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Here comes Newt!
The Hill ^ | February 16, 2007 | Dick Morris

Posted on 02/16/2007 5:58:43 AM PST by PDR

To echo the famous Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige: “Don’t look back, Newt Gingrich might be gaining on you.” Newt, consigned by many observers to Elizabeth Dole or Dan Quayle status in this GOP nominating process, appears to be moving up into contention, overtaking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and battling to be the conservative alternative to either former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani or Arizona Sen. John McCain.

To grasp what’s happening, don’t think of states like New Hampshire or Iowa or worry whether it’s too early or too late. The key to following the Republican presidential nominating process this year is to recognize its essential similarity to the tennis’s U.S. Open at Forest Hills. There are quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals.

In the quarter-finals, the center and the right each sort out the nominees to choose their candidate. On center court, Giuliani seems to be gaining a decisive lead over McCain’s impoverished presidential campaign. But on the right-hand court, unnoticed by most pundits, Gingrich seems to be building a lead over Romney and a host of conservative wannabes. The ultimate winner of the Giuliani/McCain quarter-final will face the winner of the Gingrich/Romney match-up in the semi-finals.

As McCain drops in the polls — he’s down to 22 percent while Rudy is up at 34 percent in the latest Fox News poll — some conservatives seem eager for a “real Republican” to challenge for the nomination. Their first choice, former Virginia Sen. George Allen, lies a-moldering in the grave and his runner-up, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, has gone home to Tennessee.

Most observers assumed that Romney would fill the void. But he doesn’t seem to have been able to do so. It may be a racist refusal to vote for a Mormon or, more charitably, Romney’s flip-flop-flip from pro-life to pro-choice to pro-life, or it may have been his inconsistency on gay issues, but Mitt seems to be going the way of his father — out of contention. The Fox News poll, which recorded a surge to up to 8 percent of the GOP vote in its Dec. 5-6 tally, now has Romney dropping back to only 3 percent of the vote.

Enter Newt. Hungry for new ideas and desperate after losing Congress, Republican voters seem to be rallying to the only real genius in the race — the former Speaker. The statute of limitations seems to have expired on his personal scandals and Gingrich is striking a responsive chord among conservatives.

Fox News’s Jan. 30-31 survey had Newt leaving Romney way behind and challenging McCain for second place. The former Speaker’s vote share was 15 percent, giving him third place in the current standings.

Episodically, I just addressed a 450-person Lincoln Day dinner of the Lane County Republican Party in Eugene, Ore. A show of hands brought these results: Giuliani, 50 percent; Gingrich, 30 percent; McCain, 6 percent; Romney, 4 percent. A few days before, a speech to an Orlando investors group produced similar results.

But, as the slogan of the New York State Lottery goes: “You can’t win if you don’t play.” Newt’s current posture of waiting until the fall of 2007 to see how the process sorts itself out won’t work. The process abhors a vacuum. If Gingrich doesn’t move out to respond to the affection of the GOP base, one of the minor-leaguers — Huckabee, Brownback, Gilmore, Thompson, Hunter or Tancredo — will.

The irony of the GOP field at the moment is that while most Republicans are conservatives, the two frontrunners — Rudy and McCain — are moderates. And this isn’t Nelson Rockefeller’s Republican Party anymore! Gingrich is filling a real political need and if he moves out smartly and files his paperwork, takes his announcement bows, and journeys to Iowa and New Hampshire as a candidate, he might well be a contender.

Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of “Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race.” To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to www.dickmorris.com.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; election; gingrich; gop; newt; newtgingrich
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I suspect this will generate considerable comment.... and I hope it does.
1 posted on 02/16/2007 5:58:44 AM PST by PDR
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To: PDR

Newt's a brilliant man.

Which is why the left considers him evil. In their eyes, conservatives are either dumb or evil.


2 posted on 02/16/2007 5:59:52 AM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: PDR

Newt 2008. Nuff said.


3 posted on 02/16/2007 6:00:02 AM PST by devane617 (Let's take back our country -- get a job in the MSM, or education system. We need you.)
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To: PDR

I'll pick Newt over McCain or Giuliani.


4 posted on 02/16/2007 6:01:12 AM PST by marvlus
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To: PDR
Can you imagine the additions to the SCOTUS that we would get with Newt at the helm?

