ChrisWeigant.com

Newt? Really?

[ Posted Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 – 16:15 PST ]

One can't help but sense that we're all in a bit of a collective "What decade is it?" moment, as Newt Gingrich climbs to the top of the Republican presidential nomination polls. Up until now, the liberal blogosphere and much of the mainstream media have been treating Newt Gingrich's candidacy as either a joke, a book-tour publicity stunt, or (at the very least) an outright impossibility. This week, it seems that everyone is reassessing Newt's chances (while Herman Cain reassesses his own chances). You can almost hear the cry from newsrooms across the land: "Newt? Really?"

To put this another way: it is time to start taking Newt Gingrich seriously, folks. Because he's got a solid chance of denying the Republican nomination from Mitt Romney. For better or worse, the possibility of Newt pulling this feat off is becoming a lot more concrete.

Some still scoff at such a preposterous state of affairs. This scoffing is, for the most part, misguided. It usually takes one of the following forms: (1.) Newt's just "flavor of the month," someone else will rise as he inevitably falls; (2.) Newt's baggage has baggage, and social conservatives won't vote for him; or (3.) Newt will inevitably say something so outrageous that he'll torpedo his own chances -- after all, this is Newt Gingrich we're talking about, right?

None of these scoffings may be correct, however. Scoff number one: this may have been true, say, back in September -- but we are now mere weeks away from the first voting in Iowa. There just isn't a whole lot of time left for Newt to nosedive and another anti-Romney candidate to emerge. There is also not much of anyone left on the bench who hasn't already been rejected by the Republican electorate. Perry, Bachmann, and Cain have all been measured and found wanting. Santorum is a possibility, but time is fast running out and he hasn't budged yet. Huntsman was never a possibility, because conservative voters were never going to flock to him. Who does that leave? Ron Paul? This is actually still a possibility (Paul could even sweep Iowa), but a long shot, at best. There simply aren't any good choices left for the anti-Romney voters out there -- who are, by the way, legion.

Scoff number two is Newt's supposed baggage. Here is where a lot of liberals miss a very important point. Sure, Newt's been married three times. Sure, he's left wives one and two by cheating on them. But, in every case, Newt "did the right thing" by his mistress (after divorcing the previous wife) and married them. Even more in Newt's favor is he has explained his colorful sexual past with exactly the right message that conservatives want to hear: he sinned in the past, he "got religion," and he has asked forgiveness for his sins. This is the perfect tone for Newt to take, especially in the evangelical South. A lot more social conservatives will be able to vote for Newt than most people think, in other words. Now, the flip side to the coin of Newt's baggage (not to mix metaphors) is Newt's policy positions which have occasionally strayed from what passes for Republican orthodoxy today. These may be a lot more problematic for Newt than his three wives, in the end. But only if his opponents start using them to attack Newt. So far, Romney has mostly stayed above the GOP ad-war fray, preferring to ignore all his Republican opponents in order to focus on Obama. But if Newt stays the true frontrunner (polling above Romney), then Mitt may have no choice to go after Newt. And Rick Perry's still got a lot of money for ads -- which will be spent to attack Newt, and not Mitt. So Newt's baggage could eventually catch up with him, but not in the way most people expect.

The final item in our scoff index is the fact that Newt's brain seems, at times, not to be connected with his mouth. This is indeed true. He does come up with some whoppers, doesn't he? But compared to the other candidates' whoppers -- even in the past month or two alone -- Newt's gaffes may look a lot more intelligent than forgetting that 18-year-olds can vote (to pick just one recent example). Plus, there's no guarantee Newt will say anything wacky enough to outright disqualify him in the next two months. Sure, Newt does spout some Grade-A Prime nonsense at times, but there's no guarantee he'll reliably do so before Super Tuesday, just to pick a random date.

It's easy to see a path to victory for Newt in the primaries, as well. Newt wins Iowa, then Mitt wins New Hampshire. Newt wins South Carolina, and Mitt wins Nevada. This sets up Florida -- which is comparatively a much larger prize than any of the first four. If Newt wins Florida, he'll have Florida, Iowa, and South Carolina under his belt heading into Super Tuesday. Mitt will only have the sparsely-populated (by comparison) New Hampshire and Nevada. A big win for Newt on Super Tuesday, and he's all but wrapped up the nomination.

See? That wasn't as impossible as anyone thought, say, last month. In other words, the unthinkable (to the inside-the-Beltway pundit class) is now becoming quite thinkable indeed.

Newt. Really.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

47 Comments on “Newt? Really?”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Scoff Two:

    If Clinton's soul can be redeem'ed, ANYONE's can... Do Democrats really want to make THAT an issue?? Further, like Clinton, all of Newt's baggage has been aired, cycled and recycled ad-nasuem... It's unlikely that there is any more skeletons left...

    Scoff Three:

    Newt's Mouth???

    Two Words.... (with apologies to Liz)

    Joe Biden....

    Nuff said...

    Michale....
    033

  2. [2] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    It's not the affairs that is the problem. It's that he was heading up the investigation leading in to impeachment hearings for Clinton's affairs, er, sorry, perjury while at the same time having one of his own. Good old american hypocrisy. And now that he is improving in the polls we can expect wall to wall documentaries and news stories reliving all the lurid details with back story including many ethics charges with some ending in sanctions.

