OK, what about Newt?

OK, what about Newt? October 20, 2011

The consensus of yesterday’s discussion here on the last Republican presidential debate is that Newt Gingrich had the best performance.  He is certainly conservative, experienced, creative in his problem solving, and very, very smart.  (It is said of him that the only preparation for a debate that he needs is a Diet Coke.)  So why not rally around him as the alternative to Romney?

Social conservatives and the Christian right turned against him because of his multiple marriages and his womanizing past.  But he is a recent convert to Catholicism.  He says his life is turned around.  Shouldn’t Christians accept that?  (Catholic question:  In Protestantism, a conversion to Christianity means that one’s previous sins are swept away.  In Catholicism, do his previous divorces and remarriages prevent him from receiving Holy Communion?)

The other thing against him is his reputation as an undisciplined campaigner, blowing through his fundraising and losing practically his whole campaign team.  He claims, though, that traditional campaigning like that is obsolete, that television and the internet–not kissing babies and pressing the flesh–are where elections will be won now.   Surely with the Republican party machinery behind him the practical aspects of campaigning could be taken care of.  He would surely acquit himself well in the debates with President Obama.

OK, I’m grasping at straws here.  But what would you think about Newt?

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  • larry

    I think he’s a very viable candidate. A lot of folks are just afraid for some reason to come out and say he could win. It’s kind of the same self fulfilling ‘prophesy’ one runs into when any real substantial big change is offered, kind of a lazy defeatism mentality sets in, “oh that sounds nice, but it will never happen”.

    The standard ‘wisdom’ right now is “anything but Obama is better”. That baseline assumption in and of itself is a lowering of the expectation and the quality of “who fits that bill”.

    Be careful what and how you ask the djini for a wish!

  • larry

    I think he’s a very viable candidate. A lot of folks are just afraid for some reason to come out and say he could win. It’s kind of the same self fulfilling ‘prophesy’ one runs into when any real substantial big change is offered, kind of a lazy defeatism mentality sets in, “oh that sounds nice, but it will never happen”.

    The standard ‘wisdom’ right now is “anything but Obama is better”. That baseline assumption in and of itself is a lowering of the expectation and the quality of “who fits that bill”.

    Be careful what and how you ask the djini for a wish!

  • Lou

    I predicted after the second debate that, while in all likelihood Newt probably won’t win the primaries, he is a shoe-in for VP. Whoever ends up with the nomination, whether it is Romney, Cain, or Perry, will be well-served by choosing Newt as running mate.

    Newt is the perfect hatchet man — or bad cop if you will, in the good cop, bad cop scenario. Plus, he would be the GOP President’s best right-hand man, behind closed door counselor and media pitbull.

    However, if the nominee gets wrapped up in polls, appearances and punditry, they may do something silly like picking a Tea Party hack.

    If Newt does stay in the game, I could see voting for him.

  • Lou

    I predicted after the second debate that, while in all likelihood Newt probably won’t win the primaries, he is a shoe-in for VP. Whoever ends up with the nomination, whether it is Romney, Cain, or Perry, will be well-served by choosing Newt as running mate.

    Newt is the perfect hatchet man — or bad cop if you will, in the good cop, bad cop scenario. Plus, he would be the GOP President’s best right-hand man, behind closed door counselor and media pitbull.

    However, if the nominee gets wrapped up in polls, appearances and punditry, they may do something silly like picking a Tea Party hack.

    If Newt does stay in the game, I could see voting for him.

  • Jonathan

    @ Lou, + 1.

  • Jonathan

    @ Lou, + 1.

  • In any given room of people Newt Gingrich is the smartest one there. Unfortunately he knows that. He has about as much chance of being the next president as I do.

  • In any given room of people Newt Gingrich is the smartest one there. Unfortunately he knows that. He has about as much chance of being the next president as I do.

  • Tom Hering

    When will we see his birth certificate? Will he take his orders from the Pope?

