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Newt surging* because he’s standing up to legacy media

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - January 20, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Media Bias

I have yet to watch a single debate, learning about them only through blog reports, on-line transcripts and Youtube clips. I don’t think the format is conducive to a serious discussion of the issues and believe you can learn more about a candidate by considering his record and reviewing his platform.

Having interned for Newt, I come away with two opinions about the man, one a great appreciation, the other a serious concern.  The former Speaker is truly a man of ideas, a visionary, as Rick Perry put it in his endorsement.  He is sharp on the stump and determined in debates, yet he is also full of himself, convinced of his world-historical mission, much like the man he seeks to replace.

He has been surging of late in the polls not so much because of his ideas, but because he alone of the candidates has been standing up to the media.  Just from reading Facebook, I can see how excited my conservatives friends are about how he zinged John King for bringing up his marital issues (more of that distraction journalism–folks like King can’t complain about the state of our political discourse, they’re promoting it).

Standing to the media does not, however, equal the capacity to lead the nation and serve in an executive capa.  Stirring rhetoric, as we have learned these past three years, does not equate to executive competence.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I cannot support for former boss for the Republican nomination — even as I understand and appreciate his appeal.  It’s about time a prominent figure challenged the media head-on.

*(among Republicans)

RELATED: Newt is an idea man, not an executive

ALSO RELATED:  Glenn Reynolds quips, “PRESS NOT VERY INTERESTED IN COVERING Gingrich’s standing ovation for standing up against the press. Go figure.”



  1. Newt Gingrich is the type that a strong, imaginative POTUS would empower as roving Cabinet-rank Inspector-General and Provocateur…unleashed on the Bureaucracy to travel, poke-about-in-corners, and imagineer reforms and re-inventions of the various agencies and departments for better efficiency and paring-down the redundancies and absurdities that exist. To be set-loose on the bureaucracy like FDR sent Eleanor Roosevelt to be fresh eyes-and-ears outside the West Wing power-loop.

    But Gingrich as the Chief Executive? **shudder**

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — January 20, 2012 @ 12:43 pm - January 20, 2012

  2. Ted, we have similar thoughts; any wise Republican would want Newt in his brain trust, perhaps a cabinet member without portfolio, to advise the president in broad terms, but not to set specific policy.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 20, 2012 @ 12:46 pm - January 20, 2012

  3. This sounds an awful lot like what Algore was supposed to do in the first Clinton adminstration (Bill Clinton 1 — god forbid that I imply a second (Hillary) Clinton adminstration). So, are we saying Newt for Veep? I have to say I would find Romney more interesting with Newt as his VP. But, is Newt to busy burning down those bridges to make that a possibility?

    Comment by GayExPatNorth(Toronto) — January 20, 2012 @ 1:22 pm - January 20, 2012

  4. Newt as the Veep? …Would never work. I was thinking more along the lines of the venerable and ancient Barrayaran Imperial Auditor as an example.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — January 20, 2012 @ 1:53 pm - January 20, 2012

  5. I doubt we’ll see another presidential ticket consisting of two white guys again in my lifetime.

    Comment by V the K — January 20, 2012 @ 2:13 pm - January 20, 2012

  6. I think you could do a lot worse considering his record and reviewing his platform. How much do we hear how important this race is? So Newt is the nominee-you’ll have one candidate full of himself who can fix things and isn’t afraid of being politically correct vs. a candidate who is full of himself and offers no hope to this country whatsoever. I’m not talking about settling-we’ve got four good guys up there that have a lot to offer-but which one is going to hit back-really hit back. Is Romney going to defend Mormonism by contrasting it with black liberation theology or is he going to pull a McCain? Santorum, God bless him, is wonderful, and he really showed what he can do last night-but can he shine?? We need strength, and Newt’s got it. How long do you think he’ll allow O’s condescending tone to last? People don’t want to hear about what Newt did years ago, they want to hear what O’s not doing now.

    Comment by Melissa — January 20, 2012 @ 3:13 pm - January 20, 2012

  7. Melissa, but will independent voters, fed up of Obama’s condescension, warm to Newt’s?

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 20, 2012 @ 3:18 pm - January 20, 2012

  8. I haven’t seen the ABC interview with Gingrich’s ex-wife #2, nor do I care to watch it. Just like Gingrich himself, I don’t consider her to be a credible witness about what exactly happened during their marriage. Media bias is a given IMO, but this is one of the few times I actually find myself agreeing with Santorum. Yes, Santorum:

    “I’ve answered this question repeatedly throughout the course of this campaign. I am a Christian too. And I thank God for forgiveness. But, you know, these — these are issues of our lives and what we did in our lives. They are issues of character for people to consider. But the bottom line is those are — those are things for everyone in this audience to look at. And they’re going to look at me, look at what I’ve done in my private life and personal life, unfortunately.”

