Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It was bound to happen. Sooner or later, Newt Gingrich was going to get a bounce in his candidacy for the 2012 GOP nomination. It's not so much his unconventional campaign "tactics," nor the fact that, as he puts it, he has more substance than any other candidate currently running. Rather, it's the other candidates on parade. None of them have exactly thrilled the Republicans who do the actual selecting. Now it's Newt's turn to face some scrutiny.

Paul Whitefield's musings on Newt's rise, while a bit hyperbolic, does get the flavor du jour quality of the Republican race at this point.

In the Shakespearean comedy/tragedy that is the Republican presidential race, it's apparently time for a little eye of Newt.

The Grand Old Party has seemingly dispensed with Michele "Lady Macbeth" Bachmann, who learned it's still a man's world after all. Also Herman "Othello" Cain, brought low by sexual innuendo. And then the third candidate, uh, let me think, uh, oops -- oh right, Rick Perry, who, having posed the question "To be, or not to be," found out that the answer is the latter.

So now it's Newt Gringrich's turn to rise as the great conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

Interestingly, all of the allusions listed by Whitefield come from the Bard's tragedies. I suppose that's just his snarky way of noting Newt's comedic value. Still, that's a pretty fair description of the race to date. The Republican base refuses to capitulate when it comes to Mitt Romney, even though he's probably the one candidate who can defeat President Obama, at least at this point.

But Newt? The serial adulterer?

Whitefield hones in on why this unlikely rise in the polls will probably not go much further:

Not to mention the question of whether the prickly Gingrich can connect with the common man. For example, at a time when many Americans are struggling just to make ends meet, he talks about how he mused about those problems while on vacation in Greece last summer.

So when he says stuff like "I'm like a lot of other Americans. I'm looking for a job" -- this from a man who lives in the tony Washington suburb of McLean, Va., not to mention one who has a million dollars in revolving credit at Tiffany and Co. -- well, let's just say it comes across a bit forced.


But we still have eleventy-seven more debates to go, most before the earliest GOP caucus/primary. Surely Newt will have a chance to ignite a fabulous flame-out before January.

Which reminds me: I'm getting low on popcorn.



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