Then it would just be a matter of getting enough incriminating photos of leading Dems to get them approved.

5 posted on 02/16/2007 6:02:27 AM PST by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: PDR
...racist refusal to vote for a Mormon...

I guess the toe sucker doesn't realize that Mormans are not a race.

6 posted on 02/16/2007 6:02:58 AM PST by Founding Father (The Pedophile moHAMmudd (PBUH---Pigblood be upon him))
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To: marvlus
I'll pick Newt over McCain or Giuliani.

Definitely. I can't imagine who wouldn't.

7 posted on 02/16/2007 6:03:30 AM PST by DungeonMaster (Acts 17:11 also known as sola scriptura.)
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To: PDR
Just my opinion but I think Newt is vying for the Vice Presidency, and being a big Newt fan it is something I would like to see.
8 posted on 02/16/2007 6:05:12 AM PST by DKNY ("You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." --Margaret Thatcher)
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To: PDR

I'd love to see it. I just have a hard time picturing how he can overcome the picture the MSM painted of him while he was speaker.


9 posted on 02/16/2007 6:06:01 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: PDR; TitansAFC
TitansAFC brought something closer to our attention.

GOP Candidates' Squabbling Is 'Dumb,' Gingrich Says
New York Sun ^ | 2/16/07 | Matthew Chayes
Posted on 02/15/2007 9:18:48 PM PST by B Knotts

Excerpt:
"Mr. Gingrich also said candidates shouldn't spend two years running for president. For his part, the former congressman said he would decide by September whether to launch his own White House bid and join the crowded field."

"...by September..."
10 posted on 02/16/2007 6:06:04 AM PST by familyop (Essayons)
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To: onyx; MAF; catholicfreeper; Howlin; AmishDude; conservatrice; Rex Anderson; dmw; alisasny; ...

ping.


11 posted on 02/16/2007 6:06:33 AM PST by PDR
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To: devane617

I love Newt AND Duncan Hunter.... I'd be happy with either, but I fear the DBM/MSM will dredge up the past and pound away at Newt and destroy him again like they did Allen.


12 posted on 02/16/2007 6:07:25 AM PST by demkicker (In the minority or majority, I'll never stop kicking dems)
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To: Founding Father

if one hates Jews or Catholics because of their faith it is, correctly in my view, defined as racism... so I think Morris is correct, at least as a matetr of language.


13 posted on 02/16/2007 6:07:52 AM PST by PDR
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To: PDR

I like Newt and would vote for him, but he doesn't have a chance of winning the Presidency. The media can too easily rally public hatred against the guy. His unfavorable ratings will be over 40% and that is too large to overcome.

The guy that will win presidency is one who has low unfavorables ( a milk toast, who is passive and uncontroversial and does not appear too Christian, not too intellectual).

Newt is too smart. The public hate intellectuals.
He is too combative, they hate people who will fight for what is right.

He is too conservative, and will be rbanded a right wing zealot which is worse than being branded a homosexual zealot.


14 posted on 02/16/2007 6:09:48 AM PST by Mark Felton ("Wisdom is supreme...and though it cost all you have, get understanding" -- Proverbs 4)
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To: demkicker

I worry that Newt will bring out democrat voters in force. I think he would better serve us by endorsing someone like Hunter.


15 posted on 02/16/2007 6:10:46 AM PST by cripplecreek (Peace without victory is a temporary illusion.)
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To: PDR

It's a wait and see for now isn't it. September seems to be the month when allegedly Newt and Gore are supposed to announce decisions.

BTW this was posted already on the 13th with many responses.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1784412/posts


16 posted on 02/16/2007 6:10:48 AM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...call 'em what you will...They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: PDR

Run Newt, Run!!


17 posted on 02/16/2007 6:11:44 AM PST by AdvisorB
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To: mainepatsfan

Well, Hillary is the Democratic frontrunner....and if she was an ordinary citizen would be or would have done jail time. I don't think Newt's speaker period is even close to that. And I truly believe in Clinton-Bush fatigue. We need a break from both families.


18 posted on 02/16/2007 6:11:53 AM PST by sheana
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To: mainepatsfan
"I'd love to see it. I just have a hard time picturing how he can overcome the picture the MSM painted of him while he was speaker."

