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Pre-SC polls opening Open

Pre-SC polls opening Open

Voting takes place 7-7 tomorrow in S.C.

We’ll have updates throughout the day starting at noon, and then coverage beginning at around 6:30 until the results are final.  Will probably handle it similar to N.H., with resultes posted as they come in, rather than a Live Event.

In the meantime, for what it’s worth, today’s polling by PPP, released about 20 minutes ago, has Newt up big.  Very big:

Newt Gingrich heads into South Carolina election day as the clear front runner in the state: he’s now polling at 37% to 28% for Mitt Romney, 16% for Rick Santorum, and 14% for Ron Paul.

Gingrich’s lead has actually increased in the wake of his ex-wife’s controversial interview with ABC. Although one night poll results should always be interpreted with  caution, he led the final night of the field period by a 40-26 margin. One thing that continues to work to his advantage are the debates.  60% of primary voters report having watched the one last night, and Gingrich has a 46-23 lead with those folks.

The other reason his ex-wife’s interview isn’t causing him much trouble is that there’s a lot of skepticism about it. Only 31% of voters say they think her accusations are true while 35% think they are false and 34% are unsure. 51% of voters say that they have ‘no concerns’ about what came out in the interview.

I find it hard to believe Newt will win by that much, so Newt supporters, don’t get cocky.


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“Gingrich’s lead has actually increased in the wake of his ex-wife’s controversial interview with ABC.”

I find this encouraging. Sand in the gearbox of the MSM narrative machine.

I would take this with a grain of salt. The sample size is good, but it could be a set-up, purposely to raise expectations, and then have Gingrich fall off when he doesn’t meet the raised bar.

So SC votes for serial adulterers? Awesome!!

    ClinkinKy in reply to jimbo3. | January 21, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Where do you find the time to post here, what with your day job of going to retirement centers and asking the residents if you can “help” them with “revising” their wills?

    punfundit in reply to jimbo3. | January 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Yes, and they also like to drown kittens by the sackful.


From the full report:

Gingrich’s lead has actually increased in the wake of his ex-wife’s controversial interview with ABC. Although one night poll results should always be interpreted with caution, he led the final night of the field period by a 40-26 margin. One thing that continues to work to his advantage are the debates. 60% of primary voters report having watched the one last night, and Gingrich has a 46-23 lead with those folks.”

Intrade bettors have all but called the contest for Gingrich. Romney is given only a 15% chance of prevailing; although he remains the favorite for the nomination, his chances of that have dropped appreciably too.

Obama’s reelection chances are clearly above 50% and threaten to break out of their five-month trading range.

IMO this confirms Bill’s endorsement of Gingrich. I can’t visualize Romney overcoming the media’s campaign for Obama whereas Gingrich has a chance. Winning in November requires that the media bias be confronted head-on: confronted aggressively but without whining.

The risk is that if Nominee Gingrich implodes, he could do more electoral damage to conservatives than Romney would have done. Ditto for President Gingrich. My opinion has not hardened, but I think Gingrich’s potential upside makes the risk worth it.

    janitor in reply to gs. | January 21, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Would someone please explain to me what “implodes” means, with regard to its (frequent) references to Gingrich?

      Henry Hawkins in reply to janitor. | January 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

      It implies a precipitous decline over an event or events in tight chronology, as opposed to a long slow measured slide down the polls. It implies there is truth in the notion of an ‘unstable’ Gingrich, that he’ll pull something crazy, silly, or stupid that will cause an immediate nosedive in his polling. Some foxes are reportedly crazy too.

This is clearly a backlash against the media from a forceful defense well articulated by Gingrich. The fact that he had the balls to go toe to toe with the liberals over the vicious attacks shows to conservatives that he is ready for the job. We haven’t had a man in the whitehouse that would do that since Reagan. This whole messy divorce thing is going to continue to pay dividends to Gingrich as his side comes out and Marianne’s desire to destroy her ex over a crappy marriage they both didn’t want to be in. I am seeing Gingrich riding a tidal wave into Florida with all this momentum.

If this bears out, voters will finally have a choice between a liberal and a conservative, and we will have saved our party, at least for now from those that thought they could buy with a little doe.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 21, 2012 at 1:13 am

Today Newt has had big praise for the input of both Palins. Sarah was again one of the few top republicans (only ?) to come out aggressively in his defence.