    The questions that Gingrich is facing regarding his past marriages are legitimate, even if his supposedly asking for an “open marriage” sounds more than a bit salacious. This man helped lead the charge in the 90s against Bill Clinton for the man’s own failings, which I agreed with then and still do. Yet now, after years of Republicans like Gingrich telling us that “character counts” and that those who break their marriage vows cannot be trusted to keep promises they make while running for office, we’re supposed to ignore all of this because of his own serial adultery. Gingrich seems to be parroting Clinton in demanding that we separate his personal life from his ability to do the job as president. Yeah… okay. No hypocrisy or extreme moral flip-flopping there. /sarc

    So should I believe the Gingrich of the 90s who exploited Clinton’s ugly mess or the one today who’s saying something different in order to become president? Hmm…

    For all of Bill Clinton’s failing, and Lord knows there were many, at least he never dumped his wife, married his mistress, dumped her in order to marry yet another mistress. He also never put Monica Lewinsky or any other woman he cheated with up as First Lady.

    Having said this, while I cannot see the man as president I do agree that Gingrich is a good ideas man (even if I don’t always agree with him) and would probably make a very good cabinet officer.

    Oh, one more thing about that asinine interview with Gingrich ex-wife #2, this commentor at Box Turtle Bulletin brings up something good that ABC “News” apparently forgot to ask about during their hatchet-job interview:

    I couldn’t bare to watch the interview with wife number two (W#2) but I’m curious. When W#2 was telling her story of what a[expletive deleted] Gingrich was, did she mention, or apologize to W#1 for, being a BIG part of doing to her (W#1) what Gingrich and W#3 did to her (W#2)?

    Comment by JohnAGJ — January 20, 2012 @ 4:31 pm - January 20, 2012

  9. Who’s that good lookin’ feller on the right?

    Comment by TGC — January 20, 2012 @ 5:27 pm - January 20, 2012

  10. I’m warming to the idea of a Romney/Paul ticket. I’ve observed that both men have a curious reluctance to attack one another as they do the other candidates.

    As for Newt, he’s got some great ideas and some ideas (like his clinging to the philosophy that the feds should help people afford homes) which is why I’d be comfortable with him in an advisory role so someone can filter and manage his brain dumps of raw ideas and craft them into cohesive policies. But his personality is somewhat of a deal breaker for me. The way he behaved after losing Iowa was such an eye opener for me. And then as he sat in interview after interview insisting that he is still going to do a positive campaign and in the same breath, nearly spitting attacks at Mitt Romney and then claiming he wasn’t upset about what had happened in Iowa. And then the whole class warfare arguments. It was just a very ugly side of Newt that I am quite certain would show up at some point in a race against Barack Obama.

    While Newt and Obama are both quite full of themselves with very thin skins, who do you imagine would come out with the accurate perception? Would the media portray Obama as the big headed baby? Or would they assign that narrative to Gingrich?

    At the end of the day, I’d vote Gingrich over Obama in a heartbeat. But I would sleep a lot easier at night if someone less volatile were the nominee.

    Comment by Jimmy — January 20, 2012 @ 8:44 pm - January 20, 2012

  11. so, just what is mittens’ plan or vision i mean hell he keeps flipping and flopping… Dan last time we spoke you were attempting to convince me to support mittens, yet at the same time you were having trouble convincing yourself… i cannot trust mittens to take a strong stand on anything, at least Newt IS standing up to those who would rather see this country descend lower than this admin has already taken it and us.

    As for rp.. cut me a friggin break.. the guy who said he would not have risked American lives to help save the Jews during WWII?! and doncha just love the way he sets up earmarks …. go over to weasel zippers or gateway pundit and do a search on him… he’s a libertarian, then he should run as one and not as a republican.

    Comment by formerly left leaning lesbian — January 20, 2012 @ 10:05 pm - January 20, 2012

  12. Daniel, you hit it on the head! Way too many conservatives are rah-rah because Newt slams the Leftywhore media. So did another Republican. Richard Nixon. Look what happened to him. And the United States. Newt reminds me more and more of Nixon. And in no postitive way. Let us think about Newt before we give him the nomination. I know that you hae political problems with Santorum, but he is much better, thoughtful in delivering a coherent, conservative message. And all this maybe for naught if in the end Romney is the nominee. And the next states are big ones, not particulary Newt-friendly.

    Comment by Mark J. Goluskin — January 21, 2012 @ 3:15 pm - January 21, 2012

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