That's easy. He'll do it by way of the short attention spans and quick tendency toward boredom of most people in our nation today. The media lefties will have to start all over again with a new propaganda campaign against him. And we probably shouldn't make it a point to avoid candidates who touch the nerves of media people and their left/liberal sponsors.
19 posted on 02/16/2007 6:12:17 AM PST by familyop (Essayons)
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To: PDR


If Newt's running, he'd better get it from the beginning and not listen to the likes of Dick Morris.


20 posted on 02/16/2007 6:12:25 AM PST by onyx (DEFEAT Hillary Clinton, Marxist, student of Saul Alinsky & ally and beneficiary of Soros.)
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To: sheana
That'd be his best chance...if Hillary's loathsomeness just overwhelms independent voters.
21 posted on 02/16/2007 6:16:58 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: PDR

Interesting post.

I like Newt. He has IDEAS. I would vote for him.

Yet, I think he will be swimming upstream against history. Has a former speaker of the House ever been elected to the White House?


22 posted on 02/16/2007 6:17:32 AM PST by RexBeach
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To: mainepatsfan
I'd love to see it. I just have a hard time picturing how he can overcome the picture the MSM painted of him while he was speaker.

My fear as well. Morris thinks that "The statute of limitations seems to have expired on his personal scandals.." and I respect his political acumen.

Notwithstanding, I think that the Drive-by Media is just waiting for the right moment to dust off this little bottle of poison and pour it into the cauldron. After all, Katie & co. have to do what they can to protect Hillary, don-cha know...

23 posted on 02/16/2007 6:17:43 AM PST by COBOL2Java ("No stronger retrograde force exists in the world" - Winston Churchill on Islam)
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To: PDR

Newt bump


24 posted on 02/16/2007 6:17:56 AM PST by School of Rational Thought (Conservatism - For Thinking People)
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To: Senator Goldwater
I love Newt. But let's be honest. He can't win the general election because he is too "demonizable" by the left. Unfortunately his name (both Newt and Gingrich) lends itself to easy guttural sounds that the left love to use to mock conservatives. Imagine if his name was Rudy or John or even Mitt. Unfortunately name matters in a General Elections.
25 posted on 02/16/2007 6:18:24 AM PST by crymeariver (Good news...in a way)
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To: familyop

True. It would then come down to his ability to get his message out in spite of the MSM.


26 posted on 02/16/2007 6:18:35 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: PDR
He's hated by the sheeple... and they couldn't even tell you why. Next to HRC... I don't think there's a worse candidate as far as 'baggage'(real/imagined) is concerned.

I'd like to see him involved with conservative politics as a consultant... rather than a candidate.

27 posted on 02/16/2007 6:18:36 AM PST by johnny7 ("We took a hell of a beating." -'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell)
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To: PDR

How about a conservative who does not have affairs, divorces and other skeletons? Anyone?


28 posted on 02/16/2007 6:18:41 AM PST by dinoparty
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To: PDR

In the latest Fox News poll 64% of respondents said they would never vote for Gingrich- the highest of any of the listed candidates.


29 posted on 02/16/2007 6:19:32 AM PST by MittFan08 (Anybody but McCain)
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To: crymeariver

I've often said Newt's politcal fortunes would be much greater if his name were different. It's sad but true.


30 posted on 02/16/2007 6:19:34 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: cripplecreek

I disagree. If the media will cover his speeches & debates, Newt can hold his own and will win over all but the devout left-wing kooks. He is without a doubt the most intelligent and articulate public figure around today and that's the reason the left and the media will try to destroy him again.

This time, however, maybe he's lost his arrogance and can survive it.


31 posted on 02/16/2007 6:20:01 AM PST by demkicker (In the minority or majority, I'll never stop kicking dems)
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To: PDR

If Hillary gets the democratic nomination... give me Newt up against her.

2008 may be the last election where the MSM is a player.


32 posted on 02/16/2007 6:20:15 AM PST by Sam_Damon
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To: PDR

Ah, poor Newt! The Dick Morris kiss-of-death has ruined his chances.


33 posted on 02/16/2007 6:20:19 AM PST by expatpat
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To: PDR

I respect Newt but, he will never, ever be President of the United States. Not ever.