I saw Todd’ mocked as “coveted endorsement ” on various sites but S Carolinians can spot a genuine man . Who would not want Todd at their BBQ? He began the movement that Newt says is bringing money & volunteers.

Palins are da bomb.

gotta love the way gingrich can think on his feet and articulate his ideas but i still have this nagging fear that the popular image of him will be this chubby little white guy, flailing his tiny arms and legs while smoke shoots out of his ears. like it or not, image is important in our elections. winning the presidency is not just about the debates (of which there’s not likely to be more than two, and probably moderated by the likes of partisan hacks like moyers…not the 3-hour, lincoln-douglas-type debates of gingrich’s dreams).

    MKReagan in reply to el polacko. | January 21, 2012 at 8:27 am

    As a woman I think the “chubby little white guy” image helps blunt the effect of the womanizer meme. Like, ewwww!!! OTOH, I had dinner with Newt at his 1995 book party and he has great charisma and I came away feeling like I’d known him for years.

i suffered through bill maher’s show tonight (so you don’t have to) and the lefty loons had only sex jokes about newt but they, unrelentingly, went after romney for being a ‘1%’ rich guy who made his money by ripping off the rest of us and “devouring” hurting businesses. the question is, is he, evidenced by their obsession with him, the guy they actually fear or does he just neatly fit right into their class-warfare, ‘occupy’ scenario ?

    Who’s afraid of Mitt Romney?

    His words and image don’t match his record.

    If there is one thing that voters despise, it’s a phony.

    Mitt Romney isn’t even a good phony. 😉

    Rush talked about how the White House had hatched the Occupy Wall Street stuff believing that McRomney would be the nominee. They planned on painting McRomney as Gordon Gekko.


Good to see Van’s “G-L-O-R-I-A” is the best being saved for last.

Raw … simple … and classic. Arguably one of the first punk songs.

    Darkstar58 in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 21, 2012 at 3:56 am

    The Kinks may take issue with this statement, seeing as they released not only the first, but also one of the single greatest punk songs ever some 3-4 months prior to Them’s classic

      LukeHandCool in reply to Darkstar58. | January 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Darkstar58, you may think you really got me 🙂

      But I definitely love me some early Kinks, too! That’s why I used the qualifier “one of.” The Kinks are also in that competition, too.

        Darkstar58 in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

        ahh, apparently you did. Guess that’s what I get for being in front of a computer screen All Day, and All of the Night.

        Still, I feel there is something you may be missing; I mean, don’t ask me why – I Can’t Explain. Maybe I’ve just been spending too much time on the Long Green with Little Latin Lupe Lu – Louie told me she would take all my Money, didn’t know she would also cloud my mind. The Witch, she’s Psycho! Guess I shouldn’t have made Louie Go Home. Oh well, Whatcha Gonna Do About It…

        fine, we’ll just settle with the liberal definition of “one of” I guess, if it makes you happy 🙂

I would love to see a 10-15 point blowout… but a win would be a win.

My personal projection FWIW… Newt by at least 5 points. I think Santorum will finish within a couple points of Paul, a little ahead or a little behind.

thanks for the update-good news to be sure. I don’t think it’s wishful thinking either. A recent CNN interview w Gingrich revealed that many are switching to Gingrich because of recent events. They don’t want plastic, they want real.

Occupied Territory | January 21, 2012 at 6:35 am

Oh, dear. This will only prolong the agony on this blog. The sooner Saint Newt drops out the sooner William’s blog will be top notch again.

It was interesting how many pundits from the National Review thought Santorum won the debate. Yet when people in South Carolina were interviewed, they uniformly thought Newt was the clear winner. I’m beginning to think they are intentionally trying to fracture Newt’s non-Romney support by bolstering Santorum.

Look, Newt’s a visionary but not a manager. He rubs people the wrong way. But the Republican electorate hungers for the candidate who can push the opposition’s nose in the dirt (ie the Media and the Democrats) and Newt does that better than anyone out there.

He is able to rip people apart extemporaneously and that skill is highly valued by our voters. The really long knives will come out against Newt once again. They will challenge every aspect of his political career. David Axelrod and his ilk will try to trot out a bimbo parade and discredit him like they did Herman Cain.

