Conservative icon, National Review, calls for Newt Gingrich to drop campaign for Republican nomination
The conservative icon, National Review, is calling for Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race.
According to a February 13, 2012 editorial:
“But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader.”
And that’s from the conservative wing of the Republican party.
The National Review says that it is “Santorum’s Turn,” that Mitt Romney “remains the undramatic figure at the center of the primaries’ drama.” It’s not so much that Romney is the best candidate. In fact, “lack of enthusiasm for him has set it all in motion.” Worse, “Romney is trying to win the nomination by pulverizing his rivals” [i.e., his fellow Republicans]. So much for Reagan’s 11th Commandment, though clearly the same lack of adherence to that commandment is true for all the other candidates as well. Of course, you can add one or two (or more) other Commandments that Newt Gingrich has also violated.
How will this end? Likely very badly for Romney. Oh, and Gingrich? He’s pretty much toast.
Mitt Romney Wins Nevada Caucuses While Not Worrying About the Poor, Newt Gingrich Needs Your Prayers
Wow, what a week for Mitt Romney. And what a week for Newt Gingrich. Romney wins the Nevada caucuses but picks up an endorsement he might not want.
Okay, first for the wee little poor choice of words by Romney this week. And we of course mean the “poor” choice of words about not worrying about the poor. Okay fine, the words were taken out of context and he didn’t really mean it the way it was portrayed by some. But that doesn’t let Romney off the hook. Not surprisingly, Romney’s intent had little to do with whom he is “concerned” about and a great deal to do with trying to convince middle class voters that he doesn’t represent exactly the kind of person/economic policy that benefits the very rich at the expense of the middle class. In short, he was trying to create a new reality to replace the one that isn’t so good for the middle class, i.e., the one that he supports.
Here are two insightful views on this topic:
So on to the Donald Trump endorsement. First off, Trump was “endorsing” solely and entirely as a gimmick to promote his reality TV show (is that still on the air? seriously?). But what is really interesting about this endorsement is that Romney decided to accept it. Mormons (Romney) have always opposed gambling, so hey, no problem accepting the endorsement in Trump’s Las Vegas casino. I mean, that’s no bigger a stretch than Mormon’s opposing the drinking of alcohol unless, of course, you pay a $5 “membership fee” to join a “club” for “one night” (which, I’ve been told, is not a “cover charge in the local bar”). That little detail aside, Romney’s acceptance of Donald “birther” Trump is sure to be a headline in coming months. Already the Obama campaign has sent out an email noting:
“Yesterday, Mitt Romney said he was ‘humbled’ to accept Donald Trump’s endorsement. Seriously.” “Yes, Donald Trump — birth certificate conspiracy leader — has decided that Mitt Romney’s his guy, and Romney has embraced him without reservation. He made a speech and even sent out a press release welcoming him.”
Good one, Mitt. Embrace the buffoonish bigot tea party vote. That ought to help you with independents. Especially now that the stock market is at highs not seen since before the Bush depression and the unemployment has been dropping as hundreds of thousands of jobs are being created per month.
Meanwhile, Gingrich is asking for prayers.
And he’ll need them since he is looking forward to Super Tuesday. Yep, he’ll just skip Nevada, Maine, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, and Washington since they don’t matter (and he can’t win) and focus on the Super Tuesday states (even though he didn’t even make the ballot in at least one of them – Virginia). Well, that certainly is a plan. Sort of like Rudy Giuliani waiting for Florida in 2008. That worked out well. Oh, wait. Never mind.
Anyway, Mitt Romney is likely to win the Florida primary by a significant margin today, with Gingrich a distant second and Rick Santorum and Ron Paul barely registering. And with the next few primaries/caucuses favoring Romney while Gingrich is short on cash (other than the bankroll one donor has given to his Super PAC), Gingrich is not in a particularly good position.
