Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Newt Gingrich Gains more Newtmentum...And acts as Though he's Already Won

So here we have a second burst of momentum for the Gingrich faction. This is good news for Newt supporters like myself, given that I believe him to be the best man for the job in light of the loss of Herman Cain, and the fizzling of Michelle Bachmann's campaign. Yet even as he regains lost momentum and stands to become the frontrunner once more, it appears as though Newt's ego may be a bit of a detriment to his goal of attaining the nomination and the White House. I'm speak of a new story via Hot Air in which Gingrich appears to have hinted at Rick Santorum to drop out of the race and endorse him:

Mr. Gingrich made clear that he is not asking Mr. Santorum to leave the race, but the remark reflects the boastfulness the former speaker often displays when he feels a sudden boost in momentum.
“I would be delighted if he decided to endorse me,” he told reporters here after being asked if Mr. Santorum should drop out. “I’m respectful that Rick has every right to run as long as he feels that’s what he should do. But from the standpoint of the conservative movement, consolidating into a Gingrich candidacy would, in fact, virtually guarantee victory on Saturday.”
Mr. Santorum essentially tied Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses and Mr. Gingrich for fourth place in last week’s New Hampshire primary. But Mr. Gingrich often says [he] is the only Republican contender who can run a national campaign besides front-runner Mr. Romney. “I don’t think Santorum could do any of that,” he said. “It’s not because he’s not a nice guy, he just doesn’t have the knowledge that I do.
I enjoy reading Tina Korbe, but honestly I think the headline of this piece is a little misleading and a tad disingenuous. Gingrich did not in fact say, as is perfectly evident above, that he would be delighted if Santorum dropped out of the race. Honestly, who wouldn't be delighted to have a former rival come forward and make himself an ally? I'm betting the same would be true of Santorum being delighted if Newt dropped out and endorsed him, rather than the other way around. It seems to me, and is implied by Tina herself, that Gingrich's mistake (if indeed a mistake was made, which I'm not certain is the case here) was that he said it out loud. Funny, nobody said anything about it being a mistake when Newt lambasted both Ron Paul and Juan Williams. Why should another direct answer to a question that was in all actuality nothing but the truth be any different than those two debate follow ups? I don't know.

Another interesting development comes via the blog Motivation Truth. I don't stop off there as often as I do some other sites, but this time it proved interesting and relevant to my following of Newt's campaign. The author of the blog reports that apparently, Sarah Palin has all but endorsed the former speaker by saying "If I were a South Carolinian, I'd vote for Newt." Now, it's not an official endorsement by any means, but even a whisper of approval from Sarah Palin is worth listening to, given her power to change debates with a single Facebook note or Twitter post. Does this mean that the former Alaska governor has chosen her candidate and is only giving us a taste of what might be, as was her style back when we were all asking the question of whether or not Sarah herself would make a run for the White House? Only time will tell. In the meantime, my watchdog duties will continue.

Returning to the issue of Newt being delighted should Santorum endorse him, it would appear that the boastful Newt has returned, at least for now. But then, every politician to some degree is boastful. Even Ronald Reagan, by far one of the humblest presidents I've ever known of, had a bit of gravitas and pride that gave him the steel spine he needed to take on and defeat the Soviet Union. I don't believe that this one remark about Santorum is in any way going to really hurt Newt, but that could of course be wishful thinking on my part, however unlikely the possibility.

Lastly, my support of Newt largely comes from his stances on things like national security, his record as Speaker of the House in the nineties, and his belief that every American has the right to pursue happiness and should earn their own money through a job rather than having it handed to them by Uncle Sam. Santorum's social stances strike a chord with me, but without the economic and foreign policy stances (though I admit to knowing nothing about Santorum's foreign policy ideas) the man sort of rings hollow to me, as if he were a sort of "incomplete" candidate. There is one issue, however, where I believe they both have a good position that is effective and appealing. Santorum wants to aggressively attack the debt and slowly reform Social Security, and Newt would rather aggressively reform SS first and then take care of the debt little by little. Either plan would work if properly implemented and handled with discipline and foresight, because either way both goals get achieved. All in all, that particular stance is six of one, half a dozen of the other to me.