This nomination is far from over.

    huskers-for-palin in reply to PhillyGuy. | January 21, 2012 at 9:14 am

    FYI: The long knives will come out no matter who is the GOP nominee. Get used to it.

    Do you want an establishment “plastic man” or someone who can at least articulate and fight?

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to PhillyGuy. | January 21, 2012 at 9:38 am

    “It was interesting how many pundits from the National Review thought Santorum won the debate. Yet when people in South Carolina were interviewed, they uniformly thought Newt was the clear winner.”

    Yeah… funny, that. My wife (whom I’ll always listen to, as opposed to whatever NRO has to say) started the debate with an open mind about Santorum. By the time the debate was over, I thought she was going to throw something at the TV. She thought he came off as whiny and grating. I was certainly not about to disagree with her!

    I think he overplayed the ‘attack puppy’ routine. It played fairly well at first, but by the end of the debate it was just plain tiresome. And since I’m down south, I can tell you that ‘whiny guy from PA’ does not play well on this side of the Mason-Dixon.

Occupied Territory | January 21, 2012 at 7:01 am

PhillyGuy–I think you’re spot-on in your 2nd paragraph. A vote for Newt will feel good as he can deliver a punch better than any of the others. That’s one thing I like about him. But, beyond that, where does it leave us? We’ll have an erratic flamethrower who people can’t work with. He’ll accomplish little of his agenda and the country will continue it’s slide. We need someone who will be able to get results.

Occupied Territory | January 21, 2012 at 7:03 am

How embarassing–should be “its,” not “it’s.”

Thanks Occupied. I’m not sure the erratic label still fits. Being a President is so much different than being a Speaker. A President can lead through his speechmaking and delegate his legislative outreach to a subordinate. Newt can set the agenda and stay above the fray a bit more than he could as Speaker.

Newt’s strength is reaching out to the public and connecting with them. That counts in a big way. He needs to turn on the charm a bit more and he will build support. Mitt has some charm but he does not connect as well with the voters. An odd contrast between the two.

Just got back from casting my vote for Newt….turnout is incredible…there is electricity in the air (corny, I know but it is TRUE) here over Newt. I’m guessing the J King incident and the “Marianne un-faithful” brouhaha have helped Newt tremendously!

Occu and Philly….go ahead and start calling South Carolinians “Teabaggers” and “Raaaaaaaaacist!” and “dumb hicks” and whatever typical left-wing filthy word you can find as much like the American Revolution, the “shot heard ’round the world” was fired from right here in SC! We know it is coming, you guys have lost and it is all you have to go on. now, scurry along, you have a corporation to protest somewhere.

    Occupied Territory in reply to scooterjay. | January 21, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Scooterjay–what’s wrong with you? If you’ve got some inferiority complex, don’t blame it on me. What do scrotums and race have to do with anything? Egad man, toughen up!

      Nice try, Occu….I’ve been dealing with you “pseudo-anarchists” since I met my first at USC in 1983. come on, dude….you can come up with harsher language than that! I’m disappointed that you haven’t dropped the “F” bomb yet.

    punfundit in reply to scooterjay. | January 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Oh hell, now they’re protesting the Supreme Court. Will wonders never cease?

Occupied Territory | January 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

Scoots: If Dede Scozzafava is your type of congresswoman, and you think Paul Ryan promulgates right-wing social engineering, and global warming is your thing, and serial adultery is not a factor, then Noot is your man! Go Noot!

    not hardly……I don’t like Newt’s baggage but that is all it is at this point. We are talking about the future of our country, why are you “pseudo-anarchists” all into revisiting personal history but turn around and rewrite social history to try and fit your view? I was at the polls, I see the “shot heard ’round the world”. You know your “side” has lost, now try growing up, paying attention and occupying personal responsibility for your own failures. have a nice day.

      scooterjay in reply to scooterjay. | January 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

      oh, and occu…..the theocracy of the 1600s called, they want their totem back!

