Skip to comments.The Gingrich Gamble
Posted on 12/14/2011 6:42:52 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
All the Romney-alternatives Bachmann, Cain, Christie, Giuliani, Palin, Perry, Rubio, Trump came and went, or never came at all, except the most unlikely one, Newt Gingrich. With the implosion of the Cain campaign, and the realization that there are for now no more great conservative hopes on the horizon, Gingrich has pulled off one of the more unlikely comebacks in presidential-primary history, and finds himself ahead in the Republican polls.
Half the Republican electorate is relieved, or even delighted, about Gingrich. They are sure that almost any Republican could beat an imploding Barack Obama, who gets weirder with each rant about the rich. Why then not nominate a brilliant, imaginative, and exciting live-wire chatterbox like Gingrich?
They have bitter memories of sober, staid incumbent Jerry Ford, who nosed out an ascendant Ronald Reagan in the primary but then blew the general election against an inept leftist, Jimmy Carter. They have worse memories of another sober, staid plodder, Bob Dole, who was trounced by Bill Clinton, an incumbent who had not won 50 percent of the vote in 1992 and had been repudiated in the midterm elections of 1994. And they have memories that are worse yet of John McCain, who, in the fashion of Ford and Dole, was outdebated, outcharmed, and outhustled by Barack Obama.
No más! these conservatives scream. They insist that, despite his often non-Reaganesque record, Gingrich is about the closest thing they are going to get to Reagan for some time to come. They assert that they would rather risk losing than elect a centrist Republican who might nominate another Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court or add another entitlement like the unfunded Medicare prescription-drug benefit. (snip)
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
GOP POTUS2012 is not ideal but it is what it is - Newt vs. Mitt. As Secretary Rumsfeld once said, "You go to war with the army you got". Clearly it is Newt. Go Newt!
In the Mitt vs. Newt battle, VDH seems to be saying “6 of one; half a dozen of the other”.
Just to be safe, we better elect a ton of Tea Partiers to both houses of Congress to help keep Gingrich from going off the reservation.
Gingrich on the other hand is a tough fighter and brilliant strategist. Gingrich will twist Obama and Axelrod into pretzels and then snap them into salty shards.
Dont worry house and senate tea party members will be squeezed by the establishment...just like this last time.
Once Bohner gets a hold of them they will fall in line.
The progressive and establishment republicans win again. The country fails and falls.
In the famous Bachman quip:
Newt/Romney we win!
Third party we lose!
Funny that Gingrich was struggling in single digits, barely rising above 10%, for 6 months after he first announced.
If he is so great, why didn’t he jump to the head of the pack early on, like Romney did, like Bachmann did, like Perry did, like Cain did.
He better watch out, however, Ron Paul is on his heels in Iowa.
Hmmmm. Maybe the Great White-haired Hope isn’t so Great after all.
The risk-takers, romantics, and ideologically pure have concluded that Gingrich unleashed is worth the gamble, and that it is better to win big or lose big than to plan on just squeaking by.
You're dreaming the impossible dream. The “new Newt” doesn't exist. He's still the same old Gingrich. His character flaws and his poor management skills caused his GOP colleagues to oust him from the Speakership in 1998, when he was already 57 years old. Anybody’s core character traits and personal habits are basically immutable at that age. Ask any elderly spouse who has tried to “reform” his or her partner at that stage of life!
In other words, Newt hasn't changed and he can't be reined in by a GOP-led Congress. It's the height of naivete to believe otherwise.
But really, we're basically wasting our time on such analysis because Newt will never be elected POTUS. The only question is whether he will self-destruct before the GOP convention -- or after he gets the nomination.
Because he's NOT "so great". He's the last man standing. A result of a process of elimination. It's him or Mitt. I'm guilty of being a pragmatist.
And I do think that Newt could end up being great. I KNOW romney won't and that 0bama would beat him anyway.
Newt will take Boehner to the woodshed, BIG TIME.
Newt has the experience and the ability to slap the RINO establishment to it's knees. He will gladly single them out and embarrass them on their insider records. This IS the way he will force them into compliance.
The biggest point is, they fear Newt and are trying desperately to got Romney nominated. If Romney wins, the cookie jar will remain wide open. If Gingrich wins, the cookie jar will not only close, they will get their naughty little pinkies spanked and their cookies will all go away permanently.