  • Tom Hering

    When will we see his birth certificate? Will he take his orders from the Pope?

  • Paul Beisel

    I would vote for him. I like the ease with which he handles answers to tough questions. The guy has clearly thought through these things. He was a big supporter of Reagan years ago.

  • Paul Beisel

    I would vote for him. I like the ease with which he handles answers to tough questions. The guy has clearly thought through these things. He was a big supporter of Reagan years ago.

  • Joe
  • Joe
  • Greg Smith

    Newt carries a lot of baggage. He was lambasted by the media when he was Speaker. This is something the Republicans have never developed an answer for. The Left, because the MSM is in their pocket, successfully paint candidates any way they like. Sarah Palin is the only example of someone who has had a small amount of success combating this. Newt is not such an example.

    Newt is an outstanding debater because he does have a tremendous grasp on the issues. However, he cannot win. In addition to the moral baggage you mentioned, his understanding of domestic policy is too moderate. His understanding of foreign policy, however, is without peer. Best case scenario, Newt is SecState under whoever wins the nomination. And btw, Ron Paul as SecTreas.

  • Greg Smith

    Newt carries a lot of baggage. He was lambasted by the media when he was Speaker. This is something the Republicans have never developed an answer for. The Left, because the MSM is in their pocket, successfully paint candidates any way they like. Sarah Palin is the only example of someone who has had a small amount of success combating this. Newt is not such an example.

    Newt is an outstanding debater because he does have a tremendous grasp on the issues. However, he cannot win. In addition to the moral baggage you mentioned, his understanding of domestic policy is too moderate. His understanding of foreign policy, however, is without peer. Best case scenario, Newt is SecState under whoever wins the nomination. And btw, Ron Paul as SecTreas.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 7, ha! It’s available at the Obama-Biden 2012 site for $20. I also liked their contribution game, where donations were made to the Obama-Biden campaign every time a Republican in Tuesday’s debate used a certain word or phrase, like “Obamacare,” “fence,” or “class warfare.” 😀

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 7, ha! It’s available at the Obama-Biden 2012 site for $20. I also liked their contribution game, where donations were made to the Obama-Biden campaign every time a Republican in Tuesday’s debate used a certain word or phrase, like “Obamacare,” “fence,” or “class warfare.” 😀

  • Dan

    It sure seems like Newt stands a chance of doing what McCain did four years ago, coming back as the other front runners disappoint. What Newt needs is for people to be so frustrated with Perry’s trouble communicatin’, Romney’s lack of a core, and Cain’s foreign policy inexperience that everyone forgets Newt’s inability to manage, Newt’s attack on the Ryan plan, and Newt’s lack of discipline and focus. Like others, I have been asking myself if I can reconcile myself to Newt, but then I remember the many, many reasons I dismissed him before.

    There are only two candidates I feel are fully qualified and fully capable: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. I do not trust Mitt Romney’s willingness to advance the ball on issues I most care about. I wish conservative support would coalesce around Santorum – at least until he himself closes shop. Santorum’s negative is his demeanor, yet that overly evident frustration mirrors the exact same frustration we all feel at this country and political process.

    What I most appreciate about Rick Santorum is that he is a coherent conservative. He has not gone through the cafeteria line and chosen various views based on polling or a hit-and-miss philosophy. He has a well-informed Christian worldview that he has applied consistently to his politics such that his views all hang together. And he has applied it and led on foreign policy, on intelligent design, on economics, on abortion, and on and on. He has a vibrant core; it is precisely because he was so effective forwarding conservative policies that he was targeted in ’06.

    There are serious complaints I see about every other candidate – significant drawbacks. For Santorum, the complaints are either cosmetic or the idea that “he has no shot.” I’m not saying it is likely he wins. But we cannot fix the other candidates. Meanwhile supporting Santorum might actually move the polls and give the guy a little more optimism.

