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Gingrich Presidential Run Inspires Fear And Loathing In Top GOP Circles

Sure, Newt Gingrich is surging in the polls. But the blunt truth about Newt is that the people who know him best and have worked with him in Washington want him nowhere near the White House or the top of the GOP ticket — and in the end, that’s likely to doom his chances.

Check out the new National Journal “Insiders” survey out this morning, whichi s particularly devastating to the disgraced former Speaker. This is from a regular panel of well-connected Republican operatives. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so savage by these folks against a same-party politician:

“Winning the presidency is all about discipline, focus, and organization,” said one Republican Insider, “none of which are strong suits for Gingrich.”

“With Newt, we go to bed every night thinking that tomorrow might be the day he implodes,” said another Republican. “Not good for our confidence – or fundraising.” A third Republican stated plainly, “Gingrich is not stable enough emotionally to be the nominee — let alone, the president.”

“Bigfoot dressed as a circus clown would have a better chance of beating President Obama than Newt Gingrich, a similarly farcical character,” quipped a Republican.

“Come on,” sighed another GOP Insider, “the White House is probably giving money to Gingrich as we speak.”

What’s a bit unusual about Gingrich is that there probably is a sharp split between how Washington-connected party actors and those farther outside of Washington or with weaker connections to the national party network feel about him. That’s because he’s been out of office for over a decade, and has been treated as a campaign curiosity until very recently. So there’s been no reason for vetting information to spread from those who worked with him while he was in office to local activists, operatives, and politicians, many of whom weren’t even around when Newt resigned in 1998.

For them, the natural inclination is to assume the best about big-name Republicans, and to treat any negative stories about them as the usual garbage from the liberal media. That will change once they start hearing national conservative leaders calling Newt a “farcical character” and questioning his conservative bone fides, as Club For Growth’s Chris Chocola and others did in the Washington Post article on Newt’s policy positions this morning.

As more party actors hear negative things about Gingrich from sources they trust, they’ll quickly lose what little enthusiasm they currently have for him. After that, it will almost certainly filter down to rank-and-file voters. The Newt moment just is not likely to last very long. Too many top conservatives just want nothing to do with the guy. And for good reason.

By: Jonathan Bernstein, The Washington Post, December 2, 2011

December 4, 2011 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Red America, Newt Gingrich Does Not Respect You

Ross Douthat offers a fleshed-out version of what a lot of conservative intellectuals are saying about Jon Huntsman: that the former Utah governor is genuinely conservative, more likely than anyone to prevail in a general election, and possessed of substantive policy answers to the nation’s most serious problems.

There’s just one problem.

“His salesmanship has been staggeringly inept. Huntsman’s campaign was always destined to be hobbled by the two years he spent as President Obama’s ambassador to China,” Douthat writes. “But he compounded the handicap by introducing himself to the Republican electorate with a series of symbolic jabs at the party’s base. He picked high-profile fights on two hot-button issues — evolution and global warming — that were completely irrelevant to his candidacy’s rationale. He let his campaign manager define his candidacy as a fight to save the Republican Party from a ‘bunch of cranks.’ And he embraced his identity as the media’s favorite Republican by letting the liberal journalist Jacob Weisberg write a fawning profile for Vogue.”

Summing up, Douthat comments that “This was political malpractice at its worst. Voters don’t necessarily need to like a candidate to vote for him, but they need to think that he likes them.”

Is he right?

If so, I have some information for the GOP base that should change how they feel about the relative merits of Huntsman and Newt Gingrich. Let me level with you, Red America: Huntsman does indeed believe that many of you are wrong about evolution and global warming. But he hasn’t shown anywhere near as much contempt and disrespect for you as Gingrich.

Yes, I know, you remember Gingrich as the man who conceived of the Contract With America. But there’s a lot more to him than that. This is a D.C. insider who thinks you’re dumb enough to believe that he got paid $1.6 million from Freddie Mac for his services as “a historian”; a man who ridiculed Freddie publicly after privately working to advance its favored policies; Gingrich still expects you to believe his disingenuous claim that he never engaged in lobbying for special interests; he is a man who tried in a televised debate to pretend that he hadn’t supported an individual mandate in health care, only to be successfully called out by an opponent; he is even someone who tried to tell you, with a straight face, that the breakup of one of his marriages could be blamed partly on how passionately he felt about America (he had an extramarital affair).

That’s just for starters.

So if any of you felt disrespected by Huntsman for forthrightly saying that he thinks you’re wrong about a couple of things, understand that it could be much worse. You could embrace a nominee who just lies to you when he thinks you won’t like hearing the truth. And who tells such audacious whoppers that part of him has to believe that we’re all stupid.

What shows more contempt and disrespect, telling someone you think one of their ideas is wrongheaded? Or lying to them over and over about your record, your character, and your business dealings?

Your call, Red America.

By: Conor Friedersdorf , The Atlantic, December 2, 2011

December 4, 2011 Posted by | Election 2012, Right Wing | , , , , | Leave a comment


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