      Occupied Territory in reply to scooterjay. | January 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

      “Your ‘side’ has lost.” That’s my point. We’re on the same side, and if you and William can’t see that, we’re all going to lose. Glad to see you admit that Newt has some negatives. That has gotten lost in this blog. They all have negatives. Why we can disagree in an adult manner and try to persuade one another is a problem. On policy there is not a whole lot of difference between the 4 remaining candidates. It’s going to take more than just staunch conservatives to boot Obama. I question whether Newt has what it takes to bring us across the finish line first. It’s my opinion. Not need to get hot and bothered about that.

        Occupied Territory in reply to Occupied Territory. | January 21, 2012 at 8:50 am

        Oops. Meant “Why we can’t disagree in an adult manner…”

        “Your ‘side’ has lost.” That’s my point. We’re on the same side, and if you and William can’t see that, we’re all going to lose.

        Actually, with you being a Paul supporter, you are not on the same side as me or Scooter or any other Conservative.

        If you don’t realize that yourself, then I would point out to you the disdain for all Conservatives Paul has. He is the proto-“occupier”, calling Republicans “war mongers” who “hate Muslims” and are “crony-capitalists”, yada, yada, yada… Paul despises Republicans of all shapes and sizes; even writing a full-page news-paper article denouncing Reagan and removing himself from the Republican party (before realizing he cant get any support from anyone on anything from outside the Republican Party since he is in reality little more then a conspiracy nut with a delusional idea he somehow represents the ideals of forefathers he seems to have only selectively read about or never really studied himself – and that doesn’t get you any attention on its own unless you find someone who you can manipulate into giving you a podium to scream from the top of)

        Then Paul supporters generally make sure they are the scummiest of scum, using Alinsky like tactics to slander, harass and chase away anyone who doesn’t join Cult-Paul; or really, anyone who even paints it in a light which doesn’t illuminate Paul like he is the Second Coming of the Lord himself… Not surprisingly, they are made up mostly of Democrats and Left-Leaning Independents – they are merely using the tactic they know and are used to.

          Occupied Territory in reply to Darkstar58. | January 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm

          Hey genius, I’m not a Paul supporter. My preferences are, in order: Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and then Paul.

    If a radical Marxist who promises not to arrest any American citizen is your man, vote Obama.

    Oh yeah, you already have. Never mind.

Scooter, I suggest you lay off the coffee a bit. I’m a Republican from a long way back.

    scooterjay in reply to PhillyGuy. | January 21, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I, sir, am NO republican….I’m a conservative TEA party type. I vote for whomever fits the bill…..and Romney isn’t that fit.

Folks, it has been said time and time again….we are beyond “go along to get along” and way past “being nice”. Obama and his water carriers have no desire to “play nice” and a squishy (McCain) nominee will be ripped to shreds by November. Newt has had issues, he has done questionable things but I really think he is the only one that can survive the Octagon of October.

What team Romney has to be thinking…when was the last time someone lost in SC and went on to become the eventual nominee? If were going to see republican “machine” pressure to overlook late Newt surges and go all in for Romney it will be here in SC

    Henry Hawkins in reply to jimzinsocal. | January 21, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Be careful with that stat about SC always picking the GOP nomination. It’s a fallacy of logic that suggests stats create the reality, when, in fact, reality creates the stats. Sports is rife with such predictive stats – ‘no team has ever gone to the Super Bowl without (fill in the blank)’, and it holds true until some team does. Then that little stat nugget disappears into history, replaced by others. Consider 1959 and the stat that no Catholic had ever been elected to the White House. Consider 1979 and the stat that no divorced candidate had ever been elected to the White House.

    With citation of any stat you must always add “so far”.

huskers-for-palin | January 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

Sarcasm machine turned “on”.

But wait, but wait…they said the Palins were finished. They said she was yesterdays news and toxic. NO ONE wants her help. NO ONE wants her endorsement!!!

Sarcasm machine turned “off”.

Hey MSM, who gettin the last laugh now!!!

creativegeek……Columbia is fairly conservative, even if it is a college town. the Univ. of SC isn’t quite the hotbed of liberalism but there are our share of fruits here… a google search on “Brett Bursey”. The reference to our mayor is this: He got into a wreck at 5am the morning after he won the mayorial race, t-boned some woman in the side. He didn’t have his lights on, reeked of alcohol and the Columbia Police Department AND our local McClatchy rag..The State..covered it up and refused to do any investigation. I think I recall that the woman he hit ended up being paralyzed. It had the implications of a HUGE scandal but it got swept under the rug. Why? Steve Benjamin is the first BLACK mayor of Columbia. sound familiar?