  • Dan

    It sure seems like Newt stands a chance of doing what McCain did four years ago, coming back as the other front runners disappoint. What Newt needs is for people to be so frustrated with Perry’s trouble communicatin’, Romney’s lack of a core, and Cain’s foreign policy inexperience that everyone forgets Newt’s inability to manage, Newt’s attack on the Ryan plan, and Newt’s lack of discipline and focus. Like others, I have been asking myself if I can reconcile myself to Newt, but then I remember the many, many reasons I dismissed him before.

    There are only two candidates I feel are fully qualified and fully capable: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. I do not trust Mitt Romney’s willingness to advance the ball on issues I most care about. I wish conservative support would coalesce around Santorum – at least until he himself closes shop. Santorum’s negative is his demeanor, yet that overly evident frustration mirrors the exact same frustration we all feel at this country and political process.

    What I most appreciate about Rick Santorum is that he is a coherent conservative. He has not gone through the cafeteria line and chosen various views based on polling or a hit-and-miss philosophy. He has a well-informed Christian worldview that he has applied consistently to his politics such that his views all hang together. And he has applied it and led on foreign policy, on intelligent design, on economics, on abortion, and on and on. He has a vibrant core; it is precisely because he was so effective forwarding conservative policies that he was targeted in ’06.

    There are serious complaints I see about every other candidate – significant drawbacks. For Santorum, the complaints are either cosmetic or the idea that “he has no shot.” I’m not saying it is likely he wins. But we cannot fix the other candidates. Meanwhile supporting Santorum might actually move the polls and give the guy a little more optimism.

  • Kyralessa

    If Bernie Madoff were to convert to Christianity and ask forgiveness, sure, we should forgive him, befriend him, show love to him. That doesn’t mean we should trust him as a money manager again. Rather than show our love as Christians by hiring him in the very field where he was tempted and succumbed, mightn’t we show our Christian love better by helping him find some other career where he could thrive without the same temptations?

    Likewise, Newt’s affairs all happened while he was involved in politics. If he intends to stay faithful to his current wife, wouldn’t he have the best chance of doing so if he got out of the career that led him astray, and found a career less likely to tempt him in the same way?

  • Kyralessa

    If Bernie Madoff were to convert to Christianity and ask forgiveness, sure, we should forgive him, befriend him, show love to him. That doesn’t mean we should trust him as a money manager again. Rather than show our love as Christians by hiring him in the very field where he was tempted and succumbed, mightn’t we show our Christian love better by helping him find some other career where he could thrive without the same temptations?

    Likewise, Newt’s affairs all happened while he was involved in politics. If he intends to stay faithful to his current wife, wouldn’t he have the best chance of doing so if he got out of the career that led him astray, and found a career less likely to tempt him in the same way?

  • steve

    A smart politician and a good leader with a flawed personal life? Hmm, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard such a thing. But the minute he shows me he’s serious about this, I’d very seriously consider supporting him. Until now it seems like kind of a lackluster showing. Thompson-syndrome, if you will. I wouldn’t have said that six months ago because I think he’s carrying a lot of baggage from his earlier career which, while actually successful, was nonetheless also successfully re-branded by media. But, now, after seeing the other clowns in the debates, I don’t know that he has any more or less baggage that anyone else.

  • steve

    A smart politician and a good leader with a flawed personal life? Hmm, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard such a thing. But the minute he shows me he’s serious about this, I’d very seriously consider supporting him. Until now it seems like kind of a lackluster showing. Thompson-syndrome, if you will. I wouldn’t have said that six months ago because I think he’s carrying a lot of baggage from his earlier career which, while actually successful, was nonetheless also successfully re-branded by media. But, now, after seeing the other clowns in the debates, I don’t know that he has any more or less baggage that anyone else.

  • Patrick Kyle

    He has shown himself treacherous with his wife and family, why do we assume he won’t deal that way with us? He trampled on his most basic and primary commitments. He has disqualified himself to receive my vote.