But wait. Florida lost half its delegates by breaking the rules and moving its primary up, so even though it technically is winner-take-all there is a move afoot to have the delegate count split at the convention (needless to say, that move is afooted by Gingrich supporters). Don’t forget the Iowa delegates are not bound by the vote and going into Florida Gingrich actually has 2 more delegates than Romney. And after April 1 all the states will be winner-take-all, so if Gingrich can get a head of steam he would theoretically have a chance to overtake Romney.
And of course Romney could implode like all the candidates before him.
So Gingrich has enough to convince himself to stay in for the long haul, assuming he can talk Santorum into dropping out and he can convince the conservative wing that he can lay a mitt on Mitt if given the finances to compete with ad buys.
Stay tuned. This could get interesting.
Team Romney goes into tonight’s Republican primary debate with a ridiculously insurmountable double digit lead in the polls. So Team Anti-Romney has one last chance to knock Romney from the thrown before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
Actually there are two chances since there is also a debate Sunday morning, but the timing is such that it’s really one debate split into two parts, presumably to capture both the asocial people with no Saturday night dates and those who don’t go to church on Sunday morning, so we can think of it as a last chance for the Anti-Romney forces to get noticed.
So watch tonight for whether anyone remembers Reagan’s 11th commandment (thou shalt not speak ill of fellow Republicans). Forget that Reagan and everyone else broke that commandment, and a few others, so many times that it became nothing but a meaningless platitude. In any case, more than likely it will be all hands on Romney. After all, the only way anyone stays in the race is to knock Romney down a peg or two or maybe three so that they have a chance for a comeback. You can betcha the Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Paul and Huntsman camps have been digging sharpened bamboo-spiked tiger traps for Romney all week. I almost expect camouflage face paint (not so much for Paul, as he really wouldn’t carry that look off too well). So expect all the non-Romneys to go for the severe wounding (metaphorically speaking) in New Hampshire, then the (equally metaphorically speaking) kill in South Carolina.
The South Carolina whose Governor has backed Romney.
Anyway, it really doesn’t matter what they say tonight since no one is really listening and the words are political pomposity anyway. What matters is whether Romney comes out of the debates inspiring pundits to think “The Coronation of Napoleon” or “Le Mort de Marat.”
Depending on that result, the tea party will have to decide whether to prostrate themselves in utter hypocrisy to support the nominee, or actually stand for the principles they claim to have.
As the tea party has lurched from one incomprehensible candidate to another and found itself settling (most recently) on Newt Gingrich in the final days before the January 3rd Iowa voting, one question remains unanswered.
Can Ron Paul finally be taken seriously enough to win the Iowa caucuses?
Notwithstanding the claims by some of the pundits that Paul’s position on Iran* could cause him to lose in Iowa, Paul has actually been gaining ground in the polls. And Paul would seem to be the natural fit for the tea party crowd (He was “tea party” before the tea party was cool, or even invented by the billionaire Koch brothers). Okay, maybe not “this” tea party, the whole being against unilateral attacks on countries we don’t like thing is anathema to the tea party, but close enough. After all, the tea party simply adapts reality to whatever it wants to rationalize that day (call it “The Matrix, Part IV”).
But I digress.
The bottom line is that Ron Paul is actually making a concerted effort to do well in Iowa. And why not, at 76 it’s really his last shot at the Presidency and his branding is good for this particular year. Stranger things have happened. For example, after the tea party cycled through Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain they jumped from these unconventional candidates to the dyed-in-the-wool Washington insider Newt Gingrich. And could be in a position to vote for “the next guy in line” Mitt Romney, who has been running for President full time for over five years. So much for unconventional.
But there is still hope. No, I don’t mean Rick Santorum, whose severe anti-gay attitudes are too extreme even for the tea party (who prefer to wrap their bigotry in anti-Muslim garb these days). I mean Ron Paul. After all, he is the only one left in the ABM (Anyone But Mitt) rankings. And his anti-government views fit in with the tea party desire to remove all impediments to rampant robber baronism, fair opportunity for the lowly 99% of us, and those protections for human health and the environment that just cut into corporate profits and the ability to fund pork projects.