    Infidelity is forgivable. Hypocrisy and ethics violations, not so much.

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i tend to agree with CW on this. the conservative folks where i work (florida) seem not to care that much about newt's past, or that he sometimes puts his foot is his mouth. they sort-of shrug their shoulders and go, "that's just newt being newt." he's far from their ideal candidate, but when compared to the yankee flip-flopping of mitt romney, the apparent ignorance of herman cain, or the not ready for primetime antics of rick perry or michelle bachmann, newt is someone whose flaws conservatives can generally live with.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    I forgot to add that point -- Newt's sins are mostly in the past, rather than being unveiled on a daily basis. That's a good point which I was going to make, but inadvertently omitted.

    Bashi -

    That's a good point as well. Something to add to the debate: the first ad viciously attacking Newt is now out there, and it's from Ron Paul. Paul ignores the marital thing, and ignores recent stuff (Breakfast at Tiffany's), and instead hits Newt hard on his long record of flip-flops. See Joan Walsh over at Salon, or I'll dig up the link if you can't find it. Newt and Mitt can certainly compete for "Most Flip-Floppiest" over in the GOP. Newt will get hit hard on this, and soon, and not just from Ron Paul.

    nypoet22 -

    Newt is a known quantity to the GOP voters. Plus, as a bonus in the South, he's from Georgia. And he's playing the "I've been redeemed" violin as well as anyone I've ever seen. Plus, there's the Southern anti-Mormon vote. I think Newt could do quite well in the South...

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Scoff Three: Newt's Mouth??? Two Words.... (with apologies to Liz) Joe Biden.... Nuff said...

    I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. Newt Gingrich is no Joe Biden, you know.

    Perhaps you could give me several examples, or more, of what you mean.

    But, only one example per comment, please - you know, so I can retaliate ... err, I mean respond ... to each one with all of the force ... or verbosity, ahem ... I can muster.

    :-)

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Good old american hypocrisy

    Good point....

    Infidelity is forgivable. Hypocrisy and ethics violations, not so much.

    I am glad to hear you say that. Now I have something to remind you of, down the road. :D

    CW,

    I forgot to add that point -- Newt's sins are mostly in the past, rather than being unveiled on a daily basis. That's a good point which I was going to make, but inadvertently omitted.

    Yep. Democrats who try to throw this issue up in the election run the risk of being labeled hypocrites for their support of Clinton..

    At least Newt has never been accused of raping anyone...

    Liz,

    I was referring to Biden's gaffe-prone ways. The times he has "mis-spoke".. I could provide examples, but they would be "redumbnant".. :D

    Michale.....
    034

  7. [7] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The "anyone but Romney" train is pure comedy gold.

    What Republicans don't know is ...
    - Newt backed healthcare reform.
    - Newt called Paul Ryan's plan "right wing social engineering"
    - Newt seems to want a national immigration reform plan

    I'm gonna go get some popcorn ...
    -David

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/gingrich-ryan-budget-plan-right-wing-social-engineering-sunday-talk-shows/2011/05/15/AF4OtE4G_blog.html

  8. [8] 
    dsws wrote:

    In 2008 after Mike Huckabee won Iowa, there was a magazine cover with the words "Huckabee? Really?" in large print. When I saw the title I thought that was what it was alluding to. But I guess the cover wasn't as prominent as I thought: I can't find it online.

  9. [9] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    Over on the Conservati­ve Message boards Newt is gaining traction.

    Awhile ago i had conversati­ons with others and we all said we liked Newt, he was brilliant, we would love to see him debate Obama on the issues etc but we could not vote for him because of the adultery and baggage.

    Then I was watching Debate after Debate and thinking, I really like Newt. So I turn to my wife of 24 years, and said I know he is an adulterer and all that in the past but would it be ok if I voted for him as long as I dont do what he did. And she said she was actually thinking I should vote for him. (She is not a US citizen and can't vote here)

    As to ads attacking Newt, One was released yesterday (and I see from his message above Chris saw it after he wrote the column) by Ron Paul savaging Newt for the Globull warming stuff with Pelosi and some other flips.

    Conservati­ves in general will never flock to Paul in numbers because of his foreign policy (or lack there of), failure to accomplish anything in 30+ years in congress and his annoying fan base among other things.

    @Bashi on the fact that his affair was while prosecuting Clinton....

    First the Clinton prosecution was for perjury for which Clinton was guilty.

    But secondly there is little chance that a voter will say in a general election "I really like Newt more then Obama and would vote for him, but he cheated while prosecuting Clinton 15 years ago so I wont vote for him"

    with 9% unemployment, Obama Care, Obama's foreign policy, border defense, Push for cap and trade, stimulus boondoggle (and son of stimulus he pushed for etc) executive orders to bypass Congress and the Constitution, his Supreme Court picks etc,

    if you like that stuff from Obama you will vote for him, If you cant stand the lousy economy of Obama, his cronyism with tax dodging millionaires life Buffet, and tax loophole lobbyists like GE CEO Jeff Immelt then it is hard to say:

    " well true Obama was totally toxic for the country, but even though Newt sort of balanced a budget under Clinton, Is not a total hard right wing extremists, has the ability to get things down and work across the isle, I wont vote for him because he had an affair while going after Clinton"

  10. [10] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    Many of the exact points Chris makes are also on this Conservative site:

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2011/11/30/whoa_newt_45,_obama_43

    Along with the latest Rassmussen poll for newt vs Obama

    "Granted, the media is just beginning to sift through the seemingly boundless cache of Gingrich's past statements, contradictions, and peccadillos (see these eyebrow-raisers on healthcare mandates, for instance), but these numbers will still turn heads. Hugh Hewitt's frank assessment is on the money: The former Speaker is an opposition researcher's dream come true."