Maybe it comes down to identifying with the candidates? If you’re a cranky isolationist, Paul is your man. If you’re a sanctimonious prick, go with Rick. The choice between Mitt and Newt may depend on how many corporate raiders there are out there versus how many have slept with someone they shouldn’t have.

Unfortunately, the GOP primaries have been reduced to the two candidates that can garner the least amount of trust among conservatives. Romney’s own gubernatorial record shows exactly how he will govern as president; either he will be ineffective in advancing conservative agendas or he will go-along-to-get-along, just as he did in Massachusetts.

Newt? Well, he is a different story. Yes, he has a politial record to look at, and in some ways it is an admirable one. But he also has a personal history that is less than desirable, and while you may say that we should forgive him for his major foibles, there is a matter of that one word no one every attaches to Newt; trust. You can forgive the sinner, but can you trust them?

We have seen Newt wander off the conservative farm more than once, seemingly not knowing where he was going. Can you trust him to not do that again? He also wants to be considered the smartest man to have ever lived. Is the desire to be looked up as that model greater than his desire to push the clock back and undo the damage done to this nation for the last hundred years by progressives starting with Woodrow Wilson?

For me, I no longer have a dog in this hunt. None of the remaining GOP candidates suit me, nor do I think that any of them will actually do what conservative Americans have been clamoring for. Romney will govern center-left (or even as a progressive which he claimed to be) and Newt will assume that any idea he has is the only one that needs to be considered because he is so much smarter than the rest of us. I don’t want another president that implements policy because it is “good” for me.

And how long will the tactic of attacking the left wing media work? Can Newt continue that tactic, using it to not really address issues that should be important to conservative values, going to work in the general election? I don’t think so. Sooner or later, every act gets old. Even Elvis was smart enough to change his performace once it got some age on it.

What we are seeing is simply a repeat of 2008. Sides have been chosen and people are pushing their status quo candidate.

    punfundit in reply to retire05. | January 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    You’re starting to sound like a Ross Perot supporter. Okay, it’s over for you. Move on. Welcome to Operation Counterweight.

MSM is already pushing the line that a win in SC doesn’t mean anything.

    retire05 in reply to windbag. | January 21, 2012 at 11:10 am

    What does SC really mean outside of perhaps the perception that Mitt Romney is NOT the heir apparent?

    Romney leads with 15 delegats (now questionable since Iowa is such a mess) with the others trailing. Newt has 4. SC is a winner-take-all state with 25. Florida up next with 50. So assuming that Newt takes both SC and Florida, he will wind up with 69-70 delegates. It still takes 1,143 to win the nomination.

    It is not out of the question that by the end of Super Tuesday there will be no clear winner. And Newt is not on either the ballot in Virginia or Missouri.

    McCain took the nomination because after the votes were counted on Super Tuesday, he had met the numerical requirement. That will not happen this year. And I don’t see anyone else dropping out before then unless Santorum just doesn’t have the funds to continue campaigning. Or Paul goes third party, i.e. Independent.

      windbag in reply to retire05. | January 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

      So, if SC means nothing, then a Romney win means nothing. Each delegate is one step closer to the nomination. I’m not maintaining that SC is the definitive moment of the election cycle, but it is 25 points in somebody’s coffer. And taking the shine off the illusion that Romney is the heir apparent is a victory–small or large, you decide.

      If a terrible showing by Santorum can either discourage/awaken him enough to drop out, then it’s important. Whether he stays or not, his support may dry up, making his decision moot…another important hypothetical.

      This election cycle may turn out to be a lengthy process. The game is early, and every delegate is important. By the time NC votes, my vote rarely counts toward anything; this year may be different.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to windbag. | January 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm

        Hey, windbag… I’m in eastern NC, Nashville/Rocky Mount area, and I’m hearing a lot of Win The Future sponsored ads for Newt Gingrich. I mean a LOT. If you would – where in NC are you and are you hearing the same?

          I’m about as far away from you as I can get w/o leaving the state, out west in the mountains. Don’t watch t.v. or listen to radio, so I’m the wrong guy to tell you anything on that front.

      punfundit in reply to retire05. | January 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      Are you thinking brokered convention?

        retire05 in reply to punfundit. | January 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm

        It is a strong possibility, more so this year than in recent history. For all those “Run, Sarah, Run” proponents, they should be pushing for it.