So Ron Paul has decided to go after frontrunner of the week Newt Gingrich. Besides being more than a little testy at the recent debates, Paul has issued a scathing reminder that Newt Gingrich tends to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Check out Paul’s new campaign ad:
The word “serial,” by the way, isn’t a coincidence. The political marketing guru’s know that it will instantly trigger visions of Gingrich’s serial affairs, marriages, un-marriages, and his hypocrisy of trying to impeach Bill Clinton for having an affair while Newt himself was carrying on his latest affair.
But that is just icing to the cake of the main message – Gingrich is a Washington player who puts his own financial well-being ahead of all else.
So with the Iowa caucuses coming up in just over two weeks, with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays squeezed in between, and with Gingrich’s sudden surge starting to un-surge, Paul is looking to do well and maybe even win in Iowa.
And that would be really really interesting. If nothing else, a vote for Ron Paul in Iowa is a vote for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. Which is why Romney is snickering a bit these days.
*P.S. BTW, this is Paul’s explanation of his position on Iran and what the US should, or should not, do regarding the potential for Iran to get nuclear weapons.
Okay, I don’t do odes, so that part was rhetorical. As for the “last man on Earth,” that pretty much was what you would hear from political pundits when asked about former Speaker and serial philanderer Newt Gingrich’s chances of becoming President. As in, “Newt won’t ever be President even if he was the last man on Earth.”
And that was from the Republicans.
These last few days the airwaves have been filled with media pondering the magnificent “back from the dead” resurgence of Newt Gingrich into the lead of many polls. Which proves that the media all have that disease that won’t remember yesterday (I forget what the disease is called). Think about it. The reason that Newt Gingrich is suddenly in the lead for the Republican nomination is pretty obvious. And it ain’t rocket science folks.
So here is an ancient proverb I just made up: “When all the other boats are sinking, they raise the only boat remaining that doesn’t have a gaping hole in its hull.” Call it a political version of Archimedes principle. Or something.
In any case, the rise of Gingrich is directly related to the sinking of the other tea party saviors of the week. It most certainly isn’t due to anything that he has done. Let’s recap.
In the beginning there was Sarah Palin. Remember her? Yep, Palin was the first choice of the tea party and they begged her to run. Eventually they begged her not to run, but early on she was the “The One.”
While waiting for Sarah Godot Palin the tea party decided to play a Trump card. Why? Because Trump played the birther card and immediately grabbed the attention of the bigots in the tea party. And so Trump actually moved to the front, or near the front, of polls. Donald Trump. Reality TV “star” and user of other people’s money to enhance the millions that his daddy handed him. The guy who conveniently went bankrupt just before each of his last two divorces. The guy who has Chapter 11’d so many casinos that you wonder just how the tea party could look to Donald Trump, self-promoter in chief, to fix the economy. Yeah, that Donald Trump.
Then there was Michele Bachmann, or Palin-Lite (or Palin-Heavy depending on your viewpoint). She was the next tea party savior. They saw her as the best conservative Presidential option. No, seriously. The tea party actually thought Bachmann was Oval Office material. Just as long as no one asked her what the shape of the Oval Office was or the color of the White House. Bachmann surged to the front of the pack on the strength of her Iowa birtherism and lack of command of pretty much every issue. She won the Iowa straw poll and her star rose to the lofty heights of the tea party for all of several hours before Rick Perry declared his candidacy the very same day. Bye bye Michele.
So in comes Perry. And he surges to the top. And at the top he stayed until the first debate in which he participated. That didn’t knock him out completely (I mean, he couldn’t be that bad, could he), but the next couple pretty much showed where Perry’s skills were. And that is hypocrisy (“Secede from the Union” but “send me federal funds for education and disaster relief”). Oh, and when you have thought through your central policy position so deeply that you have no clue what the third Department you would eliminate could possibly be, well, friends, you’re screwed. [Note on that – anyone can forget a name, especially during a high pressure situation like a debate. The fact that he couldn’t describe his rationale for getting rid of that forgotten named Department (or the other two) means that he was given this sound bite by his handlers and he simply memorized it without even thinking about it. That’s not a president, that’s a mynah bird.]
