how hard this business is and how thoroughly prepared for EVERY appearance on every salient issue a Presidential candidate must be. Perhaps after a decade of being the Big Man in Texas led him to think he could wing it. Perhaps if he had begun an “exploratory” committee last December and gradually ramped up his preparations, he would not have crashed. He might just have one more chance, albeit a small one, to put his nose to the grindstone, his time into Iowa and his money into Iowa and South Carolina, given Cain’s certain decline and, I believe, a Newt bubble that will burst, Perry could still come in first or second in Iowa and be positioned to rebound as the NotRomney in SC.

    Newt doesn’t just have baggage. His baggage has baggage. Now that he is having his turn as a frontrunner, we will all hear about all of it. It is pointless and silly to blame the media for this, as if anyone could or should be expected to ignore it all. Besides the baggage, while Newt can be impressive, he is also hot-headed and ill disciplined. Somehow, he managed to be the only Speaker of the House in history to be sanctioned by the House for ethical abuses and alienated his own colleagues to such an extent that he was forced to resign. On top of that, there is hardly a major issue in this year’s campaign on which Newt had not flipped and flopped (and sometimes flipped back again — climate change, cap and trade, immigration, taxes, the bank bailouts, etc.

    Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect candidate, but one supposes that serious people

Sooner or later Romney supporters are going to have to accept that he does not and likely will never appeal to many in the conservative base of the GOP. He is no more appealing this cycle than he was in the last one. If his supporters think their repetion of “he’s the most electable” can push him over the line with the support of Independents more power to them.

So it appears everyone is going to be holding out for the Perfect Conservative Candidate With Perfect Conservative Credentials Who Is Also A Nice Person With A Flawless Personal Life Who Doesn’t Make Too Much Money And Is Also Pretty Enough For TV.

And then when that guy/gal doesn’t show up because they don’t exist, everyone will nominate Romney for the loss.

This piece from The American Spectator might be spreading the butter a little thin on the bread, but it’s decent reading anyway:
http://spectator.org/archives/2011/11/15/is-newt-gingrich-americas-chur

Professor I agree with your choice for the Republican nominee for POTUS. Having watched the Reagan revolution and then the C-Span powered Newt takeover of the US House of Representatives I have always had the republican love-hate relationship with Newt. It should be noted that Newt was the first Rep. Speaker of the House in something like 50 years. The Dem-Union control of our House had been a given since FDR. It was Newt, the Contract with America and the new Conservatives (too bad I cannot remember the label of those new representatives from that time) that finally pushed the Republicans into the Speaker’s chair. Scroll forward to Newt’s hissy fit with Airforce 1 and his later meltdown. Yes, he does have an ego and which presidential wannabe doesn’t? True, Clinton engineered his meltdown and Newt never saw it coming. Also, true that the media was all over it back when we thought that the media printed all the news fit to print. And, yes, Dick Armey was right when he told Newt that he was an [email protected]@hole. Then again I don’t particularly want a President that is only likeable, I want a President that is forceful.
Next, we come to our present situation. Coming from Michigan this Romney is not his father. His father was a forceful and talented politician. Mitt doesn’t not hold strong positions while Gingrich holds forceful postions as long as they work. When his positions are wrong or unworkable he is smart enough to say that he made a mistake and try something else.
Gingrich has worked long and hard to help conservatives get elected to office and it has benefited us all. His various non-profits and PACs were for that purpose with his training seminars, coaching and mentoring we have seen many conservatives get into higher office and not just federal but many state and local positions.
Newt is an insider who has spent a long time in the wilderness. In reality he is one of our elder statesmen who has worked time and again in bipartisan forums to try to reach consensus with the more sane side of the aisle. Yet, he has always sided with small government ideas and ideals.
His personal life is not for childhood reading. His constant drive, his abrassive manner and his search for the new and novel I am sure has not made him one who can stay still for long. Has he finally settled down into one who is happy in his own skin? This I cannot say but is my one worry about him as President.
His long history in politics, in office and out, are a positive. His cabinet could be outstanding. Better than Reagan or Bush II cabinets is yet to be known. One thing for sure, Newt knows the best minds in government and could call these people on their cell phones. His interest in going the extra mile, challenging the DC orthodoxy, and his knowledge of how things are done in the swamp of the federal government are the game changers for me, Vote Newt in the primaries and in November 2012.
PS- what the media will do to him is to be expected. What the Dems will do to him is to be expected. Just remember,what they do to Newt they will not do to Teh Won.

It is fascinating to read the new barrage of anti-Gingrich rants appearing in the comments, almost all of which can be dissected to half-truths, incomplete facts, or outright character assassination.

The latest whisperings point to Bloomberg reports concerning his consultancy company contracts with Freddie Mac, one of which was referenced during a recent debate.

People barking at the $25K-$30K monthly payments to his company do not have a **clue** about making payroll and paying your employees wages, benefits, overhead, and taxes. If you did, then it would become abundantly clear this is **not** an unreasonable amount of money, nor is it excessive.

We already know he did not lobby, because he integrates that priority into all his consultancy contracts, yet those same contracts also bear a privacy clause to protect the client (e.g. Freddie Mac). If you want to know the actual details of his company’s various consultancy stints, why not instead petition Freddie to release them from the confidentiality agreement?

Thanks professor for taking the high road and giving us your candid assessment of this candidate. I will support speaker Gingrich as the one-and-only candidate that even begins to model what President Reagan stood for.

My $0.02, and your mileage may vary.

I’ve heard Newt speak many times. He’s a brilliant man, but the characteristics that make him so will also guarantee his loss in the election.

He can not help but say what’s on his mind. If he thinks it, even if it’s a discardable brainstorm, you’re going to hear it. This is not a good characteristic for the presidency.

He is an arrogant man (with justification) and arrogance doesn’t play well with the public. It doesn’t play well with me given the limits and foibles of even the most brilliant individuals.

