Skip to comments.Ruben Navarrette: Everything's coming up Newt
Posted on 11/19/2011 1:58:34 PM PST by TitansAFC
SAN DIEGO Newt Gingrich got his new spot atop the GOP presidential field the old-fashioned way: He earned it.
You have to give him credit. And you have to respect his remarkable climb to the upper tier of GOP candidates.
After all, this is a candidate whose campaign was, just a few months ago, running on empty. Political experts all pronounced the Gingrich campaign over and done with.
But the ace up Gingrich's sleeve is that he rarely has a problem saying exactly what is on his mind, and as someone whom Republican constituents and political pundits alike often describe as the smartest person in this race he has a lot on his mind. The former House speaker is a master communicator, and Republican voters are hungry for someone who can express his views well.
Add to that a series of strong debates. While political observers say Rick Perry and Herman Cain have hurt their campaigns with poor performances, the opposite is true for Gingrich. Lately, whenever he debates his poll numbers go up. Part of this might be that many Republicans say they would love for Gingrich to be the party's nominee if for no other reason than to see him go one-on-one with Barack Obama. Now the second look that Gingrich is getting from voters has led him to first place.
A Fox News poll shows that Gingrich's support among GOP primary voters has doubled in the last three weeks from 12 percent to 23 percent. Perry and Cain have lost support, and much of it seems to have found its way to Gingrich. Mitt Romney is stuck at 22 percent.
And, among those conservative voters who are part of the influential tea party movement, Gingrich is the top pick of 35 percent while Cain has the support of 20 percent and Romney is backed by just 15 percent. Not all the news is positive, however. Gingrich is still saddled with enough personal baggage to fill an airplane hangar.
There is the personal; both of his earlier marriages ended because of his infidelity, something he later tried to shrug off by telling an interviewer that he had made mistakes in his married life because he was working too hard. And the professional; Gingrich is currently fending off reporters' questions about his relationship with Freddie Mac. His consulting outfit, the Gingrich Group, was paid between $1.6 million and $1.8 million to offer what Gingrich claims was strategic advice over a long period of time to the government-backed mortgage lender.
There may still be more skeletons in this closet. But in the end, GOP primary voters might not care. In a struggling economy plagued with a flood of foreclosures and high unemployment, they might conclude that they're not as worried about a candidate's finances nearly as much as they are their own. And they may resent the media for trying to tell them that they should feel otherwise, and appreciate even more the fact that
Gingrich is so good at putting reporters in their place.
What makes his surge so impressive is that Gingrich has done it not through a massive infusion of funding, or with a national organization that comes from having run for president before, or by being the darling of the media. He has done it on perseverance and determination, and by showcasing his strengths. He has earned his new standing in the polls and his return to the spotlight through something as simple as talent and hard work. That's the way it ought to be.
There is no doubt that Gingrich is a divisive and polarizing figure. In fact, in that regard, he is not unlike the last three occupants of the White House.
But, as we have now learned, Gingrich is also a fighter who hits hard and doesn't give up. Come to think of it, those might not be bad qualities to have in a president.
A fair question, though I would argue his record is one of a Conservative who does fight to eliminate government (Welfare Reform, et al). It is, however, an astronomically more difficult task to eliminate federal offices than state or local offices.
My primary concern begins with the SCOTUS, and my secondary concern is the National Debt/Federal Deficit. Aside from Romney, I think all contenders will come through on these things. Shrinking the government begins with starving the beast and forcing unwanted efficiency. Newt is a stalwart on these things.
BTW - I am truly sorry for Perry’s fall; it was not the least bit fair or deserved. He is the one guy in the running who actually took the time to serve his country in the Armed Forces, which does not get enough play these days. Such valor should earn more grace among Conservatives than it does these days.
Yep..another Bush progressive. Navarette seals the deal.
See also: Andy Rooney.
Not going to win. It will be a disaster if he gets the nomination. The left (and the MSM) will have a field day with him.
I would add Cain to that list with Romney. He is a candidate with no record and no firm positions.
If Newt ends up the candidate I will support him. I don't think Perry is done yet. We will see where we are after SC & FL.
You tell me.
The sites I found were applying the word “Conservative” to Ruben.
Of course, they were doing this for Chrissie Matthews several years ago as well.*
Newt and Ruben are buddies, and agree on amnesty for illegals, er I mean a “path to citizenship” (as they fraudulently term it).
Rush Limbaugh attested to that very issue on his radio show recently...the smear on Newt.... and David Limbaugh, wrote an article about the media smears on Newt and Cain. Anyone that thinks the media is pumping up Newt or his poll numbers is not in the real world.
In some ways he's an unpredictable and unreliable RINO and often the same kind of conservative.
But, in the face of Obama, I'll support his effort.
“cranky old spoiled conservatives who would rather eat their own than defeat Obama”
The Bachman, Perry and Romney folks have already read us that warning: “Vote for our guy or lose to Obama!”
He’s not that old, he’s not a “geezer”, and he’d mop the floor with the competition. The left/MSM will have a field day with ANY conservative; surely you understand that. If not, get it now.
Sometimes a nation finds itself in such dire straights that only a low-down dirty bastard has what it takes to fix the problems.
I think Newt has what it takes. I prefer Cain at this point but could support Newt if Cain continues to falter.
What’s in it for La Raza? That’s all Reuben cares about.
As for him not being on our side (that would be Americans), that’s putting it mildly.
The term RINO has lost it’s impact from over-use but surely you don’t deny that Newt has had his serious lapses in judgement that were not “conservative.”
Pelosi and Scozzafava to name two.
What the hell makes you think I am on the Cain Train? He seems like a nice man, but let's face it, he is not ready for prime time. I will vote for him in the general if he is the nominee, but not in the primary.
I am not currently backing any candidate. I can't believe we find ourselves at this point in the campaign with such a weak field. Incredibly disappointing, considering the weakness of Obama and the fact that this election should have been a cake walk for the GOP.
For whom will I vote in the primary? My vote doesn't count because I live in New England. My state will vote for Mitt.
But I still stand by what I said earlier: If Newt is the nominee, Obama will get four more years. And the MSM knows it and is starting to smell blood.
I wish the bashers would at least be honest enough to tell us who they DO support, how they could beat obummer, and how they could act quickly and decisively enough to save our country.
All they want to do come in and "drive by bash".
That is demeaning to FR.
Appreciate the ping
When Newt wins Iowa, what will that do to you?