Newt owes them definite payback for how the GOP establishment treated him in the ‘90’s, as well how they pandered to Clinton, protected him and played “nice” to the Democrat minority. (Like they did in 2002)
I don’t think he’s saying that at all. In fact, I thought it was a thinly veiled, hit-job on Gingrich and his supporters. I think that this silliness which these so-called impartial, political-analysts perpetrate ought to end. If you support one candidate over another, come right out and endorse him! Don’t give any pretense of being anything other than a fan.
Very good article and discussion...thank you for posting it.
Interestingly, VDH joins the growing crowd who voices the usually unthinkable -- that somehow, some way, another candidate, not yet in the race perhaps, may yet emerge and take the nomination.
I know the first sentence is correct. As for the second one all obummer has to say is, "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight".
You know that Newt will be coming with all the weapons that are possible.
I don't know the outcome, because voter fraud will be rampant, but he is the best chance we have right now.
This is the most important part of the 2012 elections, although I really don't think Newt is on the "reservation" if by that you mean the conservative reservation. However, I am losing any faith in so called "Tea Party" candidates making any difference, we are spending just as much money we don't have now as we did before the 2010 elections.
The real evidence that the Tea Party might have been just so much talk: Pre-Tea Party = McCain, Post-Tea Party = Gingrich. No improvement, no change.
Please, you might like Gingrich, but this is way over the top. The "brilliant strategist" presided over the worst out of office midterm election in over 40 years. The "brilliant strategist" also could not come up with a strategy to get most of the provisions of the Contract with America passed. The "tough fighter" got mad and quit, shortly after he was reelected, when he did not get his way in the House.
If Gingrich is the candidate, it will be a hard and close election with Obama. To see it as anything else is naive.
“If Gingrich is the candidate, it will be a hard and close election with Obama. To see it as anything else is naive.”
It will be a hard and, perhaps, close election irrespective of which Republican nominee contends; because there will be overwhelming fraud perpetrated by Obama’s minions. To assume otherwise is naive.
You remain the master of revisionist history.
What was the worst “out of office midterm” in 40 years that Newt presided over? 1998? I’ll have to check that out.
What I know is correct is he engineered the greatest congressional take over in something like 60 years in 1994.
Funny. Dick Cheney knows that too: "When Newt showed up he said, we can become the majority, we can take back the House of Representatives. We hadn't had the House since the 1940s. And initially, none of us believed it. But he was persistent, he was tenacious. He kept it up, kept it up, and kept it up. Finally by '94 he's the newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives with a Republican majority. So I wouldn't underestimate him."
I don't recall him getting mad and quitting.
Again depending on recollection, Gingrich held the house during the entire time.
I guess it could be. But read post # 9, where the poster thinks VDH leans Gingrich; and then # 16 where the poster thinks VDH is calling for someone other than Newt or Mitt.
Yeah, Propotkon is throwing around bad information to try and support her (his?) cause. I looked up 98, and the GOP held the House and lost 5 seats, so this was certainly not an historic loss. I think he (her?) was confusing the monumental WIN for Newt in 94.
And I think anyone who studies Newt would admit that 96-98 was not the dynamic part of his career the way the late 80’s and early 90’s were, up through about 95.
p.s. It's like another term you coined weeks ago - 'Cheap and easy retort'. Hard to argue those with anonymous posters.
Whatever. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Each of my statements are true and you have provided nothing to show otherwise.
Maybe if you did the slightest bit of research, you would find that the 1998 election was so bad for Republicans, it was the final straw that forced the leadership to revolt against Gingrich which forced him out as Speaker which lead to his quitting the House altogether.
I know this might be a lot for you to understand all at once and some reading is required, but do a little homework and give it a try.
I apologize, it was not the worst out of office midterm election in 40 years.
During the 1998 midterm elections, Republicans lost five seats in the House of Representativesthe worst performance in 64 years for a party that didn't hold the presidency.
From that conservative bastion ... the old grey mare ... no less:
''What I believe desperately needs to take place is to heal the alienation that currently exists,'' said Representative Steve Largent of Oklahoma, a conservative football Hall of Famer who announced his own challenge today to Mr. Gingrich's second-in-command, Representative Dick Armey of Texas.