He has no real management and leadership experience (you know, the thing we assail Obama for).

He is, in many ways, an academic. No offense to academics, but we must have some form of real world experience in the office.

His past statements and personal baggage will overwhelm his campaign.

The only reason I can see for nominating Newt is that he will destroy Obama in the debates. He will cause the national issues we face to become crystal clear for the public, at the ones amenable to thinking, and in doing so will increase Republican gains in the Senate. Yet, Newt will still lose while Romney has a marginally better chance.

Newt/Sarah vs Barack/Joe in 2012. That is political World War III I would not miss for the world. Romney, who?

I have liked and disliked both Cain and Gingrich for the familiar reasons and will not be that happy if Romney is the nominee, but to all Romney dislikers (and haters): if he is the nominee and you do not vote for him, you will have four more years of Obama. Think about that. What each of us choose to do, represents the actions of 1000’s others. “Cut off your nose to spite your face” seems to be a favorite theme of too many conservatives. Self-defeating anger is not a mature or responsible response to disappointment.

    katiejane in reply to mbabbitt. | November 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

    What a reflection on Romney – that one of the most often comments about him is “if he is the nominee and you do not vote for him, you will have four more years of Obama.”

    The logic could be appled to any of the GOP candidates – if we don’t vote for the nominee we run the risk of being stuck with Obama. But everyone is entitled to determine for themselves if a sucky GOP nominee is actually that much better than Obama.

      beloney in reply to katiejane. | November 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      KatieJane, I think your candidate is “sucky”, and you think mine is. After the nomination is secured, I’ll vote for your candidate, if you’ll vote for mine.

    A bridge need only be crossed once you arrive at the bridge. The polls show that 70%+ of conservatives want to avoid voter nose-holding on election day Nov 2012 thus are striving to avoid a Romney nomination.

    The liberal narrative, that liberals own the moderate 70% of voters and only a liberal or liberal leaning republican is electable, is propaganda. Otherwise, the voter majority in this country have not yet comprehended that liberalism is an economic cancer the result of which is the death of the host.

    Though I dispute the concept that liberalism is well-intended, the road to hell is paved with liberals’ “good intentions.”

    History lesson: Rise and Fall of the USSR which started with liberals’ Occupy Moscow.

Just one thing to remember about Newt: He is a very bad manager, and only about a third as brilliant as he thinks he is. He loves big ideas, just for being big, even when they’re idiotic ideas (See Global Warming).

If Newt is the nominee, I’ll support him. I don’t trust him for a second and have no faith in his ability to actually get things done, but he’s way better than Obama.

Jeff P ” walks into the room and cuts the grand deal ” If Newt is elected he would have to cut a grand deal with a Republican Congress which hopefully would be more conservative.

[…] Here’s an excellent case for Newt by William A. Jacobson at Legal […]

I will stay with Perry, because at least he governs. It used to be that you had to win primaries to get a nomination. Now winning debates is enough. The current POTUS is a prime example of the result: leaders who are long on words and short on principle, commitment or decisive action.

    This has been a very weird cycle. People have for some reasoned ides that if they think a candidate can out debate Obama, that is the end all be all. Even if that same candidate has a record of fighting against his own debate points. It’s almost as if they expect the country to watch the debate and say, “I see, conservatives ave been right all along.”

    That’s why I support Perry. He had a very strong last debate, and minus the brain freeze, his prior debate was also good. Plus, he has proven that his ideas work, and that he is willing to implement them. He’s the only candidate with a conservative record and executive experience. People might remember a debate for a week, people will remember policies that worked for a lifetime.

I like Newt and if he does not implode–as someone above predicted, I will be delighted to see him take on Obama. I believe that he is capable of leading the country at this critical juncture. But, I will state right now, that I will have no trouble voting for Romney if he is the nominee. In ’08 I had to hold my nose to vote for McCain. Not this time.

Romney gets such a false spin from so many critics that it is ridiculous. I heard someone on FNC- yesterday-actually it was a token Statist in disguise– state that Romney was for health care mandates as Governor, and the GOP is against mandates. That is not an honest statement of the situation. The responsibilities of a state to provide health care services to all residents, regardless of financial responsibility are totally different from those of the Federal government. Romney has explained that deadbeats were bleeding the state because of those differences. Action was essential to protect the state.

Beyond that point, the citizens of Mass. wanted a change. They were given a change. Lessons were learned. Romney recognizes the situation and has stated emphatically he would take immediate action to ameliorate the negative effects of Obama care.

Many of the people who pile on Romney over health care are either ignorant–or less than honest.

As to the knock on his charisma, lack thereof, I am not interested in charisma. We tried that. Competence, conviction, decisiveness, and adherence to constitutional principles will satisfy me.

    retire05 in reply to Oldflyer. | November 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    The problem that Romney has, Oldflyer, is not what he says now, it’s that many of us vetted Romney four years ago, and what he said then had no similarity to how he governed. There is a reason that Mitt Romney is not running on his one short term as a governor and trying to frame his campaign around his business acumen. It is because as the governor of a blue state, he governed as a liberal.

    Why did Romney win in a blue state when he was a Republican? For the same reason that Ted Kennedy continued to win, time after time, even when everyone knew that he was responsible for a woman’s death; family name, and Romney had that.

    Romney’s refusal to distance himself from Romneycare that has sent Massachusetts into a financial tailspin is one of his largest negatives. Also, when you dig in the weeds, and look at Romenycare, it was a system based on on the funding from the citizens of one state, but as a partnership with the federal government that gets tax dollars from citizens of every state. Patrick had requested over $400 million to fund Romneycare, the Stimulus Bill gave it $764 million. That money comes from taxpayers in Idaho, Kansas and Missouri yet those taxpayers do not reap one iota of benefit from Romneycare. For the rest of America, Romneycare was the “bridge to nowhere.”