    "(1) Many Republican voters do not want Mitt Romney to be the nominee. They've drifted from one temporary frontrunner to another -- Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, etc. -- in a frenzied attempt to settle on an acceptable non-Romney standard-bearer. For now, and perhaps for good, they've landed on Newt Gingrich."

    "(2) President Obama is intensely unpopular. This comes as no surprise to regular Townhall readers, but the new Rasmussen survey provides another useful data point. Newt Gingrich is the walking definition of a polarizing political figure. Everyone knows he's weighed down by personal failings. Everyone knows he's supremely self-referential and pompous. Yet he's edged ahead of the incumbent among those most likely to vote next November. In the long run, this poll result says a lot more about Obama than it does about Gingrich."

  11. [11] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    Oh and Off topic for Chris but I know as you prepare you next column on Obama's Poll numbers this will be interesting to you

    "President Obama's slow ride down Gallup's daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.

    Since March, Obama's job approval rating has hovered above Carter's, considered among the 20th century's worst presidents, but today Obama's punctured Carter's dismal approval line.

    On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama's job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter's 51 percent."

    Go Obama, no really just Go anywhere but the whitehouse!

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The Ron Paul ad ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWKTOCP45zY&feature=player_embedded#!

    Didn't see it posted. Apologies if I missed.

    Over on the Conservati­ve Message boards Newt is gaining traction.

    @tinsldr2 -
    What I don't understand is that the only philosophy Conservatives seem to have these days is an anti-Obama one.

    By that, I mean, I have no idea what conservatives stand for anymore. The only thing that seems to unite them right now is their shared hatred of Obama.

    As you said: "Go Obama, no really just Go anywhere but the whitehouse!"

    Isn't this a dangerous way to elect people?

    We saw this happen in Ohio when the anti-Obama crowd elected John Kasich, who just about everyone (except his corporate backers) regrets.

    This is what I haven't seen from the Republican side during the debates, a discussion of what today's conservatives believe. Or am I missing something?

    Now I'm sure Michale will jump in with his usual "B-b-b-b-ut the Democrats do it too..." because he feels attacked and he's right, Dems spend a lot of time equivocating on the campaign trail as well.

    Let's forget that for the moment because we're talking about the Republican primary and I'm just trying to understand what today's conservatives do stand for other than being "anti-Obama".

    What do conservatives these days stand for?

    -David

  13. [13] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    Well if you dont know what core beliefs the Conservatives stand for these days and what platforms they are running on then it is only because you are not listening.

    Smaller Federal Gov -Cutting Spending

    Strengthening the economy and getting it going again by reducing regulatory burden and tax burden

    Less intrusive Gov (except unfortunately on Social issues)

    Strong foreign affairs and National Defense

    Securing the Border stopping Illegal Immigration

    Now if you failed to see that during the debates along with a focus on HOW each of them would accomplish those things then you did not watch the debates.

    Not only do they put forth their ideas of how they would do these things and how Obama has failed to do these things in debates and interviews they are all also on their websites.

    If you really dont know what they stand for and how they plan on accomplishing their goals then you did not watch the majority of the debates and CHOOSE not to know.

  14. [14] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    One more thing in response to David's comment:

    "what I haven't seen from the Republican side during the debates, a discussion of what today's conservatives believe."

    The point Newt makes a lot in the debates is that the debate format is not suitable to "how" they would fix things because of the limited time.

    Look at this from a debate transcript:

    BARTIROMO: Let's stay on regulation for a moment. You have all said that you will repeal President Obama's health care legislation.
    Down the line, 30 seconds, if you repeal Obamacare, what's the answer?

    GINGRICH: Well, I just want point out, my colleagues have done a terrific job of answering an absurd question. To say in 30 seconds...

    BARTIROMO: You have said you want to repeal "Obama-care," correct?

    GINGRICH: I did. Let me finish, if I may. To say in 30 seconds what you would do with 18 percent of the economy, life and death for the American people, a topic I've worked on since 1974, about which I wrote about called "Saving Lives and Saving Money" in 2002, and for which I founded the Center for Health Transformation, is the perfect case of why I'm going to challenge the president to seven Lincoln- Douglas style three-hour debates with a timekeeper and no moderator, at least two of which ought to be on health care so you can have a serious discussion over a several-hour period that affects the lives of every person in this country.

    (cut out some banter you can read in the original)

    GINGRICH: Let me just say it very straight. One, you go back to a doctor-patient relationship and you involve the family in those periods where the patient by themselves can't make key decisions. But you re-localize it.

    Two, as several people said, including Governor Perry, you put Medicaid back at the state level and allow the states to really experiment because it's clear we don't know what we are doing nationally.