Okay, so Perry sinks to the bottom. But wait, there’s more!! Don’t forget Herman Cain. The Koch-supported guy who was a corporate CEO who made the corporation profitable by closing half of its 900 stores and laying off thousands of people. Yep, therein lies a great job creator. Then he was head of the regional Fed, and we know how much the tea party likes the Fed. Oh, and he was the head of a huge lobbying organization. Perfect. Just what the tea party was looking for. Too bad all those women showed up reminding us of the harassment charges they filed against him all those years ago, and that one with the 13-year affair that he denies as he quickly rushes to the exit. Sorry, Cain is not Able.
You do see a pattern here, right. There is a whole lot of surging going on by a succession of tea party “saviors.” One person floats to the top because the tea party thinks he or she is the best thing since sliced bread. A savior is declared and that person suddenly is rushing up the polls. Then he or she speaks, and sinks like a stone. But have no fear, because that person sinking just raises up the next person. And then the next. And then the next.
And now there is Gingrich. Perhaps appropriately for a man named after an amphibian, Newt has floated to the top. He’s basically the only one left. He tread water while the others drowned themselves (mostly because the debate questions tend to go more to the “frontrunners” so Gingrich didn’t have much chance to shoot himself in the foot yet). And with all the previous saviors gone, the tea party has turned to the only man standing.
Gingrich has the twin advantages of having no one else the tea party can turn to, and having not much time left before the Iowa caucuses. Not that it matters much.
As I already said four days ago, Herman Cain has dropped out of the Presidential race. Needless to say, he dropped out using “politician-speak.” So let me translate:
The words: “I am suspending my campaign.”
The meaning: I’m quitting.
Come on. Other than the fake suspension of John McCain’s campaign, “suspending” means ending. [Note about McCain. While he used the word suspension, he didn’t actually officially and legally suspend his campaign. He merely used it as a publicity stunt.]
The words: “These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in the media and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family.”
The meaning: I’m screwed.
While Cain claims that the allegations are false, unproven and “spinned,” the fact is that at least two of the harassment cases resulted in financial settlements by the organization Cain headed. The fact that there were settlements doesn’t necessarily mean he actually did anything wrong, but it does demonstrate that those women did, in fact, make those allegations at the time and are not simply making stuff up 20 years later. As for the most recent allegation, i.e., by a woman who claims a 13-year on-and-off casual affair with Cain, the rapidity in which Cain ended his campaign doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that his denials were an accurate reflection of reality.
The words: “I have made many mistakes in life, everybody has.”
The meaning: I did it.
Think about it. First he denies doing anything wrong, then admits that he has made “mistakes in life.” Obviously he’s not suddenly remembering the time as a child he ate a Cheetos that had fallen into a mud puddle (which is pretty gross, but not something that rises to the level of making “many mistakes in life”). Bottom line, the guy probably (but not proven) did some things that could have been interpreted by the various women as being what they say he did.
The words: “I’m turning to “Plan B.”
The meaning: I still want to sell books and make money off of this deal.
Or from a less capitalistic perspective, Cain is trying to save face.
The words: “I starting a new website so I can continue to be a voice for the people.”
The meaning: Given that I officially suspended my campaign, I am no longer legally able to collect money from you folks on my campaign web site. So I have to set up a new one.
The words: “I am proof that a common man could lead this nation.”
The meaning: I’m delusional.