        Depending on how the remaining March elections go, there could be no clear cut winner until well into March. Texas the first week of April with 155 delegates will have an impact.

          punfundit in reply to retire05. | January 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm

          As Rush mentioned yesterday, to have a brokered convention you need brokers. I honestly don’t know how that process works, but I can’t help wondering if Perry and/or Palin might become brokers.

        windbag in reply to punfundit. | January 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

        Not sure what’ gonna happen. Santorum can’t finance a long campaign w/o solid gains. Paul’s followers will trudge on, so money isn’t much of an issue with his approach and appeal. Romney has the deepest pockets, but if he falls back to his traditional 25% support level, how long is he willing to throw good money after bad? Strange, strange cycle.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to windbag. | January 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    A win in SC means different things to different people. If Romney wins, it’ll be a squeaker and that’ll take some of the shine off, in that he was up 15 pts a week ago. In terms of image and messaging, there’s a big difference between “Romney won” and “Romney almost lost”. The latter would be the theme with a Romney SC win.

    If Newt wins in SC, it comes off as a ‘phoenix’ victory, down 15 pts and made up on the strength of two strong debate performances and a Rick Perry bailout and endorsement. A ten vote victory helps Newt no less than a 10 pt victory, while a ten vote Romney victory could actually hurt him.

    No single state primary holds anything like all the marbles, but it is simplistic to ignore contexts and timing of particular victories. A tiny state with few delegates can still mean a huge victory – depending on context and timing. SC doesn’t hold a lot of delegates and they are doled out proportionately to boot, but imagine if Rick Santorum won SC today. Huge victory, despite few delegates.

Like a weeble, Newt wont fall down. His ability to take body blow after body blow and still keep on fighting is incredible. He has the intestinal fortitude to take on Obama and the MSM at the same time and will not flinch from the fight.

windbag | January 21, 2012 at 9:57 am

Very concise and to the point. Loved it.

Now I have a question and would like an honest -not sanctimonious- reply. How many really care about Newt’s love life or lack thereof or whatever? Not me, and I’m about as straight-laced as they come. As for the argument that his fighting spirit and his “baggage” will turn off the independents -and the argument that many have that the independents are so sophisticated and not rubes- well, if they are so sophisticated, they will hear what he is saying and understand (not like the rest of us cretins) and will decide that “baggage” notwithstanding, Newt may be what this country needs at this time. Also, as to the concern that as president he would be difficult to work with, perhaps, but he would have more checks and balances than he had as Speaker (provided Congress does its job).

    Henry Hawkins in reply to MAB. | January 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    MAB: “Now I have a question and would like an honest -not sanctimonious- reply. How many really care about Newt’s love life or lack thereof or whatever?”

    Good question. It requires accompaniment by the question, “do I believe people can change, for the better?”

    I know a fellow who, by age 28, as a result of alcoholism and drug addiction, had been arrested over 35 times, for charges such as DWI, multiple assaults and assaults on a police officer, public intoxication, petty theft, affray, check fraud – all the standard charges that typically go hand in hand with alcoholism and addiction. During that time he was married and divorced twice and left two children behind, a deadbeat dad. Too, he left a trail across the country of unpaid bills, broken promises, and angry ex-friends, while his own family would have nothing to do with him. A thoroughly reprehensible character.

    Events conspire, and while 90% of people like our fellow above end up dead or in prison, this guy got lucky, was offered a chance. He took it and stopped drinking and using drugs, never to be arrested again. He answered all his criminal charges did his time, paid his fees, and got square with society. He caught up his back child support over time and reestablished contact with his two, now adult kids. He reestablished contact with his family and won back their trust. Where he could, he made amends to all he had harmed.

    After three years in AA/NA, a fellow member who worked as a drug counselor thought our guy would make a good counselor as well, so he began the long process of getting credentialed for that – and the fellow member was correct – he enjoyed great success as a counselor. He parlayed this into a back to school effort that ended in a PhD in forensic psychology and focused his efforts on clients who were at the intersect of alcoholism, addiction, and the criminal justice system: inmates, parolees, and probationers. This he parlayed into his own agency, and that into several field offices.