    Three, you focus very intensely on a brand-new program on brain science because the fact is the largest single out-year set of costs we are faced with are Alzheimer's, autism, Parkinson's, mental health, and things which come directly from the brain.

    GINGRICH: And I am for fixing our health rather than fixing our health bureaucracy because the iron lung is the perfect model of saving people so you don't need to pay for federal program of iron lung centers because the polio vaccine eliminated the problem. That's a very short (inaudible).

    (APPLAUSE)

    Read more: http://thepage.time.com/2011/11/10/cnbc-transcript-of-your-money-your-vote-republican-presidential-debate/#ixzz1fIN842Ei

    So it is not only attacking Obama go read the whole Debate transcript and see what ideas they each put forth,,,,

    Or better yet dont waste your time because your mind is made up to vote Obama no matter what!

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I could provide examples, but they would be "redumbnant".. :D

    You surprise me as that is a classic non-answer. Which only means that, when discussing "gaffes", you have nothing from Biden that could possibly rise to the level of anything from Newt.

    And, on top of that, it was not at all in the spirit of things ... very disappointing ...

  16. [16] 
    akadjian wrote:

    That's just it, tinsldr2, the candidates are all over the place on the issues you outlined. Newt doesn't seem to believe in stopping illegal immigration.

    He's sure not going to shrink government spending though - did he shrink it when he was Speaker of the House?

    Nah.

    What he'll do is shift federal spending towards the industries he believes in - the military and big business (regulation reform and tax break).

    The only candidate running who really seems to believe in small government is Ron Paul.

    This is why I have trouble understanding what conservatives stand for anymore. They're all over the map in the debates. The anti-Obama hatred is the only reason why it's so easy to swap out one "Not Romney" for another.

    -David

  17. [17] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    "You surprise me as that is a classic non-answer. Which only means that, when discussing "gaffes", you have nothing from Biden that could possibly rise to the level of anything from Newt. "

    Biden's "Gaffes" are much different then Gingrich's.

    Bidens gaffes show either he is just stupid or a liar.

    Gingrich, tends more to speak his mind which get's him in trouble because he says unpopular things.

    Here is a great example of a Biden gaff during a debate with Palin:

    BIDEN: Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. "

    I remember yelling at my TV when I heard that. Since I really like Liz but she is Canadian I will point out that article 1 of the US Constitution is the LEGISLATIVE branch and it is the only place the ROLE of the VP is defined other then to act as President when the President is unable to perform the duties or they die in office.

    But most of the Biden Gaffs are funny stuff like telling a man in a wheelchair to stand up and take a bow, saying he goes to a diner that had been closed for years etc .

    Of course another great Biden moment:

    discussing the US debt during a Q&A session at a university in Chengdu, said: "You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand—I’m not second-guessing—of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable."

    Critics were quick to point out that the policy Biden "fully understands" includes forced sterilization and abortions, the Weekly Standard notes.

  18. [18] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    akadjian wrote:

    That's just it, tinsldr2, the candidates are all over the place on the issues you outlined........

    With the exception of Ron Paul and partially Huntsman, I disagree with your assessment.

    What they are different on is the way and degree on HOW they would accomplish those things. But that is true in EVERY primary when your party does not control the presidency.

    In 1980 Republican Primary Bush called Reagan's supply side policy "voodoo economics"

    But there were great differences between Biden Obama and Hillary in the primaries but they all came down on BUSH BAAAAAD sheep bleats

    Take the immigration issue you raise. (again discounting loon paul) They ALL say it is important and we are not doing enough now to stop illegal immigration.

    Their "Position" is mostly the same. They differ slightly in the HOW they would do that.

    They all want to push border security, and most like a fence but not all. Then they want to go after people that employ illegals and benefits for illegals.

    Newt differs again in a HOW in that he would have a board that would let SOME stay if they had long standing ties by providing legal residency but not citizenship.

    All of them want to push to repeal Obamacare (if the Supremes don't do it earlier)

    Further, they are ALL individuals, just like I am. I do not agree with EVERY view they have nor should they be expected to agree with each other on every issue.

    That is why we have long Primary seasons. So we can evaluate their views as individuals on a variety of issues.

    Now you may wish to avoid there specific policies and accomplishments like Newts balanced Budgets and Obamas reckless deficits but I look at things like that.

  19. [19] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Easy, easy tinsldr2. We're all friends here. I'm just trying to learn more. No need for the anger.

    You know what it might be. It might be the way the media is handling their coverage.

    What they seem to do is support whoever the "Not Romney" of the day is and pan the rest of the candidates.

    So for example, when Perry was on top, his coverage was largely positive, with more negative coverage of his competitors. Same for Cain.

    Now all of a sudden there's all this great Gingrich coverage (when before, when he wasn't on top, the stories were much more negative).

    It's funny. And it's happened so fast that it makes you wonder why wasn't Gingrich so great back in August?

    The answer being that nothing about Newt has really changed, but the other "Not Romney's" have all fallen on their face.

    -David

    p.s. It's funny though that you mention Paul and Huntsman as being "all over the place". These 2 and Cain are the 3 Republican candidates I'd say who've been the most consistent.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is why I have trouble understanding what conservatives stand for anymore.

    As opposed to our Democrat president who is more Bush than Bush when it comes to National Security and the War On Terror, eh?? :D

    Obama's latest news blitz is that American citizens are legitimate military targets in the War On Terror..