    The problem we have is that the statist principals of the northern states have been touted as the ideal. Yet, time after time, we see those very states, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, drive themselves into bankruptcy by their very statist policies. And when they find that they can no longer cover the checks they are writing, they want the rest of the nation to pull them out of the mire. Romney will not govern much differently than the devil we already know. So he is being summarily rejected by the majority of conservative voters, and for good reason.

    Newt, now he is a whole different ball game. While I will admit that Newt is a policy wonk, and his true talent in creating ideas for trial, he is, and remains, best in his professorial role. What works in theory, does not always work in reality. Yes, I am glad that he has admitted that he wandered off the farm with his “couch” ad, but I have no security that he will not wander off the farm again, and if in a position to really create policy, it will be a mistake he cannot easily rectify. We already have a “professor” in the Oval Office. That has not worked at well, at all.

    The beauty of the internet is that we can research the histories of each candidate. Thomas.loc.gov is a wonderful website that allows us to look at legislation, see how our elected representatives voted on that legislation or what bills they wrote that met with our own personal political values. Yet, we have a man currently residing in the White House that no one bothered to check up on. I remember bookmarking Obama’s Illinois senate record and was amazed that no one talked about it, not even his detractors.

    What legislation has Newt affected since he left office? Where has his influence affected anything since he left office? He certainly has a powerful voice, and the cred to influence legislation. Why has he not?

    I have heard all the excuses to not support Governor Perry; he doesn’t debate well, he performs badly on state. Well, if you want someone who performs well on stage, write in Clint Eastwood or Tom Selleck. Both are great performers and both are Republicans. Problem solved. But if you want someone who is (currently) fighting the leviathan that has become our federal government, there is only one choice; Rick Perry.

    How many of you conservatives, who hate the practice of abortion, even know that the State of Texas is being sued by abortion providers because Governor Perry had the audacity to lobby for, and get, legistlation that requires sonigrams at least 24 hours before an abortion is performed? How many of you know that he tried to get sanctuary cities made illegal in the State of Texas, ending a municipality’s ability to ignore federal law, and would give the State Attorney General the ability to haul those mayors and city councilmen into a state court for their refusal to enforce federal immigration laws? How many of you are aware that Texas, under the direction of Rick Perry, is currently suing the EPA for violations of the 10th Amendment and a total disregard of the Clean Air Act?

    I am not surprised that Professor Jacobson would choose the professor on state. But I am surprised that Americans would put more faith in the text book policies than in actual field successes. I want someone who is actually walking the walk, not looking for an Oscar.

    Will I vote for Romney, Gingrich or any of the others? Yes, but I will, once again, hold my nose understanding that there will be little, if any, change in how sausage is made in D.C.

Professor Jacobson:

I’ve hoped that your website wouldn’t become a surrogate advocacy for the Newt Gingrich campaign, like Red State became for Rick Perry. Looks like my hope was dashed.

No, it isn’t down to two viable candidates and to suggest it is is downright disingenuous. To wit, there have been juggernauts before with Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and now Gingrich.

Now that the inevitable spotlight is shining on Newt, you struck a defensive pose and say, “Don’t disrupt by cognitive dissonance?”

This remains a vetting process. At this time during the 2008 presidential election cycle, Fred Thompson and Rudy were atop the field and only fell in late-December.

Newt has been a constant conservative for 35 years? Yet you readily dismiss his record:

– He promoted the return of the Fairness Doctrine.
– He was for a federal individual health-care mandate, the
lynchpin of ObamaCare.
– He was practically spooning Nancy Pelosi in commercial
about the need for government action on global warming.
– He supports green energy projects [Solyndras] and
farm-subsidies.
– Even as late as this year he was pitching for more
government intervention in the health-care system at the
progressive Brookings Institution.

Source: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-11-10/politics/30381368_1_newt-gingrich-conservatives-herman-cain

Newt was asked about the $300,000 he received as “consultant” for Freddie Mac. A relationship he dismissively suggested as being informing Freddie Mac not to do what they eventually did.

Specifically, he was asked about what it now turns out to have been $1.6M, not the $300,000 he alleged. His response was that he didn’t know how much it was because he has numerous clients at his consultancy, The Gingrich Group.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-16/gingrich-said-to-be-paid-at-least-1-6-million-by-freddie-mac.html

    imfine in reply to mdw9661. | November 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

    – He promoted the return of the Fairness Doctrine.

    It was a way to beat the deems at their own game by threatening their monopoly on the news

    – He was for a federal individual health-care mandate, the
    lynchpin of ObamaCare.

    It was a sophist ruse to provide some sort of alternative to the even worse Hillarycare which was far worse than Obamacare while doing everything he could to kill it. No one at the time took it seriously and knew what he was doing.

    – He was practically spooning Nancy Pelosi in commercial
    about the need for government action on global warming.

    I think he needed some PR, but he could have been duped. People are fooled by incredible con jobs all the time, even politicians

    – He supports green energy projects [Solyndras] and
    farm-subsidies.

    Its understandable, he’s a technophile, and in Iowa you need the farm vote. Its not a necessity in the general election, but in the primaries it becomes contentious. But if you think Gringrich would support Solyndra graft your mistaken. even then those subsidies are irrelevant, they aren’t the big issue in the fed government, entitlements are. The rest of the stuff combined is a drop in the bucket.

    – Even as late as this year he was pitching for more
    government intervention in the health-care system at the
    progressive Brookings Institution.

    What exactly did he propose that you object to? Federal regulation of medical care even in conservative philosophy is acceptable since a great deal of it is interstate.

    logos in reply to mdw9661. | November 16, 2011 at 11:53 am

    The fact is the first 3-4 states out of the chute in the primary elections will select the Republican candidate. Witness, the jostling by various states to advance their positions in the primary schedule.

    All Independents and Republicans may have a preference, but Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina (historically) have selected the Republican candidate.

    The bottom line is: will one vote for the selected Republican candidate or Obama?

