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Game Over. Newt Gingrich.
Hasn’t experience taught him the perils of public temper tantrums?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - February 6, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

In the wake of his “blowout” defeat in Nevada, Newt Gingrich, with his “bitter, angry press conference (sort of a combination of Howard Dean’s scream and Richard Nixon’s White House farewell speech)“, contends Jennifer Rubin, “confirmed what we strongly suspected in Florida: Gingrich’s presidential campaign is caput, whether he knows it or not.”

We wonder whether his advisors warned him against just such an outburst, telling him how poorly it would play.

On Facebook and throughout the blogosphere, conservative friends and aspiring pundits have criticized the former Speaker’s petulance.   A Romney critic offered, “Gingrich needs to stop complaining and talking about himself. Elections are not therapy sessions.”

Indeed, we may have to call upon a skilled therapist to understand not why Newt whined about his loss, but why, he, with nearly forty years experience on the public stage, would fail to realize how such an outburst could hurt him.  Is it due, as Stacy McCain contends, to the former Speaker’s “tendency to think of himself as a person so transcendently important that the rules which govern the behavior of normal people don’t apply to him“?

This after he has suffered from such outbursts before.  And not just in the current campaign.  As McCain puts it:

One might have thought that his experience as Speaker of the House, of being tossed aside by his own Republican caucus and forced into more than a decade of political exile, would have taught Gingrich a lesson about the need to rein in his ego. But his resort to scapegoating (see my Tuesday column, “Fear and Loathing in the Sunshine State“) would seem to indicate that he has learned nothing

Indeed.  It appears he has learned nothing from his experience.  “Clearly,”  Ed Morrissey observes, “this race has become personal for Gingrich.  That may be good for the candidate, but is it good for the Republican Party?

It’s almost as if he has come to see this race not about articulating a conservative vision of American renewal, but about conducting his own personal vendetta.  As his former colleague Dick Armey put it:

He’s putting himself out of the game, because he can’t get over his obsession over his own hurt feelings over the campaign in Iowa. . . . He needs to get beyond that and get to the nation’s people’s business if he expects to have any chance whatsoever.

And since he has, so far, shown no inclination to get beyond his bitterness, it looks like he’s burying what little chance he has left.



  1. Newt may be done, but Jennifer Rubin is the last person I’m going to go to to read about it. She has been behaving exactly like Newt towards anyone who isn’t Romney.

    Comment by Leah — February 6, 2012 @ 11:17 am - February 6, 2012

  2. […] Many people disagree with Santorum on issues, but still respect his sincerity and consistency and, like a lot of other Republicans, Dan was disgusted by Newt’s Nevada meltdown. […]

    Pingback by Mitt’s Big Guns Now Trained On Santorum « Nice Deb — February 6, 2012 @ 11:25 am - February 6, 2012

  3. I just watched the portion of the Newt speech that everyone is going on about… I don’t see it as a melt-down at all…. Well, not by Newt style melt-downs anyway. It’s not as if Mitt was not expected to win by a comfortable margin anyway. I think Newt should keep going. What’s it going to hurt?

    Comment by sonicfrog — February 6, 2012 @ 12:21 pm - February 6, 2012

  4. To answer your post title question, no. The guy is a con man who is using all the Tea Party ideals to win support. He doesn’t really believe those ideas. My votes for Mitt Romney.

    Comment by Scherie — February 6, 2012 @ 1:01 pm - February 6, 2012

  5. “Petulant” is exactly the word I used to describe him to my partner, who is all for him. Of course I acknowledge his vast knowlege and the ability to use it sharply. Folks with very sharp tongues can often be petulant. However, he seems to really want to take his ball and go home to DC. Several weeks ago his attitude turned me off of him and back to Romney.

    I was on the fence with Romney during the last election, preferring the war hearo and Washington maverick. However, this time it is clear to me. Romney may not have the razor tongue that Newt has, but I dare say that he is right up there in the smarts department. Moreover, he has run major businesses very successfully.

    As to Santorum and Paul, God preserve us from those nutjobs and their ilk. Paul? Really?

    Comment by Leon — February 6, 2012 @ 9:53 pm - February 6, 2012

  6. It is Mitt Romney and his campaign are destroying the Republican Party. They have dismissed the conservatives, independents, and Tea Party. I am conservative and I will not vote for Romney in Nov. if he is the nominee. Romney is not conservative. He is another liberal Democrat and is a progressive. It is going to be just like 2008 all over again when McCain lost to Obama.

    Comment by anonymous — February 7, 2012 @ 5:24 am - February 7, 2012

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