    Go Obama!!! :D

    Michale.....

  21. [21] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    "It's funny though that you mention Paul and Huntsman as being "all over the place". These 2 and Cain are the 3 Republican candidates I'd say who've been the most consistent."

    I never meant that they were 'all over the place " as in changing their views.

    Just that their views were not reflective of most main stream Conservatives.

    They are both more libertarian leaning then most Conservatives, especially on defense issues.

    But comparing Ron Paul to the Cain, Gingrich, Perry, bachmann, Santorum, and Romney faction and saying that Conservatives are all over the place and you don't know what they stand for, is like Comparing Kucinich to Sen. Mary Landrieu

    But it is an oversimplification to say Newt is just the inheritor of the anybody but Romney award as you imply above.

    In my own case, I voted Romney in the 08 primary. I had him on the short list for this election but as early as about a year ago I was considering Cain and Daniels, (I think i said so on Chris's Huffpo page)

    In Aug I said I liked Newt but was troubled by his baggage especially the affairs. I was more positive on Cain but still undecided and considering Romney.

    As the Debates Progressed I Kept thinking how good NEWT was doing (along with Romney) and in the last few I felt Cain became a one trick pony with 999. No he dropped off my list.

    So I am still left with Newt or Romney for the GA Primary vote.

    His baggage is STILL troubling but I am warming to him and starting to get passed it.

    I have to vote for somebody.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    His baggage is STILL troubling but I am warming to him and starting to get passed it.

    Like I mentioned above, Newt has baggage.. No doubt about it...

    But, it's likely that all there is *IS* all there is...

    Anything that Obama and the Democrats say about Newt can equally apply to the Democrat Poster Boy, Bill Clinton...

    Will this cause Democrats to tread lightly in that area??

    Possibly...

    Democrats recognize the danger of taking credit or laying blame when it could easily come back and bite them on the arse..

    Which is why we haven't heard Obama crowing about Bin Laden or Iraq much...

    Michale......
    040

  23. [23] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    Anything that Obama and the Democrats say about Newt can equally apply to the Democrat Poster Boy, Bill Clinton...

    Yes but I am talking about MY primary vote (and many that think like me)and pointing to the bad behavior of Clinton as an excuse for Newts bad Behavior is problematic.

    I hold myself to a higher standard then Clinton because he is a lib and I just cant expect more of him. When a Conservative behaves as bad I expect better from them so hold the Conservative to a higher standard.

    I was a big supporter of SC Gov Sanford and hoped he would run for Pres until his affair was exposed and then I wouldnt support him for dog catcher.

    The Libs still love Bill Clinton and could care less about such behavior. But nobody thinks the libs that love Clinton and Obama are going to run and vote R for President.

  24. [24] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Just that their views were not reflective of most main stream Conservatives.

    That I would agree with. Though more and more, Libertarian views are becoming mainstream. At least the Ayn Rand economic ones.

    The Libs still love Bill Clinton and could care less about such behavior.

    To some extent this is true. I tend to judge people more on their qualifications for office rather than their private lives.

    It's why my issue with Cain was more his proposed 999 plan rather than any of the other distractions.

    It's my issue with Newt as well. Basically, I won't vote for any flavor of trickle down economics (voodoo economics- thx for the note by the way that that phrase came from Bush I).

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-01/raise-taxes-on-the-rich-to-reward-job-creators-commentary-by-nick-hanauer.html

    -David

  25. [25] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Can Newt win the Nomination? Why not. If a clown like Perry can be put up seriously, why not Newt? Can he win the General? Doubt it, but then I've been wrong before.

    Everyone I read is predicting a brutal, bruising campaign season ending in a very close election. Boots on the ground, people, boots one the ground.

    Where is Newt going to get his excited people? I don't know of anyone who is EXCITED by Newt. I know people excited by Bachmann, Perry, Cain, The Donald, hell I know one guy excited about Fred Karger. I don't know anyone excited about Newt. This translates to how much excitement?

    Romney continually gets 20+%, and Ron Paul 15%+ of the national R vote. I doubt too many of them will vote for Obama, but who around here believes they will jump up and down for joy at the chance to work for Newt?

    Obama has a billion dollars in the kitty to spend. The R's don't have much less, and will be able to get more, probably. There won't be much RightWing $$$ spent in MA and I doubt Emily's List will fight real hard in MS. 2 Billion dollars in about 8 states ... $$$ whiteout. The election comes down to boots on the ground.

    If tinsldr and Michale will wipe the purple moustaches off, they'd know that there are a lot of people out there STILL excited about Obama. Presumably not nearly as many as were in 2008, but yeah, they are there, and yeah, they aren't goiong away in 6 months.

    And that's what its going to come down to. I've worked FOR and I've worked AGAINST, and I must say, I worked a damn sight harder FOR than I did against. The right wing echo chamber is resounding to the sound of "anyone can beat Barry!!!!". I don't know about that...

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    tinsldr2,

    Good points...

    I have to say, though, that I have given up holding ANY politician to a higher standard..

    Saves me from endless disappointments..