    It’s really that simple.

      mdw9661 in reply to logos. | November 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Not sure that this is the case. Polls shift all the time and are meaningless at this juncture. I seriously question the first three states will determine the nominee, particularly should the caucus and two popular votes are apportioned across two or more candidates.

      There really is no need to coalesce around one anti-Romney at this time. Much can and will happen between now and early-to-middle January.

      As Sarah Palin was purported to conclude last evening on Greta, the cream has not come to the surface yet.

Bravo! But then I’ve been supporting Newt all along, for all the reasons that you have come to. And one more: Newt can unify the party. The fiscal conservatives cannot fail to support him, and the social conservatives can at least go along, in a way that they could not do with Romney.

My only real problems with Newt are that 1) he sometimes speaks too candidly; and 2) he seems to think that everyone remembers 1994 (and somehow not 1998).

But he’s the best of the lot, and a better candidate than the Republicans have fielded since Reagan. Who “couldn’t win”, either.

I agree with Prof. Jacobson. Some of the negative comments above echo my own thoughts on the path to arriving at this same conclusion. But with each debate, I have felt — to my own surprise — more and more positive. Gingrich is carrying the message, and at the end of the day, it is Congress who will pass (or not) the laws. We have plenty of opportunities in the next election.

Here’s a little remembered fact that should help dispose of the myth, propagated by self-styled guardians of the true conservative flame, that candidates like McCain and Romney have limited appeal to the Republican “base.”

Of course, John McCain surmounted all efforts to annoint a “not-McCain” in the form of Huckabee and Thompson (and the ubiquitous Ron Paul), among others.

But here’s the forgotten fact: despite running in a field ultimately dominated by fellow supposed “RINO,” McCain, and for a while Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney won 11 states and 271 delegates, jusf a handful less than Huckabee’s 278 even though Mitt wisely dropped out a month before thd Huck. (Not incidentally, Huckabee’s persistent strength could be seen as much as a function of his being a southern favorite son and/or the sole evangelical in the mix as the more conservative guy which in many ways he was not.)

So, if the combination of two supposedly moderate candidates, McCain and Romney, came in first in 42 states and won some 86 percent of the delegates in primarIes and caucuses in which 20 million Republican voters participated, who comprises this GOP “base” that Romney cannot “motivate,” in the Professor’s word?

I submit that motivating Republican and Republican leaning voters is a function of their desire to beat Obama. Anyway, no one should lose sight of the fact that only about 20 million people can be expected to turn out in the 2012 GOP primaries and caucuses, it will take more than 60 million votes to defeat Obama. Where do the other 40 million come from? Frankly, the notion that they come from “motivating” the phantom “base” is delusional.

    katiejane in reply to JEBurke. | November 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    JEBurke – Then if the moderate GOP candidates can pull enough of the conservative base and independents to win – why the constant harping by the Romney supporters that if we don’t support him we’re insuring 4 more years of Obama. Stop whining like someone supporting Newt or Perry is going to doom the nation to Obama.

      JEBurke in reply to katiejane. | November 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Um, please specify where anything I posted can be considered “whining.” Maybe you should put more thought into your comments before clicking on, Submit.

Whatever his personal history was, Newt is the only Person in the Republican party who is running for president who can cogently articulate and defend the principles of the Republican party. Thats it. If we can’t clearly and concisely explain why a bloated corrupt kleptocracy that is on the verge of a devastating bankruptcy is bad for America then we have lost.

Above all else we need someone who can get beyond the soundbites, beat all the lies and setups and give that explanation. Our fight is against the “free money” party. Thats a hard fight intellectually, because they are offering on the face of it, something for nothing because they hide the cost. We have to convince people that the cost is real and everyone pays for it, not just those few set aside to pay for it

Seriously this is what it comes down to:
Us: You have to earn your own food
Them: We’ll give you free food!

If we can’t explain to people why taking their “free food” is going to lead to voters starving and dieting of malnutrition, when the premise seems so intuitive to believe the opposite, then we stand to lose everything. We follow in the footsteps of the other great Empires of History and self destruct.

Though I wish for a Reagan I’ll take a Newt. We have done well with him the past, I am sure we can well with him again.

[…] is a good column by LegalInsurrection in support of […]

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I have been surprised and pleased by what I’ve seen from Newt, and so next I turn to the question, what ticket has the best chances of winning against BO?

I could get enthusiastic about a Cain/Gingrich ticket, because I think it would play both to the two candidates’ strengths, which are complementary, and to the very real weaknesses of the expected Democratic ticket, assuming it is BO/anybody, and also be proof against the kinds of attacks we know will be launched against each of them.

I know that Cain lacks experience in running a government, but he has superb executive experience in turning around companies. This executive experience, in an ordinary marketplace, would be a huge advantage in a chief executive. It’s also obvious that, as an executive, Cain has learned to take advice, and he could have no better advisor than Newt. Newt would have greater freedom as vice president to deal with the many, many things he’s considered since he left office. I’d love to see him have a better platform for his ideas about public education.

It would be a ticket that could give the Republicans bragging rights.

    retire05 in reply to Valerie. | November 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Valerie, Cain is not taking advise from Newt. He is taking advise from Mark Block who has almost single-handedly destroyed Cain’s campaign. How is Cain any different than what we have now with his constant whining that every negative thing that happens in his campaign is someone else’s fault? How about his playing the race card (that Professor Jacobson so conveniently ignores) any different than Obama? Cain has basically ripped out every page of the Obama playbook, now with his CainTruths.org website, that reeks of StopTheSmears.org from Obama’s campaign.

    Running a business, taking it into the black by basically applying bankruptcy rules and laying off thousands of people is NOT what we need. We need jobs, which Cain did not create, not more unemployment which Cain did create with his revamping of Godfather’s Pizza.

    As the days go on, Herman Cain proves he is not ready for prime time. He is a man looking to remodel your house with no experience as a carpenter or builder. He has never so much as served on a small town city council that would at least give him an idea of how governments function. And your blind trust in him is no different that the millions who put their blind trust in a man who also lacked the experience to run a nation of over 300 million people.

