January 23, 2012

He's A Mean One, Mr. Gingrich

I need someone to explain the political appeal of Newt Gingrich to me. I just don't get it. And his win in South Carolina made me feel as if I was truly missing something.

As I see it, Gingrich is an egocentric, hypocritical, divisive, ethically-challenged cry-baby with a penchant for leaving critically-ill wives. And - full disclosure - I saw that while a part of me can't help but like the guy. Granted, it's a small part of me.

Now, many of these things cross over from opinion territory into the Land of Fact. Which should really scare Republicans hoping for a 2012 win. To nominate Gingrich is to lock up a win for Obama. And while I don't think there's any candidate who can beat Obama, at least Romney has a fighting chance. Also, I can't believe there's a serious political battle between people named Newt and Mitt.

I ask you - what am I missing? You know where I stand and I promise I'm not trying to pick a fight. I'm just trying to better understand.

Posted by Chris at January 23, 2012 8:31 AM

He holds no punches, and the conservatives are hoping he'll do the same with Obama so they can get some good guffaws...

Posted by: Kaz at January 23, 2012 11:06 AM

I totally agree. I don't get it. Newt Gingrich? I don't see how he would be electable. I feel like it's the mid 1990s when I hear his name.

Posted by: laurs at January 23, 2012 11:21 AM

i am confused and also terrified. the minds of half or more of this country are *truly* terrifying.

Posted by: kati at January 23, 2012 11:45 AM

He's not Romney. That is it. This entire Republican primary process has been about finding somebody that is not Romney.

Posted by: COD at January 23, 2012 11:47 AM

How is it that I don't see anyone likeable running in these primaries. Some are somewhat handsome, nice looking families but they're alway so busy at jabbing at each other. Like poking bears with sticks or something.

Posted by: NancyB at January 23, 2012 1:06 PM

I can't stand the dude so can't help you decipher his appeal but writing to give Kudos re the "Newt" and "Mitt" observation. Heh! It made me chuckle just when I needed one.

Posted by: azita at January 23, 2012 1:19 PM

I vaguely remember seeing a rude political cartoon when Bush (the first?) was running against/alongside Du-cock-is (okay, can you picture it now?).

A Newt is a lizard isn't it? I think it's apt.

Posted by: Procrastamom at January 23, 2012 1:30 PM

I don't see it either. I hopes he just goes away!

Posted by: Maribeth at January 23, 2012 2:00 PM

The adventures of Mittens Romney and his friend the newt. Nice title, by the way, pretty much the best blog post title ever.


Posted by: Jess at January 23, 2012 3:42 PM

I don't get the appeal at all! He is such a racist it scares me! How is it that he supported Clinton's impeachment for cheating on his wife...but goes on to do it...multiple times? And Herman Cain had to be tossed to the side because of infidelity but again, it's ok for Newt? Really? That's rational thinking?

The only thing I can think of is that the Republicans really DON'T want to win the Presidency so they are backing the worst candidates for a sure loss?

Posted by: Lisa at January 23, 2012 4:20 PM

This is completely personal opinion, but I think the people who are backing him WANT a racist in office...to be a reflection of them.

I'm not worried. He has no shot.

Posted by: Ickaboo at January 23, 2012 4:34 PM

And here I was excited to read the comments thinking surely someone here had an an answer that although I didn't necessarily agree with - I could at least kind of sort of understand.

Guess not.

Posted by: Mindy at January 23, 2012 5:41 PM

His opinions are forceful and sometimes original (to the point of being off-the-wall in the past, but he's toned that down). I think people respond to someone who doesn't sound too programmed (a la Mitt).

To me, he is the epitome of the Washington Fat Cat. He has made so many ethically dubious moves in the past, even the very recent past, that he would be set on fire in the general campaign if he faced Obama. Republicans will come to their senses and see this, I suspect.

Posted by: Laura Gato at January 23, 2012 8:58 PM

As a lifelong Republican, I agree with everything you said about Newt...and if he were to get the nomination, I would have a hard time pulling the lever for him (but I would)...it does seem as though Republicans are desperately looking for anyone other than Mitt...totally underwhelmed with the slate of potential Republican nominees... as for names: BARACK? Seriously?

Posted by: pete at January 23, 2012 10:17 PM

I'll vote for Obama but I come from a state that is very RED. This means I'm not so sure of an Obama win as you and it scares me when I see the candidates the Republicans have and believe in. SCARED.

Posted by: daisy at January 24, 2012 8:52 AM

I'm going to have to assume because Newt isn't a Mormon. People will have issues having a mormon president I believe. But, I duno. I haven't followed either party too closely yet. I'm waiting for the MD primaries, which isn't for another 3 months I believe. When we get closer to that, I'll research all the goods and evils and choose my poison.

Meh, screw it. I'm writing in Colbert. He can win.

Posted by: Kim at January 24, 2012 8:57 AM

I don't have a television (I know! It's been about 5 months and I think I want one back) so while I stream Breaking Bad, I don't get any American News.

My impression had been that Obama was in a bad place with the population and there are enough crazy Republicans that we (North America and the World) would be stuck with a wing-nut. You give me hope! I hope you're right. But left. And so is the majority.

Posted by: Heather at January 24, 2012 1:31 PM

Dude. I know. Everyone in my family is pulling for Newt and I just. don't. get it.

If he gets the nomination, I'm pretty sure my vote will go to Obama.

If a Republican wins, I would much rather point to the POTUS and tell my children, "See President Romney? That's where hard work and good choices can get you." - as opposed to "See president Gingrich? That's where loose morals, a big head and a self righteous attitude can get you, as long as you learn to smooth over it with rhetoric and an indignant attitude."

Posted by: Amy at January 24, 2012 6:11 PM