    I am not allowed to vote in primaries, anyways.. :D

    Michale.....
    041

  27. [27] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Parenthetic note on Bill Clinton: He was a DEMOCRAT. Whether or not Democrats are rank hypocrites for not cutting off his weinie doesn't matter in the ballot box. Whether or not fidelity is a virtue for Democrats is irrelevant in the general electoral sense.

    Newt is a REPUBLICAN. REPUBLICANS profess to care about it. They certainly took down Cain fast enough.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    DF,

    If tinsldr and Michale will wipe the purple moustaches off, they'd know that there are a lot of people out there STILL excited about Obama.

    Outside of Cesca, Osborne and Huffpo, you would be hard pressed to find anyone to admit it.. :D

    That alone should tell ya something.. :D

    Michale.....
    042

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Newt is a REPUBLICAN. REPUBLICANS profess to care about it. They certainly took down Cain fast enough.

    While that IS a good point, it doesn't relieve Democrats of the hypocrisy for making it an issue. I mean, if

    It's as if I would castigate and denigrate Obama for his being more Bush than Bush with regards to the War On Terror....

    I don't... I APPLAUD Obama for that. It's probably the ONLY thing that Obama and I agree on...

    Michale.....
    043

  30. [30] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Michale,
    For some silly reason I thought we were discussing NEWT GINGRICH and whether or not he can win the R nomination and then (somewhat by extension) can he win the General? How foolish of me! I should have known that this was just Chris's way of allowing you to pontificate on the hypocrisy of an elected President.

    The point of the whole sarcastic schtick above is:
    WHO CARES ABOUT CLINTON AT THIS POINT?????? Do you really think that Maude and Joe in SC are going to say "it doesn't matter that Newt is slime, I'm voting for him anyway. After all, the Democrats elected Bill twice."

    Is this what you are saying? The point is, noone but you is talking about Clinton (Bill anyway). Bill Clinton is not a factor in this primary season at all. Bill Clinton will not be a significant factor in this election. Unless of course you think that Newt will put out a campaign ad that says "I'm no worse that Bill".

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Again, you raise good points...

    My only point was that, IMNSHO, Newt's philandering is not the kiss of death that ya'all are hoping it will be..

    And my evidence to back up that opinion is how Clinton was able to weather the philandering storm.

    Newt's "baggage" may not be as candidate-destroying as ya'all might hope it to be...

    That's all I was saying..

    Michale....
    044

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a somewhat unrelated note..

    Every time the discussion turns to Gingrich, I can't help but be reminded of Monty Python..

    "She's a witch!!!! She turned me into a Newt!!!"
    "A Neeewwwwttt???"
    "Woolll... I got betta."

    -Monty Python And The Holy Grail

    :D

    Michale.....
    045

  33. [33] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Then why don't you just say that instead of getting in peoples faces about hypocrisy?

    Whether or not Newt's philandering over 15 years, 15 years ago will hurt him in the primaries is debatable. I'm with you, I don't think it will hurt that much. In the general? I'm not so sanguine about that.

    Whether or not Newt's baggage (and its baggage) will kill him in the primary is up for grabs. In the General? hmmmmmmm....

    Remember, most people in this country have had no dealings with Newt since 1998. Fully 35% of the electorate have never had to listen to Newt until this year. What are THEY going to think of all this?

    Obviously, Newt is not well loved. If he was, he wouldn't have had to wait until Bachmann,Perry,Cain and Trump were dealt with to get into the spotlight. He also would not come across like your least favorite uncle bloviating at the Thanksgiving dinner table in the debates

    His policies are not well recieved by the general population, because the current R/TP policies in general are looked on with skepticism (Ohio anyone?).

    The Ron Paul people don't like Newt even a little bit. They not only think he's part of the problem, many of them believe that he STARTED some of the problems (individual mandate ring a bell?)

    These are undeniable points. They don't even have to be true. The perception of reality is enough. You can debate them if you wish, but the fact that they are debateable means these points exist.

  34. [34] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    DerFarm wrote:

    "If tinsldr and Michale will wipe the purple moustaches off, they'd know that there are a lot of people out there STILL excited about Obama. Presumably not nearly as many as were in 2008, but yeah, they are there, and yeah, they aren't goiong away in 6 months."

    Ok I don't get the mustache thing ??? But maybe you should see "Poll: Obama Job Approval Now Worse Than Carter's"

    "President Obama's slow ride down Gallup's daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history. "

    But I have to admit Carter did REALLY well in his re-election campaign.

    Again from the article "What's more, Gallup finds that Obama's overall job approval rating so far has averaged 49 percent. Only three former presidents have had a worse average rating at this stage: Carter, Ford, and Harry S. Truman. Only Truman won re-election in an anti-Congress campaign that Obama's team is using as a model."

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2011/11/29/poll_obama_job_approval_now_worse_than_carters

    11

  35. [35] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    tinsldr,

    Polls are all we have to go on at this point. They are an accurate (usually) snapshot of what would generally happen if today were the point of decision. However, polls come and go. It is 11 months till the general election, and a lot can happen. 9% unemployment is a kick in the head to an approval rating ... unless Congress gets blamed? Reality is important, but perception is more effective (remember the dissing of reality based worldviews?)

    In mathematics and computer science, one way to examine a proposition is by taking it to the extremes. Assume Obama's approval rating is 5% and Newt's is 2%. Who wins?