    I will ask you the same question I have asked of very Cain supporter I have ever met:

    what is there in Herman Cain’s history that tells you how he will govern?

    I suspect I will get the same answer from you that I have gotten from every other Cain supporter: none.

      imfine in reply to retire05. | November 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      If Cain didn’t fire those employees and so the companies went under, how much more unemployment would there be? If you were a doctor and a patient had gangrene in the limb, how would you feel if people called you a bad doctor for being a “limb chopper”? Do you seriously believe that keeping on employees that the company could not afford would be a good idea?

      I am surprised that anyone on this blog would offer such a rediculous and hallow critique of Cain.

        retire05 in reply to imfine. | November 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

        The ability of a restraurant chain to be successful depends on their ability to capture market share. Restaurants can sink, or swim, by revamping those things that gets customers into the store in the first place: visual appeal, taste and value. Access and convenience are also two other factors. Is the chain easily accessible and is it conventient to your daily travels? Study the history of McDonalds and you will see what I am talking about. While Berger King makes a better product (IMHO) they are not as visually attractive, not as convenient and not a greater value.

        Cain’s solution was to not address those things that appeal to potential customers, but to shut down those stores completely, eliminating all possibility that Godfather’s Pizza could recapture a market share that would make it financially solvent. Cain took Godfather’s from third in market share, to fifth, reduced the value of the company and then, [lo and behold] bought it out in a hostile takeover. A bankruptcy lawyer could have done the same thing.

        It is obvious you have never managed so much as a lemonaid stand.

          imfine in reply to retire05. | November 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

          Actually I run my own business, successfully as well. Marketshare is not an end onto itself, the reason why Godfather was in that position was expanding too aggressively after marketshare. Cain corrected those issues. If Cain had decided to go after more marketshare while in a failing business, who would have lent him money at a reasonable price? Who would have invested cash for a losing position? Can we say cram down? I mean if all this stuff you were talking about were free to do things like reestablish a brand, it would be a no-brainer. Even perhaps the turn around king of all time, Steve Jobs shrunk Apple when he returned jettisoning dead weight and refocusing his company on its product line before expanding again. Cain buying the company he fixed is a statement to the value creation he brought. He made something worth owning that others discarded.

          I am still waiting for a serious justification of your argument, not a what could have happen if he did what. Many companies in the same shoes simply fold

I think he’s a narcissistic megalomaniac. He isn’t stable. When the going gets tough, when he’s criticized and despised by half the country, you’ll see President Gingrich melt into self-pity and then rage.

Gingrich reminds me quite a bit of Winston Churchill. He is brash, egotistical, vain, often too quick on the draw, and occasionally woefully wrong on issues that should be no-brainers for a man of his stature. However, he is also clearly brilliant and has a profound knowledge of almost every issue of substance. More importantly, he has the stones to have an opinion about every issue and the courage to articulate those opinions concisely, precisely and without euphemism. But most of all, Gingrich is clearly a fighter and a pugnacious patriot who will not back down from any battle.

The careers of these two men have also followed eerily similar tracks. Like Churchill, Gingrich has fallen from political grace several times already. It is therefore fitting that Gingrich is fighting his way back from out of the wilderness in a time of dire world crisis much like Churchill did before him.

If you had asked me three months ago if I could support Gingrich in the election I would have said no. But I am increasingly convinced that Gingrich may be the statesman we need in this very dark hour for our nation, just as another American (though Churchill’s father was British) was needed in Britain’s sternest hour.

[…] William Jacobsen over at Legal Insurrection has converted to Newtism. I have been agnostic on the Republican primary so far, but the time for choosing has […]

[…] reluctantly but more firmly as time passes, to lean Mr. Gingrich’s way.  It seems a number of us are:It is not enough to have a “not” candidate.  There is a positive case for Newt.As to […]

I agree with your take and the reasoning behind it, Professor. I just wish Newt had Mitt’s central casting presidential looks.

We will not find a perfect candidate. Reagan wasn’t a perfect conservative as governor of California. Mistakes he made during that time and later acknowledged served as a learning experience to help strengthen his conservative beliefs.

Speechless.

1. “I’m supporting Newt Gingrich as the most conservative Republican…”
This part I get. It’s your a personal endorsement.

2. “..who is electable ….”
The media+swing voters have different standards for electable. Electable in the Primary doesn’t mean electable in the General election.

3. “…and most qualified for the position of President.”
…only history can be the judge of that.

While I have my concerns about Newt, I can’t deny that his tendency would be to default to a conservative position; Romney’s strong Ripon Society roots and his gubernatorial record suggest a default to the other side.

We have to remember that in the end, a President is a politician and a politician will cut the best deal he can get at the time- we saw it with Reagan and we’ll see it with Newt or whomever unseats Obama.

I bought his “stupid” analysis of the “Loveseat Diplomacy” commercial and was happy he sees the error of his ways; I could vote for him without holding my nose-and I can’t say the same for Romney.

    Gingrich supports the murdering/assassination of American citizens without due process merely on suspicion. This is neither conservative nor is it American in value; it is tyranny.

One other thing, old, white-haired pudgy guy against young, tall black guy is not going to draw those voters who vote based on looks.

Yes, I know this is shallow. We are in the American Idol era. Face it.

Also, the public will not pull the lever for someone names “Newt.”

That is all I have to say.

    No, it’s not a shallow premise. In marketing and design, the term is ‘Aesthetic Preference’. And its been proven. Age, hair color and countenance…matters in mass media.

    Think Kennedy vs. Nixon. Reagan vs. Mondale. Scott Brown vs. Martha C. Age +/or Hair color.

    People who dismiss these seemingly superficial criteria for electability don’t understand marketing science.