    Also I have no desire to see a resurgence of the neo-cons.

  • Patrick Kyle

    He has shown himself treacherous with his wife and family, why do we assume he won’t deal that way with us? He trampled on his most basic and primary commitments. He has disqualified himself to receive my vote.

    Also I have no desire to see a resurgence of the neo-cons.

  • –helen

    Patrick Kyle has said it for me.

    And since “politics” has been his lame excuse, maybe he should find something else to do!

  • –helen

    Patrick Kyle has said it for me.

    And since “politics” has been his lame excuse, maybe he should find something else to do!

  • Shane A

    The only possible way I could ever respect a man like Newt Gingrich was if he admitted his disgrace, and retired to a private life. After all, politics makes him, uh…, passionate, according to his own testimony.

    His is a very cheap grace which allows him to continue his political career.

  • Shane A

    The only possible way I could ever respect a man like Newt Gingrich was if he admitted his disgrace, and retired to a private life. After all, politics makes him, uh…, passionate, according to his own testimony.

    His is a very cheap grace which allows him to continue his political career.

  • LB

    When I think of Newt, I think of a man with a brilliant political mind with the ability to come up with solutions no one else sees (or at least articulates). When my mother thinks of Newt, she thinks jerk who cheated on his wife and allegedly served her with divorce papers during chemo.

    I was in college, graduated and got married all while Newt was in office, so I had a lot of other things on my mind besides politics. It’s only been in the last 5 or 6 years that I’ve paid attention to him. I have listened to his ideas, which I find compelling, but I’ve not dug up all his old skeletons and don’t really know all he’s been accused of. I’m still waiting to see how things go before deciding on a candidate for the primaries, but I would certainly consider supporting him. Although I don’t think my mother would support him in the primaries, I’m fairly certain she would vote for him in the general elections, being the lesser of the evils in her mind. I’d be curious to see a breakdown of his polling numbers. I wonder how he does with men vs. women and older vs. younger voters. I’m a 38-year-old woman who would support him, but my 60-something mother would not. Also, I’m curious which the Evangelicals would be more likely to vote for a Catholic or a Mormon. My gut would say a Catholic, but I’m not sure. I was raised in a small SBC and was told Catholics were going to Hell, just like the Mormons…

  • LB

    When I think of Newt, I think of a man with a brilliant political mind with the ability to come up with solutions no one else sees (or at least articulates). When my mother thinks of Newt, she thinks jerk who cheated on his wife and allegedly served her with divorce papers during chemo.

    I was in college, graduated and got married all while Newt was in office, so I had a lot of other things on my mind besides politics. It’s only been in the last 5 or 6 years that I’ve paid attention to him. I have listened to his ideas, which I find compelling, but I’ve not dug up all his old skeletons and don’t really know all he’s been accused of. I’m still waiting to see how things go before deciding on a candidate for the primaries, but I would certainly consider supporting him. Although I don’t think my mother would support him in the primaries, I’m fairly certain she would vote for him in the general elections, being the lesser of the evils in her mind. I’d be curious to see a breakdown of his polling numbers. I wonder how he does with men vs. women and older vs. younger voters. I’m a 38-year-old woman who would support him, but my 60-something mother would not. Also, I’m curious which the Evangelicals would be more likely to vote for a Catholic or a Mormon. My gut would say a Catholic, but I’m not sure. I was raised in a small SBC and was told Catholics were going to Hell, just like the Mormons…

  • Tom Hering

    Newt walked away from his first wife while she was undergoing chemo for uterine cancer. He walked away from his second wife after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I wonder what his health care plan is for the rest of us?

  • Tom Hering

    Newt walked away from his first wife while she was undergoing chemo for uterine cancer. He walked away from his second wife after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I wonder what his health care plan is for the rest of us?