    Trying always to remember from whence he came, he donated as much of his services as he could afford, especially to veterans and first responders in trouble with substances, often treating them for free. his friends and family joke about him, saying he’s a good counselor but a horrible businessman, so often giving away the farm. He deemed himself, and people who first met him only after he quit drinking and drugging cannot picture him as he once was – a drunken reprobate given to barfighting and thievery, devoid of character or spirit.

    The magic in this lies not in the above story, but in the fact that there are a million people who sank far lower and rose up to far greater achievements than did our fellow.

    Stories of second chances and redemption are not the exceptions in America, they ARE America.

    Back to your question: “How many really care about Newt’s love life or lack thereof or whatever?”

    I suspect you mean do we care about his record of marital infidelity. I care deeply. Gingrich claims to have changed and I see no evidence that this is not true. His ‘crimes’ pale compared to the depths to which so many others have sank. Those who would excoriate Newt for his transgressions have the luxury of not having to share their own as they do so. Imagine if we could only cast aspersions on others if we had to reveal our own – dead silence would ensue.

    I do not approve of Gingrich’s nor anyone else’s marital infidelity. Newt has apologized, ad nauseum, and has promised he is no longer that man. Unless someone has hard evidence to the contray, that’s good enough for me.

    windbag in reply to MAB. | January 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    How many really care about Newt’s love life or lack thereof or whatever?

    I forget who said it first, but people vote with their pocketbooks. I despised Clinton. I wouldn’t trust him to feed my cats. But he turned into a supply-sider in his second term and for that I can honestly say that overall he wasn’t that bad of a President. He was also one of the worst scoundrels to cast his shadow across the office of the Presidency.

    You can see where I’m going. The short answer to your question is very few. Being bothered about it is one thing. Letting it influence your vote over it is another. I think precious few are in the latter group.

    I honestly think that many (most?) people’s attitude toward Newt and his moral failings along the lines of “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Romney doesn’t conjure up thoughts like that in the electorate. “Lucky dog” and “spoiled rich kid” aren’t images that stoke up camaraderie. Fair or not, I think Newt has more personal appeal.

Gotta go with the good Professor on this one. South Carolina has been, throughout it’s history, a frontrunner’s firewall. Hard to see Newt winning a landslide.

Still have to believe that, once the smoke clears after the vote, the GOP electorate will remember that Newt’s running against Obama and not the media and thus a certain inevitability will reassert itself …

    Dynamism in reply to ombdz. | January 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Any R-nominee will definitely be running against the media in tandem with Obama, so your assumptions are fatally flawed.

    And has already been discussed relentlessly, Romney is a significant liability against Obama (not to mention, Romney’s a major gaffe machine, ack).

    Newt Gingrich is the only one with the substantive experience, historical insight, and a real Constitutional plan for dismantling Obama, along with many preceding decades of destruction by the Left.

    Beating Obama is not the only objective here. Obama’s only symptomatic of the much deeper, systemic disease of statism that has to be uprooted.

      Dynamism in reply to Dynamism. | January 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      Let us recall reasons why Romney will be a complete disaster against Obama:

      1) “Racist Mormon church” narrative.
      2) “Wall St. corporate raider” narrative.
      3) Liberal governing record in MA will turn off conservative voters.
      4) RomneyCare… ’nuff said. Will look extremely hypocritical.
      5) Protested in favor of the draft, yet got himself a deferment.
      6) Lacks charisma, has weak force of personality.

Henry Hawkins | January 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm

There’s a concern after the electon, assuming the GOP nom wins the White House. Imagine Romney makes it all the way to the White House. This would also mean we hold the House and maybe win the Senate. And there we are:

President Mitt Romney
House Majority Leader John Boehner
Senate Min/Maj Leader Mitch McConnell

Doesn’t exactly inspire awe, does it? Just like during the Bush II years, this triumvirate could still completely screw up everything, totally blow the ooportunity.

So, how about we dump Boehner and McConnell and get a couple war time leaders in for the fight to dismantle all that was wrought by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid? OK, how you going to do that? Who do we suppose is best at facilitating such a move, Romney or Newt Gingrich?