    That said, should Newt become the not-Obama nominee; we must all show solidarity even if his zero aesthetic preference will make it much more difficult to market the GOP brand in the general elelction.

    janitor in reply to Miss Marple. | November 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    In response to claims that Gingrich is “polarizing”, and cannot lead constructively:

    Gingrich repeatedly was re-elected to the House of Representatives, commencing at a time when Democrats controlled the politics in Georgia. He served for 20 years. He was successful and popular enough to become minority whip, then to be elected speaker. His record of accomplishments through those years is extensive and mostly solid.

    He founded the Conservative Opportunity Society. He led Republicans into a majority in Congress during a Democrat administration. He was the co-author of Contract with America. He was Time’s 1995 Man of the Year. He helped push through welfare reform, as well as capital gains tax cuts, and a balanced budget. He was instrumental in pushing for internet access to Congressional information. Ultimately, he was attacked viciously by Democrats and the media — because of his conservative activism and his success, and, I suspect, because of having himself brought ethics charges against corrupt politicians. In the wake of the unpopularity of Republican attempts to remove Clinton, certain ambitious Republicans scapegoated him. Are we going to keep falling for propaganda? I don’t think so. I think the country has become much more media savvy and aware of what is going on.

    Aggie95 in reply to Miss Marple. | November 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Odd ….they voted for someone named barack hussain obama ….and did so while whole heartedly trying to kill folks with much the same sort of names in 1/2 dozen places around the world

    valleyforge in reply to Miss Marple. | November 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    People want authenticity in their leaders not a pretty face. You honestly believe even twentysomethings would vote for JLo for president? We’re fascinated by celebrity and will even pay to be entertained by it but we do not trust it to make decisions for us. Obama didn’t win because he was attractive, but because he seemed to speak from the heart. He doesn’t have that advantage anymore.

    To prove the point, Ron Paul is a rock star among college students and you couldn’t find a more awkward and homely public figure. It’s authenticity and credibility that attracts his supporters, that he has a core and is not afraid to defend it. Newt is the next most authentic contender, even more so than Cain, who cannot admit a mistake, or Perry, who lurches between folksy and over-rehearsed talking points. Bachmann is so afraid of making a mistake she seems as robotic as Romney. And Santorum and Huntsman look like run of the mill politicians.

[…] William Jacobson: As to Newt’s conservatism, one needs to view his almost 35 years in the public eye as a whole. There are few politicians who have fought as hard over so sustained a period against the false narrative in which an ever-expanding central state is seen as necessary and the decline of the United States is deemed inevitable. […]

I recall the sick feeling in my stomach as I pulled the trigger for McCain And as of this moment Gingrich is the only presence that doesn’t agitate the “gag” response FULLY

Is it to late to reconsider thadeus mccotter?

Gingrich-Martinez 2012?

The professor has jumped the gun and won’t take contrary comments any longer do to cognitive dissonance.

Here is the words from someone whose advice I trust:

“(The) cream of the crop has not risen yet in this very fluid primary process.”

— Sarah Palin, November 15, 2011 (on Greta)

    Owen J in reply to mdw9661. | November 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    While agree this being premature and I most especially agree with Palin, you are being unfair that Jacobson will not take contrary comments or the that he is suffering from cognitive dissonance.

    I disagree with his reasoning with because I disagree with the foundational assumptions on which it is based, but there is nothing “dissonant” in his position.

      mdw9661 in reply to Owen J. | November 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      There certainly is when Professor Jacobson attempts to minimize Gingrich’s foibles while optimizing his (questionable) attributes.

        Owen J in reply to mdw9661. | November 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm

        I think that’s called argument. He clearly believes Newt’s foibles (failures) are not that important and he has reasons for believing that.

        “Cognitive dissonance” is holding mutually exclusive opinions (or making self-contradictory arguments) at the same time.

It’s good to see a positive case being made for Newt, as opposed to being merely the “not-Romney du jour.” I don’t agree with it as I think it is premature, particularly in regard to Perry.

But more importantly the postive argument relies almost exclusively on Newt’s talents as a spokeman, and the discounting of the negative arguments against Newt entirely ignores Newt’s actual record as speaker.

This summary statement particularly I take issue with: “We need a message and a messenger. That is why I am supporting Newt Gingrich.”

Nothing could be farther from the truth. We need a leader. Anyone can be a messenger; few can lead. Discounting what candidates have actually done in favor of what candidates have said is a serious mistake.

History shows that Newt is inherently a polarizing figure. When in the opposition, he is good on the attack, and at drawing a line between “us” and “them.” But he his record shows he cannot hold what his attacks gain him. He is not a leader, except in opposition; he has never shown the ability lead constructively.

It would be a mistake to nominate someone who cannot use the office of president constructively should he be elected to it.

We as a country opted for style over substance in 2008, and we turned a deaf ear to the maxim that “actions speak louder than words”. We have been suffering for it ever since.

If we want to save our nation, we must “disentrall ourselves” and rediscover the truth of those old verities.

    janitor in reply to Owen J. | November 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Discounting what candidates have actually done in favor of what candidates have said is a serious mistake.

    This is absolutely true. It’s time to revisit history and look at Gingrich’s long record of accomplishments. Also to revisit with a more sophisticated eye the media spins and skewed weighing of what is important.

Aucturian | November 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Market him as the wise thinker and, ergo, leader. Think Roman Senate!!!

    Owen J in reply to MAB. | November 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Good idea — as long no one looks too closely at the actual Roman Senate.

    But I would very much like to see a candidate with the slogan: Obama delenda est!

    (NB: anyone who understands where or not “Obama” as used here is a feminine, 3rd declension noun properly modified by a feminine form of the passive periphrastic in what might be the nominative case is welcome to issue a correction.)

      Oregon Mike in reply to Owen J. | November 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      No correction needed. Obama presents himself as a “metrosexual.” (See, e.g., the photographs of him riding a bicycle. Compare the photographs of Bush on a bike.) Therefore the feminine form of the passive periphrastic is more than appropriate.

