Saturday, December 10, 2011

Newt's got no peeps

Ezra Klein offers a fantastic list of 21 reasons Newt Gingrich won't become the GOP nominee, ranging from his palling around with Democrats to his absurd defenses for his adulterous affairs to his confusion of sci-fi and reality. Please read it. But I'd assert that there's a bit of a leap from the final item on his list to the statement "And I don’t believe they will choose someone like that."

That is to say, Ezra shows us why Gingrich won't become the nominee, but not how he won't become the nominee. That's trickier. Remember, even though Gingrich is way behind in endorsements, he's currently polling way ahead of Romney et al. in the earlier primary and caucus states. So how do elite preferences get translated into votes?

The key thing here is that Gingrich has no backers. Romney can slip up -- make a silly statement or give a bad interview -- and there are legions of journalists and elected officials who can explain it away or provide context or still point to his other qualities as a candidate. When Gingrich messes up -- as he most assuredly will at some point in the next few weeks -- no one's got his back. He'll be on his own, forcing to either recant what he said (flip-flopper!) or double down (loony!). What will his next apostasy be? I don't know, but it's exciting to watch.


metrichead said...

Maybe it's because when Newt was Speaker, I was a teenager and didn't follow his shenanigans like all the cool kids in high school do, but he seems to have taken on quite an arrogant tone in the last few weeks.

He speaks as though he's already won the nomination and the general election is already here. Chris Cillizza from the Washington Post quoted him back on December 1 saying, "I'm going to be the nominee," and “It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee.” Asked about his “play nice” strategy, he said, “I don’t have to go around and point out the inconsistencies of people who are not going to be the nominee.”

Last week he said Romney is on his short list for VP.

I don't think he's got staying power like Romney. Once the media and Republicans begin to vet him, it'll be interesting to see if he can avoid the same fates that have befallen Trump, Bachmann, Perry, and Cain.

I think the Speaker is setting himself up for another humiliation like the one he endured after the Clinton Impeachment fiasco.

Seth said...

Newt's one consistency over the years has been his arrogance.

dmarks said...

Newt's slicker than any of them there.

Problem for him is soon he will look slick to everyone. He's already looking real cocky.

As for this "He speaks as though he's already won the nomination and the general election is already here"

I don't think that's a bad strategy. Not that it will save him from arrogance.

One thing I will say in his defense. About his adulterous affairs, I've seen no allegations that they involved criminal activity or non-consenting adults. A big contrast with Bill Clinton and his crime of perjury, and having sexually harassed an unwilling victim. Apples and oranges.

Anonymous said...

If the GOP Elephant laboured and was in danger of producing a newt would you suggest an abortion whether you are pro life or not?