    I can't find a listing of Newt's negatives in the polls (as an example, Palin's negatives are in the 50s). But he will have them as soon as the pileon begins from the also rans. Certainly as soon as the general campaign begins.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think you are underestimating how many people really don't like Obama on the Right *AND* the Left...

    Put another way, many people on the Right who would stay home if Newt is the candidate would likely hold their noses and go to the polls, simply because the alternative (an Obama second term (or Carter third term, if you will)) is just too horrible to contemplate..

    I have to admit, I completely understand that sort of attitude.

    Michale.....
    046

  37. [37] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    I do not underestimate the hatred of Obama on the right. I doubt that I underestimate the dislike on the left.

    But it is about more than Obama. Newt has to win, not glide in from on high. What is going to happen when the TP gets a load of this gem of Newt' from 2007Its at the end of the 4th paragraph.... and require anyone who earns more than $50,000 a year to purchase health insurance or post a bond."

    Note that this is from 2007 not 1992. Also note that it was written by Newt not by him and 14 other people.

    Do you really think there isn't more where this came from? and do you really think the Chicago Pols can't run a mile and a half with this type of thing?

    Its not hard to come up with candidates that can't be beaten in their realm: Kerry in MA, Hansarling in TX6, Nixon in '72, Johnson in '64. But to find a candidate that can't LOSE? Not so much:

    Claytie Williams, Tx Gov 1990 was up by 30 points 3 months before the election.
    George Allen was up 27 points 10 months prior to the election

    I'm sure you can come up with your own. The point is, Newt can certainly lose. His mouth has done it before.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Barring a third party candidacy or Planet X colliding with the Earth, the smart money is with Obama losing.

    There hasn't been a President in the history of this country that has been re-elected to a second term with the numbers that Obama has.

    About the only way the GOP could lose is if they fielded a trained chimp..

    And even then, the race would be mighty close...

    I know, I know. A lot can happen between now and Nov 2012.. But I don't see anything that could happen that would help Obama and the Democrats.

    2012 will make 2010 look like a Democrat Picnic by comparison..

    Michale
    047

  39. [39] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Really, Michale. You have been on RedState far too long. Can Obama be beaten? yes Do the polls lie? NO. Do they say what will happen in 11 months? NO.

    Obama vs Generic: -6 points. Tough to beat 6 points I'll grant you that. Unfortunately, the R's are not running Generic. He's not on the ballot.

    Obama vs Newt: 43-45 Not exactly win under all circumstances.

    Obama vs Mittens: 48-35 you were saying about the chimps?

    Obama vs Cain: 46-37 more chimps?

    Obama vs Palin: 57-43 Grizzly chimps?

    And this is from RASMUSSEN ... house advantage to Republicans is 5%

    Large sweeping statements of chimps and mickey mouse sound good, but ...

  40. [40] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    oh, and BTW, I don't see a significant 3rd party effort coming. Ron Paul has declared it off limits and only Gary Johnson is looking. He'll still be the former Gov of NM after he gets his ass whupped.

  41. [41] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    my apologies, I forgot to reference the numbers in the above comments.

    http://www.nationalpolls.com/2012/obama-vs-republican.html

    And Obama vs Generic is 42-48

  42. [42] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [6] -

    The thing about Clinton that you're not mentioning (or maybe you have, I'm only at #6 in the comments, reading down...) is that the Monica thing happened in his second term. What voters felt about him, one way or the other (and it wasn't just Dems, he held around a 70% approval throughout the whole thing), didn't matter to the next election -- Clinton couldn't run again, and everyone knew that. If it had happened halfway through his first term, maybe the public would have felt differently on election day, who knows? Of course, Clinton did have women troubles in his first campaign (the origin of the term "bimbo eruptions"), so I guess you could say voters gave him a pass then. But then, out here, Schwarzeneggar also had women problems and he got elected too. It's hard to say how this stuff affects voters, at times.

    Either way, though, Cain is toast. Just had to throw that in there.

    tinsldr2 [9&10] -

    That's a pretty good wrapup of how a lot of folks are feeling about Newt right about now, I think.

    [11] -

    Snapshots aren't worth much. my data show Obama still above Carter, actually. But Carter, you'll notice, got a big bump right about now (hostage crisis?), which fell back to sub-40 numbers after a few months. Carter, up until this bump, was solidly below 40. So what I'm saying is, until spring it's not really valid to compare Carter and Obama. Up until just a few months ago, Obama was beating Ronald Reagan's numbers consistently, for instance (first term). ObamaPollWatch article will be out Monday, where I'll have more to say.

    Michale [22] -

    To put it so you'll understand it: Newt saying "Clinton did it too" is going to be about as effective as Obama running on the fact that he's not Dubya. The country, in both cases (I think), has moved on.

    DerFarm [25] -

    Really? You know a Karger fan? I didn't know they existed! Good comment about boots on the ground, especially in Iowa.

    DerFarm [30] -

    I was thinking I was the only one, thanks for pointing this out.

    Michale [31] -

    The article itself says that the kiss of death (baggage-wise) for Newt won't be the marital thing, but rather his flip-floppy positions on the issues. Depends on how you define "baggage," in other words. Like his pushing the individual mandate for health care, for instance -- what do you think about that, hmmm?

    tinsldr2 [34] -

    I think the purple mustache thing is a way of saying "Kool-Aid drinkers"...