        Sounds good to me.

        Of course the case I think would be most appropriate is the feminine form of the passive parasitic, but I can’t seem to find that in a Latin grammer.

    Sorry. But Newt is no Cicero or Seneca. Both Roman statesman were battle hardened veterans with no paunch (judging from their statues).

    We’ll need much more because we are going up against the modern equivalent of Gauis Gracchus.

Owen J | November 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm

O.K. as far as the second part of your comment goes, I’d have to go back to freshman year Latin,which is more years ago than I care to admit; however, I wouldn’t mind the delenda est part being played up, although I am sure someone would claim that it is racist and the Secret Service would be hot on our heels!

I doubt many really know about the Roman Senate in detail, and still fewer have ever heard of it (particularly the younger generations)! But that “delenda est” certainly has a nice ring to it. 🙂

    Owen J in reply to MAB. | November 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I don’t know about being racist but I suppose it could qualify as a threat — unless one could tack “at the voting booth” on the end, but I’m pretty sure that would destroy the effect.

    Maybe there is a case that would translate “Obama-ness” or “Obamaist” to make it “clear” (yeah, right) that the attack is not personal but against Obama-like thought and behavior?

    Of course it would be lost on the 99%, but I have to say, imagining someone like Col, West ending every speech with “Obamaist delenda est!” in the house makes me happy. 😉

I agree with your position entirely, Professor.

For the first time since ’83, I think I’ll be voting for a candidate for President without having to hold my nose and say, ‘well, the other guy would be far worse’.

Of course it would be lost on the 99%, but I have to say, imagining someone like Col, West ending every speech with “Obamaist delenda est!” in the house makes me happy. 😉

Wouldn’t that be wonderful. I can just picture it! (smiling her, or more like grinning). Why don’t you suggest it to him? Are you in his district or nearby?

    Owen J in reply to MAB. | November 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Alas, I am not, but I suppose I could email him.

    I’m thinking of getting it on a bumpersticker though… 🙂

Whatever misgivings I had against Newt were completely dispelled in Rush’s magnificent rant today. I normally have Rush on for background noise, but he really grabbed me today and made perfect sense.
So, great call Professor, and anyone questioning whether opposing opinions will still be welcome here should have their head examined. You have never been anything but fair.

Michael Graham, writing at the Boston Herald, has a good article on Gingrich. http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view/2011_1116its_a_new_day_for_newt/ Graham is not a Gingrich apologist by any means, but as he notes, Gingrich may be the man for our national moment:

“The problem in Europe, for example, isn’t that their economies are struggling a bit. We’re talking about entire countries going broke and the euro possibly collapsing. The problem with Medicare isn’t that we need to nudge it into reform. Medicare is going broke, Social Security is already paying out more than it’s taking in and we’ve got (by some estimates) $100 trillion of entitlement and pension payments to make in the next generation that we can’t afford.

In a typical year with voters facing typical problems, typical pols carry the day. But there is nothing typical about 9 percent unemployment, a roller coaster stock market and Iran on the cusp of going nuclear.

And there is absolutely nothing “typical” about Newt. . . .”

I am sorry to see you going down this road. Newt personally has a slimy life. He’s cheated on his wife and been caught three (or is it four?) times. Why should I trust him? Plus he doesn’t have the self control to keep from being caught and personal gratification came first. What does that say about his putting others especially his country first. If you can’t put your immediate family first, then the only one closer is you.

He believes in not only global warming but government action to stop it. He raked in millions ‘consulting’ for failed government agencies after leaving office. He believes in the individual mandate for Obamacare. What more needs be said? He is not a Republican. His views and work would fit in just fine in the Democrat party. So what if he is ‘electable’? Obama was elected. Does that make him a good president? Should we vote for ‘anyone but Obama’? As far as I can see Newt would provide cover for more government interference and expanded regulation. Not trim the poisoned tree.

He is a parody of an insider rino. If I were not certain that some of his apologists here were serious I would consider this a pretty good satire thread.

I support Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination in the absence of Sarah Palin. Frankly, if Sarah would be willing, a truly dynamite ticket would be Gingrich-Palin. Such a ticket would be a sure-fire national winner. Moreover, it would be an outstanding governing ticket, with Sarah coaching Newt with respect to executive action and Newt counseling Sarah on working with the legislature. And since Newt will be 69 on election day, 2012, Sarah would truly be in the catbird seat for 2016.

    Owen J in reply to WardR. | November 16, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I think “dynamite” is indeed quite the word for it, but not in a good way.

    In any event, I don’t think Palin would go for it — she’s a much better politician than Newt.

WardR | November 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I could go for that, but I would reverse the order.

Where to begin?

He believes in not only global warming but government action to stop it.

—Really? Newt has always been against Cap & Tax. He co-authored a book, titled “Contract with the Earth,” which he said outlined “a pro-market, pro-entrepreneur, innovative environmentalism.” Again, he’s NOT advocating the government regulate our energy producers out of business.

He raked in millions ‘consulting’ for failed government agencies after leaving office.

—So what? He gave advice to Fannie and Freddie and they ignored it. How about we focus on the members of Congress who benefited financially due to their inside knowledge of government efforts to deal with the collapse?

He believes in the individual mandate for Obamacare.

—“I agree that all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. And I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I’ve said consistently, where there’s some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable.” He’s in no way advocating individual mandate, and federally-run health care. He’s simply saying the state shouldn’t pay for it, and citizens should show how they will cover themselves.

[…] Why you should vote for Newt. […]

Another faux conservative endorsement for the War Party. That Ron Paul is not a viable option to you is testament to your neoconservatism. Three cheers for the status quo!

    Owen J in reply to khan. | November 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Huh? You lost me…

    suzy000 in reply to khan. | November 17, 2011 at 8:11 am

    The good ole days that the GOP is the war party are gone thanks to your present President. With an insurgence in Afghanistan and an invasion in Libya and now Uganda…I’d say the Dems are doing pretty good in that department. Oh..did I forget all the drone attacks and covert missions to take out certain Muslims?