Seriously. First off, while he certainly started off in a family of modest means, to refer to himself as a “common man” is to forget that he has spent most of his adult life as a corporate executive, including Chairman and CEO of a pizza corporation (where he closed hundreds of stores and laid off thousands of workers), being Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the regional Federal Reserve Bank (where he got to play with billions of dollars), and President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association (from which he lobbied Congress and, according to those who got settlements, played a bit loose on the harassment laws). Secondly, Herman Cain had about a zero percent chance of becoming President even before the (unproven) allegations came to light. The tea party, who were the only ones who seemed to miss the memo that he was just out there trying to sell books, had raised him to a level that apparently made him dizzy (which is why he complained more than once that it was all happening so fast and there were so many things that his handlers stuck in his head that he couldn’t think straight). Thirdly, “lead the nation?” This from someone who didn’t even lead an organization to campaign in any of the primary and caucus states. He had essentially no organization whatsoever. He spent more time in states that won’t even be a part of the nomination decision-making process than he did in the top 5+ early caucus/primary states (but just happened to coincide with where his publisher thought he could sell more books and his campaign advisers could attend a football game on the campaign dime). The only reason he was getting any attention is because the other tea party nut jobs had already imploded. And with Cain himself imploding (which, again, had already happened long before the allegations), the tea party has already moved on to their next savior of the week.
So notwithstanding his face-saving and/or delusional “suspension” speech, Cain will quickly follow Sarah Palin down into irrelevancy.
Michele Bachmann today made a desperate plea for attention. After surging to the top for several hours one day last summer, Bachmann has since been written off as a political has-been despite constant unserious claims to being a serious candidate. And today she went for her Hail Mary pass.
Yes, she named her fake short list for possible VP running mates. They include:
Rick Santorum: The only serious person in the bunch. Though the whole “hate gays” thing is probably not going to win over too many Independent voters.
Donald Trump: I’m not kidding. No, seriously, I’m not kidding. She actually mentioned Donald Trump as a possible VP. If nothing in the world had convinced voters that Bachmann is a joke, then this pushed them over the edge.
Jim DeMint (South Carolina) and Marco Rubio (Florida): Wow, can you say “pandering” to the tea party? The same tea party that fell in love with her (see above “several hours one day”) before dumping her on the way to the day that they would set the date for the rehearsal dinner. The tea party has since jumped to Trump, to Cain, to Perry, to Gingrich, and to new levels of insanity. So yep, the once tea party darling thinks that picking other once tea party darlings as a running mate is going to get her the nomination?
You may now return to your regularly scheduled ignoring of Michele Bachmann, the serious person with 5 natural born children and 23 foster children (for at least hours at a time).
P.S. Yes, the photo is on purpose. You figure it out.
I wrote a while back that Herman Cain could “Stick a Pizza Slice in it” because he was done. That was based on his supreme lack of knowledge on the issues on which he was
opining…er…trying to keep straight the talking points his handlers had inserted into his head. And long before the string of 3 (or is it 4) women claimed Cain had “been inappropriate” with them when he was head of the restaurant lobbying group (and at least 1, or maybe 2, had settlements, which certainly suggests these women weren’t simply making this stuff up).
Oh, and now there is the woman claiming to have had a 13-year affair.
No, Cain was toast long before any of that stuff. Since the initial revelations (but not including even this last one), Cain’s poll numbers have plummeted. With the last one, i.e., the 13-year affair, I suspect his poll numbers would evaporate…given the whole holier-than-thou attitude of the tea party that elevated him to this ridiculous idea that he could actually be president.
So now it seems that now Herman Cain is “reassessing” his candidacy. Huh? “Reassessing?” No one admits to “reassessing” their candidacy publicly. They might do it in private, but to admit it in public is like putting on a big sign that says “I’m toast.”
Which, of course, he is. Even the conservative tea party fanatics that invented the fantasy of his candidacy are abandoning him.
Which could also be bad news for Mitt Romney. And good news for Newt Gingrich.