The heart of the Speaker's problems, many Republicans said, is that he had never made an adequate adjustment from being the minority to being the majority, from intense backbench opposition to governing.
The hard-edged partisan bite that worked for Mr. Gingrich in the minority came across as stridency in power, Republicans said. ''Whenever we try to go on the offensive, the White House tries to make Newt the issue and whenever that happens we lose,'' said Peter T. King, a Republican from Long Island.
When Mr. Gingrich allowed Representative John R. Kasich of Ohio, the budget committee chairman, to try to rally House Republicans around a conservative blueprint for more than $100 billion in new savings, the moderates refused to back it.
''There is no doubt in my mind he had the votes to win the Speakership, but I'm not sure he had the votes to govern,'' said Kenneth M. Duberstein, a former White House chief of staff close to Mr. Gingrich. ''Some of the litmus-test Republicans were saying we want this and we want that and they were denying him the flexibility to be able to put a governing coalition together.''
So tonight he left, saying, ''I urge my colleagues to pick leaders who can both reconcile and discipline, who can work together and communicate effectively.'' He added, ''They have my prayers and my thoughts as they undertake this task.''
Sounds like EVERYTHING Newt wanted to do was opposed by the moderates AND YET he is ridiculed for it by the 'staunch conservatives' now. Go figure.
>> Maybe if you did the slightest bit of research, you would find that the 1998 election was so bad for Republicans, it was the final straw that forced the leadership to revolt against Gingrich which forced him out as Speaker which lead to his quitting the House altogether. >>
Maybe if you had the slightest bit of historical insight, your analogies wouldn’t be so friggin flawed. That election was not that awful for Republicans - coming off of two historic events:
A: that they just captured some 54 seats they had NEVER HELD BEFORE four years earlier - meaning there were very many traditionally held Dem seats that were going to go back
B: Just come off the poorly handled (by Lindsay Graham and the Senate) Clinton Impeachment
C: just come off the disasterous Dole Kemp campaign in 96.
Losing just five in light of perspective (look it up, you can perhaps understand it) is far more important than just throwing around a meaningless stat.
You throw around more meaningless stats than ESPN in the middle of a rout.
You can spew all the subjective clap trap you want but these are the facts:
During the 1998 midterm elections, Republicans lost five seats in the House of Representativesthe worst performance in 64 years for a party that didn't hold the presidency.
Now if you have some facts to show this statement wrong...
No one has disputed the facts, only the analysis and explanation for the loss of seats. You wish to lay the full responsibility for this on the Speaker on his way out the door. It is ironic that you blame Newt for what he did as Speaker which was to be tough, impeach Clinton and continue to oppose moderation. Here's an independent analysis of the defeat ...
The campaign was marked by Republican attacks on the morality of President Clinton, with Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr having released his report on the Lewinsky scandal and House leaders having initiated an inquiry into whether impeachable offenses had occurred. However, exit polls indicated that most voters opposed impeaching Clinton, and predictions of high Republican or low Democratic turnout due to the scandal failed to materialize. Some speculate that the losses reflected a backlash against the Republicans for attacking the popular Clinton.
And Newt's moderate colleagues proceeded to blame him for being too conservative and set forth a more moderate course. Again, Newt's stance was the more principled one in hindsight.
A wave of Republican discontent with Speaker Newt Gingrich prompted him to resign shortly after the election.
>> You can spew all the subjective clap trap you want but these are the facts: >.
Subjective clap trap is called analysis - commentary - perspective. Anyone can recite statistics as long as they have google. Sometimes statistics are telling and sometimes they are not. This one is not.
Speaking of stats: this one is not significant because there haven’t been very many instances when the out of power party in the White House was the majority party in the House - only I think 7 times - and even fewer times - only twice - when that situation happened to Republicans.
So you may think you’ve wowed someone with your “64 Years” but its still an odd combination of situations that rarely happens. And speaking of stats: this regardless, a -5 seat loss is still barely 1% and was not a functional loss.
Now I’ve nuked you objectively and subjectively.
“Newt will take Boehner to the woodshed, BIG TIME.”
Time for a history lesson ...
The coup in 1995 was because Newt went soft siding with moderates Republicans and Clinton, and shutting out “conservatives.”
In 1998 the House was poised to pick up 30 seats, they lost 5.