34 posted on 02/16/2007 6:20:47 AM PST by Psycho_Bunny
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To: COBOL2Java

I was surprised to read that Morris thought that. No doubt that younger voters don't remember his term as speaker but I don't think that's a very significant number of the electorate. I just can't see Newt getting past the barbs of the MSM like Reagan was able to.


35 posted on 02/16/2007 6:22:30 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: B Knotts

Newt ping.


36 posted on 02/16/2007 6:23:14 AM PST by familyop (Essayons)
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To: MittFan08
In the latest Fox News poll 64% of respondents said they would never vote for Gingrich- the highest of any of the listed candidates.

But, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

I mean, other than that, Newt Gingrich is a great candidate.

37 posted on 02/16/2007 6:23:42 AM PST by Steel Wolf (As Ibn Warraq said, "There are moderate Muslims but there is no moderate Islam.")
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To: Sam_Damon

We can only hope.


38 posted on 02/16/2007 6:24:30 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: johnny7
He's hated by the sheeple... and they couldn't even tell you why. Next to HRC... I don't think there's a worse candidate as far as 'baggage'(real/imagined) is concerned.

Yep, MSM creamed him in '94 and tagged him with so much baggage to make his middle name Samsonite.

39 posted on 02/16/2007 6:25:48 AM PST by onyx (DEFEAT Hillary Clinton, Marxist, student of Saul Alinsky & ally and beneficiary of Soros.)
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To: onyx

Clinton basically ran against him in 1996 rather than Dole.


40 posted on 02/16/2007 6:27:33 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: marvlus

"I'll pick Newt over McCain or Giuliani."

ME TOO!!!


41 posted on 02/16/2007 6:32:48 AM PST by Laserman
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To: mainepatsfan

I hadn't thought of that, but you could be right.

Newt is smart --- I'm sure he's seen the polling and he's probably comissioned his own polling. He's polarizing, but Hillary is too.


42 posted on 02/16/2007 6:32:52 AM PST by onyx (DEFEAT Hillary Clinton, Marxist, student of Saul Alinsky & ally and beneficiary of Soros.)
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To: demkicker

Rudy, and Mitt will get the same beating, maybe worse.


43 posted on 02/16/2007 6:35:34 AM PST by devane617 (Let's take back our country -- get a job in the MSM, or education system. We need you.)
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To: onyx

That's the only reason he'd even have a shot.


44 posted on 02/16/2007 6:36:21 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: mainepatsfan

Personally, I don't like his chances in the general election, but it's way too early for predictions. IF he's going to run, he needs to get in it now and not wait until October.


45 posted on 02/16/2007 6:41:28 AM PST by onyx (DEFEAT Hillary Clinton, Marxist, student of Saul Alinsky & ally and beneficiary of Soros.)
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To: PDR
I thought Dick Morris was convinced it was going to be a Hillary-Condi matchup?

What's with his new fascination with Newt?

46 posted on 02/16/2007 6:43:37 AM PST by Gritty (Giuliani's views on gun control, abortion, homosexual rights are Democrat applause lines-Wes Pruden)
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To: onyx

Agreed but if I had to put money on it today I'd say he won't run.


47 posted on 02/16/2007 6:44:34 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: mainepatsfan
I'd love to see it. I just have a hard time picturing how he can overcome the picture the MSM painted of him while he was speaker.

Hopefully, the same way Hillary's MSM-driven positives will be dashed: By opening their mouths

48 posted on 02/16/2007 6:45:48 AM PST by Mygirlsmom (Life is fatal - no one has ever gotten out alive. Why do the nannies think they can change that?)
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To: Mark Felton

“Newt is too smart. The public hate intellectuals.

“He is too combative, they hate people who will fight for what is right.”

This is the way I see it:

We haven’t had a smart president in a long time. I think many of us would be excited beyond words to have someone with the intellect of Newt.

We also haven’t had a combative president, one who fights for our constitution rather than for the private interest groups while giving the middle finger to “we the people.” The newness of this is going to take the country by storm.

“He is too conservative, and will be rbanded a right wing zealot which is worse than being branded a homosexual zealot.”

A tad far fetched. It is obvious to me you are not a Newt person but prefer one out of the stable of weenies running for president.

But that is your choice, and this is America.


49 posted on 02/16/2007 6:46:58 AM PST by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Mygirlsmom

If he could just keep it close by the time of the debates he'd have a shot.


50 posted on 02/16/2007 6:47:41 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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