Whether successful in dumping Boehner and McConnell or not, who do we suppose would be best at working with the US Congress to reverse all the crap that will need it, Romney or Gingrich?

When it comes to providing leadership and direction on any new policies or initiatives, who do we suppose would be best at working with the US Congress to reverse all the crap that will need it, Romney or Gingrich?

Every time I toss this coin, it comes up Gingrich.

    punfundit in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Jeez, Henry, you scare me. I think we’re reading each other’s mind.

    Darkstar58 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    while that is scarey, I worry less about Romney/Boehner/McConnell as I do about the 2014 mid-terms after the three have pulled a Bush and possibly given us a Romney/Pelosi/Reid leadership panel

    What happens then, we just accept Mitt being left of Obama because “Liberals controlled the house and Senate” (as is the excuse for his Left of Obama record as MA Governor)

    I just see no positive outcome with Mitt – he is a empty suit who’s political views blow around in the political winds; the perfect puppet for whichever establishment gains control.

“I suspect you mean do we care about his record of marital infidelity. I care deeply. Gingrich claims to have changed and I see no evidence that this is not true.”

Thanks for that answer. The person you describe had strength of character that came through despite everything that had happened.

Newt’s record of infidelity is there and cannot be changed and I will give him the benefit of the doubt, that’s why it does not weigh heavily in my decision. That’s what I was driving at when I asked the question. Should it be a deal-breaker? No. As your story proved, there is redemption and good things can come from something that at first glance may seem reprehensible – as they say, strength from adversity. And yes, if everyone had to back up a statement or criticism with examples from one’s own life, the silence would be deafening.

Henry Hawkins | January 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm
President Mitt Romney
House Majority Leader John Boehner
Senate Min/Maj Leader Mitch McConnell

Frightening! More of the same, different faces. I’m surprised that people can’t see this. Nothing would change and we need things to change drastically. Families who never had difficulties before, always paid on time, didn’t live beyond their means (when means were normal) are encountering them now. There has to be a turnaround (or a blanket forgiveness of all mortgage debt…(ducks as she runs!!))

    Henry Hawkins in reply to MAB. | January 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    It’s an aspect of the ‘outsider’ question, that an outsider not beholden to the entrenched power structure would be best to overcome it and foment reform. A nice theory, but I’m not convinced it’s entirely true. Someone too outside might founder as badly. If there were a viable candidate who was a true outsider in whom I could trust to do a good job, sign me up. No such candidate on the menu.

    Between Romney and Gingrich, it is clearly Gingrich who knows how federal government works, who has worked it, and since he’s been outside its direct operations for a decade or so, one might consider him a bit of a… recycled outsider? I also think a Gingrich ends up picking a better cabinet and staff. And as for picking judges – the next couple presidential terms might see the replacement of 1-3 US Supreme Court judges – the LAST guy I want making those choices is Mitt Romney with John Sununu at the table. (Sununu advised Bush I to pick David Souter, a disastrous choice, while Romney sat dozens of liberal judges in Massachusetts). Lastly, think about Iran, China, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, etc…. Do we suppose they’d more respect/fear a Romney or a Gingrich as commander in chief?

      punfundit in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Re: ‘outsider’ question

      Gingrich will have the bully pulpit, and you KNOW he’ll use it. He’ll go directly to We The People and ask us to demand change, as Reagan did.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to punfundit. | January 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

        Were Romney to win, he’d take it as an endorsement of his ‘say and do nothing to upset the independents’ approach. He’d govern the same way, looking forward to reelection in 2012.

        A Romney win would stop the Obama train, but do little to reverse its direction. We’d be stuck with whatever is on the books as of November 2012. We’d be stuck with Oromneycare.

        Oval Office, early February 2013:

        Jim Demint: “Mr. President… Mitt… we need to flormulate our plan to deconstruct Obamacare.”

        President Romney: “Well…”

        Chief Of Staff John Sununu: “Hush, Mitt. Jim, look.. the reality is that a lot of independents like much of Obamacare. We’re going to need those independents in the 2014 mid-terms and…”

        President Romney: “If I may interject…”

        Jim Demint: “Hush, Mitt.”

        Chief Of Staff John Sununu: “… we’ll need them again for reelection in 2016. Look, let’s just nip around the edges, enough to keep these Tea Party cranks at bay, and stay the course.”