GINGRICH S DEPARTURE RECALLS HIS FAST RISE \ HE PUT BLAME ON OTHERS, AS DID THE MAN HE REPLACED
Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) - Sunday, November 8, 1998
Author: David Hess, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
It might have been a reasonable argument from the ivory tower of a college political scientist. Among the restive conservatives in the House, it was an act of sedition.
As the conservatives, led by Reps. David M. McIntosh (R., Ind.) and Steve Largent (R., Okla.), seethed over the budget deal, the country moved ahead to the Nov. 3 congressional elections. For House Republicans, the outcome was a stunning setback. After expecting to pick up as many as 30 seats , they lost five - narrowing their already slim majority to 223-212 and worsening their prospect for achieving their goals.
And that was the opening for Gingrich s detractors, providing the excuse for moving to depose him, a move that had every appearance of becoming successful. His leadership had been sorely tested, they argued, and found wanting.
``We have to have new leadership or we will lose the majority in 2000, said Rep. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a social conservative who has long harbored doubts about Gingrich s ideological purity and leadership skills.
``I think you cant get there from here with Gingrich leading the team, added Rep. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who spearheaded an abortive coup against the speaker last year following Gingrich s rebuke by the House ethics committee for lying to the panel about the source of money for some college courses he designed and taught.
Gingrich has complained to his closest allies that his tormentors do not understand what it takes to govern in a diverse society, that philosophical flexibility is indispensable to getting things done.
But his detractors insist that it is Gingrich who has lost his way.
First, they say, Gingrich buckled in 1995 when President Clinton resisted the GOPs substantial budget cuts in a wide range of federal programs and the government shut down. To this day, many House conservatives believe they could have won that argument if Gingrich had stuck to the message and faced Clinton down.
Instead, the President deftly portrayed the Gingrich -led Republicans as irresponsible radicals and restored his own flagging popularity as a tough-minded leader. In the next congressional elections, in 1996, Democrats picked up a number of seats and reduced Gingrich s House majority, making the task of managing his fractious forces even more difficult.
Then came the ethics mess. In 1997, Gingrich had to admit wrongdoing and pony up a $300,000 fine to reimburse Congress for part of the cost of the inquiry.
Weakened by that episode, Gingrich seemed ripe for dethroning as a band of young turks, led by Graham , conspired with Majority Leader Dick Armey and Whip Tom DeLay, both of Texas, to unseat him.
But Armey, at the last minute, demurred and most Republican mainstreamers rallied behind Gingrich , thwarting the coup - but inflicting a wound in party unity that never fully healed.
Largely unspoken in the post-mortems of Gingrich s tenure was the difficulty of fulfilling the dual role he played as the speaker of the House - traditionally a figure who tries to rise above the meanness of partisan politics - and as the self-appointed minister of Republican propaganda and provocation.
``In the end, said Perry of Sweet Briar College, ``he became too hot for his party after becoming too hot for centrist voters who saw him as a disturbing figure.
Last spring, when the Oval Office sex scandal was commanding center stage, Gingrich weighed in with sharp criticism of the Presidents moral lapses and pledged he would ``never make another speech without mentioning it.
What Gingrich neglected to foresee was the backlash from moderate voters who deplored Clinton s behavior but did not think it rated the guillotine. The same voters perceive Gingrich as a highly partisan and divisive figure, whose own ethics had been held up to scrutiny. Gingrich soon drew back from openly chastising Clinton .
What's the alternative? To just bend over and say, "Thank you, sir! Give me another?"
Obviously, nobody knows what the future holds and a man's past is a rational basis on which to rest your expectations of his future actions. I'm not as big a Newt fan as I once was and his obvious malleability on issues shows he's susceptible to political pressure.
Sure, he bends with the political winds, and that's why I have at least some hopes that there are enough Tea Partiers elected to serve as either a windbreaker or even a huge, gigantic fan like they use in movies to create wind.
That's why we need to a elect a TON of Tea Partiers. To outnumber those who go native.
I wish a more authentic Conservative like Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum or even Duncan Hunter would be our nominee but we can't be blamed for their lack of ability to create enthusiasm for their candidacy.
This is nowhere near over so there's still time for a more Conservative candidate to emerge. We'll see.
As for me, I'll continue to love pure and chaste from afar. To reach for the uncreachable.....unreachable star.