    Michale [38] -

    Well, I dunno, they ran a trained chimp for veep last time around, didn't they?

    Heh.

    DerFarm [40] -

    Ron Paul has been hedging his language in third-party denials, so I'm still not sure this won't tempt him. He's giving up his House seat, so this is pretty much his swansong, one way or another.

    OK, enough for now, I'm off to watch Craig Ferguson....

    -CW

  43. [43] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    One last thing -

    Just to remind everyone, there are charts of Obama's numbers versus everyone back to Eisenhower up at:

    ObamaPollWatch.com

    :-)

    -CW

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Really, Michale. You have been on RedState far too long.

    Actually, I didn't even know RedState existed until CW wrote about it.

    Still don't read it though..

    Can Obama be beaten? yes

    Agreed

    Do the polls lie? NO.

    Actually polls DO lie. Or, more accurately, they give inconsistent answers. It all depends on what questions are being asked..

    Do they say what will happen in 11 months? NO.

    Agreed.. As I said, a lot can happen in a year..

    But let me ask you. Looking at things logically and rationally, what could happen in the next 11 months that could possibly benefit Obama and the Democrats in the polls..

    Obama vs Generic: -6 points. Tough to beat 6 points I'll grant you that. Unfortunately, the R's are not running Generic. He's not on the ballot.

    Obama vs Newt: 43-45 Not exactly win under all circumstances.

    Obama vs Mittens: 48-35 you were saying about the chimps?

    Obama vs Cain: 46-37 more chimps?

    Obama vs Palin: 57-43 Grizzly chimps?

    And this is from RASMUSSEN ... house advantage to Republicans is 5%

    Large sweeping statements of chimps and mickey mouse sound good, but ...

    As you just stated, Polls can't tell us what will happen in 11 months.

    So any polls that try to are useless.

    My opinion stands.

    Barring another Ross Perot or a miracle, Obama doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell. His record is simply too bad for us NPAs and Independents to give him another 4 years..

    oh, and BTW, I don't see a significant 3rd party effort coming. Ron Paul has declared it off limits

    I hope you're right. I really do... Because a 3rd Party run will only guarantee an Obama victory.

    And if that happens, this country is doomed..

    CW,

    The thing about Clinton that you're not mentioning (or maybe you have, I'm only at #6 in the comments, reading down...) is that the Monica thing happened in his second term.

    Good point.

    To put it so you'll understand it: Newt saying "Clinton did it too" is going to be about as effective as Obama running on the fact that he's not Dubya. The country, in both cases (I think), has moved on.

    I don't think that Newt should use the "Abbott" defense.. I merely point out that philandering is not exclusively a Republican trait, nor is it the kiss of Death.

    Newt can trot out a whole chorus line of Democrats that had LEGAL troubles over this...

    If Newt REALLY wants to shut Democrats up over the issue, he should quip, "At least I'm not accused of raping or killing anyone"...

    But that would be a low (albeit factual) blow, even for an election..

    Like his pushing the individual mandate for health care, for instance -- what do you think about that, hmmm?

    I read DF's link on that, but couldn't find the quote he mentioned..

    Got links??

    Michale.....

  45. [45] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    Michale,

    I think you underestimate Obama's chances. I historical context a PARTY tends to hold the Presidency for more then 4 years. A Party has only held the Presidency for 4 years about FOUR times in the US history.

    Since Term limits came about:
    Truman 8 years DEM
    Ike 8 yrs REP
    Kennedy/LBJ 8 yrs DEM
    Nixon/ford 8 yrs REP
    Carter 4 yrs DEM (historical anomaly)
    Reagan/Bush 12 yrs REP
    Clinton 8 yrs DEM
    Bush 8 yrs REP

    History tells us removing a party from office after 4 yrs is HARD and the party has to produce such malaise among the populace and such economic turmoil that they defeat themselves.

    Again since term limits we have had 8 elections where a party was in power for 4 years. (48, 56, 64, 72, 80, 84, 96, 2004) Only one of those 8 resulted in a party in power losing the election. Simply being better then the President in office is NOT enough to beat the party after only 4 years...

    12

  46. [46] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    A great communicator once said something that is very true today:

    Never before in our history have Americans been called upon to face three grave threats to our very existence, any one of which could destroy us. We face a disintegrating economy, a weakened defense, and an energy policy based on the sharing of scarcity.

    The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal, and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership, in the White House and in the Congress, for this unprecedented calamity which has befallen us.

    They tell us they've done the most that could humanly be done. They say that the United States has had it’s day in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems, that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities.

    My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view.

    Jus Sayin

    13

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think you underestimate Obama's chances. I historical context a PARTY tends to hold the Presidency for more then 4 years. A Party has only held the Presidency for 4 years about FOUR times in the US history.

    I submit that there has never been a President as bad for this country as Obama has been..

    The ONLY possible contender for the honor of "Worst President" is Carter..

    And he was a one termer..

    I stand by my opinion... Short of a Ross Perot or a bonafide catastrophe/miracle (depending on your partisan perspective), Obama won't win a second term..

    If Democrats want to guarantee a Democrat in the White House in 2013, they need to convince Obama to step aside for Hillary...

    Michale....
    050*

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