      Wake up, Suzy. The War Party refers to both the Republicans and Democrats, and there is no difference between the two.

StephenMonteith | November 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm

“I’m supporting Newt Gingrich as the most conservative Republican who is electable and most qualified for the position of President.”

He’s not the most conservative; he’s not the most electable; and he’s not the most qualified.

Conservative – Take Gingrich’s “heresies” as Speaker and stack them against Romney’s as governor; you’ll find they’re practically on the same page, except in a few key respects. First, Gingrich wanted to take the individual mandate national, while Romney explicitly did not. Far from a “youthful indiscretion”, Gingrich supported a variation of the mandate as recently as last May. Romney, on the other hand, was asked in a 2007 interview if he would take his reforms national, and he said no, years before it was ever a sticking point with the country.

Second, Gingrich is far to the left of Romney on environmental issues. His turn on the couch with Nancy Pelosi is NOT so far distant. Romney, on the other hand, refused to institute cap-n-trade policies as governor; again, before it was ever an issue for conservatives. There are other policy issues in which Romney’s established record is more conservative than Newt’s, but we don’t have room to list them all here.

Electable – Let’s examine just how big that “Not Romney” movement actually is. Like the one child who acts up in class while the others study their assignments, the vocal anti-Romney crowd gets all the attention while the more considerate electorate is actually examining the field. What have they discovered? They like Romney best. He has the highest favorable rating and the lowest unfavorable rating of any candidate. He’s not just polling well against Obama nationally (while Gingrich isn’t), but in key swing states, as well (which Gingrich isn’t). He even makes certain states competitive that NO other candidate does, such as New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. He’ll force the president to campaign in states like Massachusetts and California, whereas Gingrich could conceivably lose in certain Midwestern and Southern states. Winning is about strategy, and Romney’s is a true 50-state strategy, while Gingrich can’t seem to build an effective primary strategy beyond scolding the media. That won’t cut it in the general.

Qualified – Gingrich was Speaker of the House for five years before his own caucus ran him out of town. He was able to get some fairly respectable laws passed, but then he wasted his political capital on a failed impeachment of Bill Clinton. Since leaving office, he’s been a consultant and a lobbyist. He’s educated, certainly, but he has no true experience with executive-style governance.

Romney, on the other hand, has the best and most diverse executive resume of any presidential candidate: 25 years in the private sector, four years as governor, and CEO of the 2002 Olympics. In none of those positions was he anything other than a complete fiscal conservative. He hasn’t tackled the federal budget like Gingrich has, but if there’s anyone who honestly thinks he couldn’t, then they’re simply not paying enough attention.

Bonus – No personal baggage. I could write an entire post about this, but I don’t think I need to.

I’ll restate my thesis: Gingrich is neither more conservative, more electable, nor more qualified than Romney is. Newt’s “flip-flops” are both more disingenuous and more recent than Romney’s, his personal life will be a sticking point for far more voters than Mitt’s Mormonism, and for all his “ideas”, running for president may have been the worst.

[…] Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has on excellent post on why he is supporting Newt Gingrich. I must confess to not being ready to chose at this point. […]

I think I shall have to let the inimitable Velociman speak for me:

Newt’s a brilliant guy, levels upon levels above his competition, but he has always found himself grounded upon the treacherous shoals of his own rancid personality. He’s just not a likeable guy, really. Like many history professors he is pedantic, a bit scolding, and a bit of a know-it-all. And as Speaker of the House he found himself in situation after situation where the personably brillliant Clinton led him around by his nose with a hot poker, like St. Dunstan scourging the Devil.

[…] was on with Mark Levin last night. Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is on the Newt wagon now. Newt answers attacks […]

[…] you're at it, also read William A. Jacobson's essay, "Why I Support Newt Gingrich," in Legal Insurrection. Share No tiene nombre | Habla |  Corre la bola | […]

I just found out in the “Environment and Energy Daily” column back in May of 2004…they reported that Romney was not sure climate change was occurring and that he did not believe it was manmade…that was in 2004! For that reason, the legislation he pushed in 2004 was an ALL VOLUNTEER proposal to reduce emissions since only 2% of all greenhouse gas in America was coming from Mass. All this time I thought Romney pushed Cap and Trade..I was wrong. I am a Perry supporter and needed to pass this infor along since I feel dumb that I had a view of this man that was very wrong. I also didn’t know he was against a national healthcare mandate in 2007 before it even was an issue. I also didn’t know that Gingrich pushed for a national mandate as early as May of this year. It is the little things that tend to make a difference…you think? This article needs to do some eye opening and review their research again like I did…no, Gingrich is not the nominee for us…of course only time will tell.

[…] does seem to be a drift towards Newt Gingrich amongst the conservatives of the Republican party. This post by William Jacobson gets to the heart of the matter. I believe that the primaries will come down […]

Aside from Rick Santorum, who realistically doesn’t have much of a chance, nobody but Newt is smarter on foreign policy issues or is stronger against the jihad and sharia, my most important issues. All of Newts skeletons are long out of his closet and he has held true to the Reagan policy of not attacking other Republicans, staying out of the circular firing squad, AND he is a likeable charming guy. I can happily support Newt Gingrich, unless Allen West were to finally hear our pleas and run. 😉
I would pay to see Newt Debate president zero, who should be forced to do so with no teleprompter. That alone would is almost reason enough to support him above all other contenders.
Great essay, Professor, you make a terrific case for President Gingrich.

One more thing, if you have little kids, check out Callista’s book Sweet Land of Liberty, my 4 & 6 year old love it and it is a great 9and adorable) learning tool to introduce kids to US history and American exceptionalism.

[…] full article here. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

[…] Newt Gingrich Is Presidential I was already inclined to agree with Professor William Jacobson. […]

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