Not long ago Michele Bachmann was riding high on her win in the Iowa straw polls. The straw poll, which actually hasn’t been a very good predictor of who wins the Iowa caucuses or the nomination, was for some reason seen as a watershed moment. Bachmann wins! Bachmann rises to the top of the field! Bachmann got less votes than she had paid for in tickets! Oh. Since then Bachmann’s fortunes have run down like an unsuspecting sucker at a curbside craps game. In fact, “since then” was immediate, as in when Rick Perry declared his candidacy the very same day as the Iowa straw poll. And since then her campaign manager has dumped her (and trashed her), her campaign is racking up debt, and now her New Hampshire campaign team has resigned en masse (or not, depending on who you ask). Other campaign staffers haven’t been paid in at least a month. So the tea party backing of Bachmann is back to back-stabbing and backward glances as Bachmann struggles desperately to keep her head above water.
Then there is Rick Perry himself. He flashed onto the scene and immediately was elevated by the tea party crowd as their newest savior (claiming that he was their first choice all along, well, after all the others who said no). Then Perry did something he regretted. He showed up at a Republican debate. Big mistake. Perry’s performance was at best uneven. And it was all downhill from there. Half the time he seemed to barely there in ensuing debates. And when he did say something it usually made him sound like he didn’t have the foggiest what he was saying. Not the kind of performances that inspire the passion of the zealots on whom his candidacy must rely. And so he sank from the top to somewhere in that middle where former top people go before they disappear into the ooze with the rest of the bottom feeders. His most recent performance woke up the zealots, but showed that he could counter his lack of knowledge and debating adroitness with arrogance and pettiness. Good one.
The latest to implode is Herman Cain. What’s surprising is not that he is imploding but that the tea party had chosen him to inflate beyond all proportion in the first place. Cain made a name for himself early in the debates by declaring that he is an anti-Muslim bigot. Since then he has stolen a ridiculous catch-phrase (9-9-9) from a video game and even more ridiculously suggested that it was a serious attempt to fix the tax system. Which he would do by raising taxes on the working poor and the middle class while virtually eliminating taxes on the very wealthiest. That is exactly in line with what the tea party has pushed with nearly all of its hostage-taking tactics, so there is no surprise they love it. [It’s also in line with how he made Pizza Hut profitable – by closing half of its stores and laying off thousands of workers.] Clearly a serious contender for the Presidency can’t have such a complete lack of awareness of his own silliness, but there it is every day. And now he’s devolved into Palinesque incoherency where, as one conservative commentator and former Republican congressman put it, Cain is just making stuff up as he goes along. Cain isn’t very able.
Which leaves who? Mitt Romney, of course, who other than this last debate came off as being one of the few adults in the room (not counting the journalist moderators). In the “adult” category you can add Jon Huntsman, but he seems way too reasonable for the tea party (not to mention his comedic timing is really really bad). There is Newt Gingrich, who sort of sounds like an adult because he uses bigger words than the others, but also has a tendency to sound petulant. There is Rick Santorum…oh, never mind. There’s those two or three guys who are running that no one knows because they can’t garner enough support to even qualify for the debates (which is pretty sad given that Herman Cain is there and so is Jon Huntsman, who can’t seem to get much more than his immediate family to notice him). And let’s not forget Ron Paul, who has a loyal following amongst the more libertarian folks who think the American government is some communist plot to steal all of our freedoms.
So we have the tea party running the Republican show these days and latching onto every incompetent nutjob they can find to be – in succession, – “The One.” And each and every “The One” sprints to the front of the pack only to be run over by the pack as they flame out and drop into the mud of their own creation. Then there are the also-rans that run also, but nowhere fast. And then there are the serious candidates. Right now the closest thing to a serious candidate the Republican party can muster is “the next guy in line,” Mitt Romney. And the tea party (rightly) hates him. Romney epitomizes everything the tea party says they hate about government – the slick establishment politician, the “say anything to get elected” candidate, the “compromiser,” and OMG, he’s not the “right kind” of Christian.
So will the tea party prove themselves to be hypocrites and vote for Romney knowing that Romney would actually not do any of the things the tea party wants him to do? Or would they “stick to their principles” and make sure Romney doesn’t get the Republican nomination. After all, Romney is “one of them establishment” politicians and “not one of us.”