Newt has had more than a decade to reflect on life, politics and history. And for personal growth. I wrote him off as “past his freshness date” and even called him a RINO-Saur.
But I have also gone back and taken a critical look at what shaped my opinion. Without a doubt, my recollection was influenced in large part – perhaps entirely – by the liberal media. I admitted to myself that I may have unfairly allowed biased media reports to taint my opinion of Newt.
I discovered that of the 84 ethics violations, he was cleared of 83. The single remaining one was referred to the IRS, which later determined that he acted appropriately.
Newt is a thinker. The rest are not in the same cerebral zip code.
I am not quite ready to throw my fedora in Newt’s circle yet. And I admit that I would vote for anyone that is not named Obama.
As each candidate jumped into the fray, the white-hot spotlight saw each of them melt like a snowball in hell. I watched T-Paw turn out to be a dishrag. Bachmann proved shallow. I had high hopes for Perry but he was a shooting star. Herman had an intriguing angle, but lacked experience in politics. He might make a good State Rep. or Senator, perhaps even a US Congressman or Senator. But, like it or not, a political background is a prerequisite for US President. How has on the job training worked out for Obama? And Obama had some political experience (and no business experience). But Cain melted like the rest.
And Ron Paul? He’s a great voice to have in the debate and he has a strong tribe of followers. But I find his simplistic non-involvement Foreign Policy platform refreshingly naive and completely unrealistic in today’s world. But I also find our current Nation Building Foreign Policy disastrous. But I believe that often, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is wise if used sparingly. Paul would prevent nothing, leaving what may well be a larger mess (if that is possible). And then there’s the drug thing. It may gain him followers, but it’s a bad idea.
And Mitt. Dear Mitt. Always a bridesmaid. He’s about as exciting as a “You May Already Be A Winner” Publisher’s Clearinghouse mailer. He simply does not excite people. But to his credit, he has remained steady-ish in the polls. Treading water.
But Romney has not faced the onslaught from the left wing media like the others have. I wonder why that is? I am sure they are saving the best for him – should he win the nomination. He is the closest to Obama politically. Pale pastels compared to the rest of the Republican field. Clearly, Mitt believes the old, discarded mantra that in order to win the center, you must be a centrist.
I believe that the Democrats know that the winner in 2012 will be the one who can convince the public that they have boldest plan to fix the country. The only thing bold about Romney is his timidity. He will not excite his base, Obama will excite his, however.
And Mitt will not win the center. They don’t want one of their own – a rudderless band of followers which is Romney – they want a leader.
The best chance Obama has is a Romney nomination. And if that happens, the long knives will come out and Romney will be unable to withstand the onslaught.
And then there’s Newt. His trajectory has been solidly upwards. Once written off by people like me, but now, worthy of a second look. Warts and all.
And he does have his warts.
But he is also the latest Republican in the white-hot spotlight. If he melts in the heat, Romney it is.
But, despite claims by Nancy Pelosi to “spill the beans” on Newt, those beens were all spilled years ago. His uglies are well known. They were used by the left years ago. Sure, he has made money from Fannie Mae and other sources that are now brought into question. We know all that. Move On, Nancy.
How Newt does in the next few weeks will set the stage for 2012. We will either have tow bold and distinct directions for voters in 2012, or a Romney centrist huddled philosophically with the clueless and commitment-impared center against the incumbent who plans to double down on failure.
Romney is pretty close to John McCain. That choice worked out pretty well for Obama. He still has the same teleprompter messages queued and ready.
But he has no script to debate Newt Gingrich. No one does.
I could write the script for an Obama – Romney debate. Newt is a wild card.
Keep your eyes on Gingrich.
I am. Bet on it!