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 17 – By your examples, apparently he’ll leave us alone. That just might get my vote.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 17 – By your examples, apparently he’ll leave us alone. That just might get my vote.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah, SK @ 18, but he didn’t just leave his current wives alone. He gave what he had to give to someone else. Someone younger. Doesn’t sound like things would be too good for seniors during his administration, does it?

  • Tom Hering

    Ah, SK @ 18, but he didn’t just leave his current wives alone. He gave what he had to give to someone else. Someone younger. Doesn’t sound like things would be too good for seniors during his administration, does it?

  • Helen K.

    following..

  • Helen K.

    following..

  • He’s damaged goods.

    The media tore him apart then (when he was Speaker of the House) and they’d do the same again.

  • He’s damaged goods.

    The media tore him apart then (when he was Speaker of the House) and they’d do the same again.

  • Bob

    He IS damaged goods.

    But it’s not the media’s fault.

    Newtie only has his own actions to blame.

  • Bob

    He IS damaged goods.

    But it’s not the media’s fault.

    Newtie only has his own actions to blame.

  • Phillip

    According to my RC friends, he shouldn’t be able to take Communion. Of course, a bishop could absolve him and allow him to take it, but as a general rule, no conversion doesn’t equal forgiveness from his divorce.

  • Phillip

    According to my RC friends, he shouldn’t be able to take Communion. Of course, a bishop could absolve him and allow him to take it, but as a general rule, no conversion doesn’t equal forgiveness from his divorce.

  • larry

    It looks like we don’t have a candidate.

    Newt’s core philosophy is linked to a self moral disaster.

    Perry’s core philosophy is faked and all over the maps.

    Romney’s core philosophy follows a cult.

    Sanatorum’s core philosophy follows the office of the antichrist.

    Huntsman’s core philosophy is, who cares he’s a joke.

    Whose left?

    Oh Paul, he’s too libertarian.

  • larry

    It looks like we don’t have a candidate.

    Newt’s core philosophy is linked to a self moral disaster.

    Perry’s core philosophy is faked and all over the maps.

    Romney’s core philosophy follows a cult.

    Sanatorum’s core philosophy follows the office of the antichrist.

    Huntsman’s core philosophy is, who cares he’s a joke.

    Whose left?

    Oh Paul, he’s too libertarian.

  • Grace

    Bachmann doesn’t have a staff!

    Report: Bachmann’s New Hampshire staff resigns en masse

    By Daniel Strauss – 10/21/11 11:35 AM ET

    The paid New Hampshire staff for Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) presidential campaign have all quit.

    Jeff Chidester, Nicole Yurek, Matthew LeDuc, Caroline Gigler and Tom Lukacz have quit the campaign, according to New Hampshire’s WMUR.

    The staff members stressed that their departures weren’t due to any lack of support for Bachmann. Instead, they said that their reason for quitting was because of the campaign’s apparent lack of focus on the New Hampshire primary.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/189057-bachmanns-new-hampshire-staff-quits

  • Grace

    Bachmann doesn’t have a staff!

    Report: Bachmann’s New Hampshire staff resigns en masse

    By Daniel Strauss – 10/21/11 11:35 AM ET

    The paid New Hampshire staff for Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) presidential campaign have all quit.

    Jeff Chidester, Nicole Yurek, Matthew LeDuc, Caroline Gigler and Tom Lukacz have quit the campaign, according to New Hampshire’s WMUR.

    The staff members stressed that their departures weren’t due to any lack of support for Bachmann. Instead, they said that their reason for quitting was because of the campaign’s apparent lack of focus on the New Hampshire primary.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/189057-bachmanns-new-hampshire-staff-quits

  • Helen K.

    Cain? But then he’s short on foreign policy. Didn’t know this about Bachmann. Depressing if anybody would prefer the GOP to be elected.

  • Helen K.

    Cain? But then he’s short on foreign policy. Didn’t know this about Bachmann. Depressing if anybody would prefer the GOP to be elected.

  • larry

    Looks like the gop needs four more years in time out.

  • larry

    Looks like the gop needs four more years in time out.