Question: what do Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have in common? Aside from their alternating status as the un-Mitt du jour I mean.
Answer: Both served multiple terms in Congress, and neither left of his own volition. Newt was drummed out by his own caucus. Senator Santorum was tossed out by his constituents after two full terms, by a whopping margin (18 percent).
Any observer of American politics understands how powerful an advantage incumbency is in our elections. It is a rare thing for a sitting US Senator to be deposed by his constituents; rarer still for his ouster to be so emphatic (absent scandal, that is). The voters of Pennsylvania had twelve full years on which to base their decision in 2006, and their verdict was unambiguous. Out Senator Santorum went. Yes, 2006 was a bad year for Republicans. But it was a particularly bad year for Rick Santorum.
Another Answer: Both have had difficulty winning endorsements from Republicans who served with them in Congress. This phenomenon has been more conspicuous in Gingrich's case... READ THE REST at CriticalMASS
HuffPost is now calling GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich the 'Human Roman Candle' over his latest rounds of increasingly disturbing attacks against Mitt Romney.
Gingrich and Mitt Romney on Monday staggered to the end of a brutal week of campaigning in Florida, one in which they took increasingly nasty and personal shots at one another. But the day marked a new level of angry and relentless attacks on Romney by Gingrich, the former House speaker from Georgia.
From morning until the last of five events at the end of the day, Gingrich branded Romney a liar and cheat, accusing him of suppressing religious liberty and trying to "buy the election."
What has become blatantly obvious is that when Newt Gingrich leads in a poll he is a stoic, professorly type that often pontificates about the general nature of mankind and how best to lead a nation of people. When he trails in the poll a week later he becomes an angry old man that stamps his feet and makes wild accusations about people's personal lives.
This is no way to present yourself when running for President. A President needs to be a solid, steady type that is unflinched when behind the eight-ball. For all of his occassional lofty rhetoric, Gingrich is not demonstrating the mental and/or emotional character to hold the office of the President. Heck, I would think twice before letting him pump gas in my car with the way he is acting lately. I sure as heck don't want his finger on the nuclear button when he is having a hissy fit.
It's too bad this is happening because Newt is clearly a smart guy with an incredible skill set to offer the American people, but lately he is acting like a 4 year old on the television show Toddler and Tiaras.
I think it will soon be time for Newt to take a nap or have a time out to his campaign...
Pizza mogul, and former GOP candidate Herman Cain has decided to endorse Newt Gingrich. The endorsement comes on the eve of the increasingly pliable and important Florida primary.
As the news of the endorsement was being released poll numbers show Mitt Romney's boomerang lead growing to 11 percentage points over second place Newt Gingrich. The gap widened by 3 percentage points after the endorsement was received.
"I will go all the way to the convention," Mr. Gingrich said after a rally at a golf course here. "I expect to win the nomination."
I thought this a particularly interesting quote to share as I had never heard of a political rally at a golf course. What happens at a golf course based political rally? Doesn't a political rally at a golf course kinda piss off the other golfers? Ya know, all that screaming and cheering while some poor slob tries to sink a 10 foot putt!
Newt supporters: "Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt!"
Golfer 1: "Hey, quiet down over there! I am trying to putt!".
Newt supporters: "Screw you!, we are with Newt!" (cheers erupt).
Golfer 1: "You are fudging-up my handicap!"
Newt supporters: "Your handicap was Herman Cain! hehehaahaaheehee! (collective giggling)"
Golfer 1: "I will let you play through so I can focus on my round."
Newt Supporters: "We are gonna play through all the way to the White House! (Cheers erupt more loudly)"
Golfer 1: "Fine, hit the ball and move already."
Newt: (in an admonishing tone) "I find it utterly despicable that you golfers are annoyed by my rally here at the golf course. In 1837, then President Andrew Jackson stated that the fundamental rights of golfers under the agreement made at the Council of Trent...'
Golfer 1: "Whatever!, hit the ball you history schmoe! And stop leaving footprints on the greens!"
Newt supporters: (as they march away) "Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt!
Newt had some very interesting things to say back in the day.
Here is a very funny exchange between then Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate leader Bob Dole: (emphasis mine!)
Barely two years later, after having been chosen Time magazine's Man of the Year, Gingrich had plummeted in public esteem to where, in a CBS-New York Times poll, just 14 percent of voters had favorable personal feelings toward the speaker.
This prompted an apocryphal Washington exchange between a perplexed Gingrich and Dole. "Why do people take such an instant dislike to me?" asked a perplexed Gingrich, to whom Dole bluntly explained: "Because it saves them time."
And here is Newt's opinion about Reagan's Soviet policy:
Just like when Newt went to the House floor during the Gipper's second White House term and declared the president's Soviet policy a "failure." Here is what Gingrich said: "Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire's challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing and without a dramatic, fundamental change in strategy will continue to fail. ... The burden of the failure frankly must be placed first upon President Reagan."
This was after Gingrich, as reported in the Congressional Record, had found Reagan responsible for our national "decay": "Beyond the obvious indicators of decay, the fact is that President Reagan has lost control of the national agenda." Students of Newt-speak will recognize that by "decay," Gingrich was generally referring to factors such as crime, illegitimate births and illiteracy.
So I wonder what it was about the Gipper's Soviet policy and national agenda that he would have done different?
I get the feeling that Newt thinks he is the smartest guy in the room and everyone else is there to listen. Sounds a lot like Obama!
Less than two weeks ago, Mitt Romney had a 22-point lead in Florida, but that's ancient history in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Following Newt Gingrich's big win in South Carolina on Saturday, the former House speaker now is on top in Florida by nine.
Rick Perry bowed to the inevitable on Thursday dropping out of the Republican presidential race after consistently finishing at the bottom of the pack in all polls in the run-up to Saturday's South Carolina primary.
In quitting, Perry endorsed Newt Gingrich, who this week urged both him and fellow conservative Rick Santorum to drop out to give him a clear shot at front-runner Mitt Romney.
"I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country," he said as he announced his decision in Charleston, S.C
I received the photo in the mail a few weeks after it was taken, back in 1996 when I was a just-out-of-college staffer at the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego. Out there on the left coast, three hours behind DC time, my colleagues and I sometimes felt a little bit detached from the momentous goings-on under the still new (and still amazing) Republican leadership in Congress. So it was extra-special to us when the architect of the new Republican majority and a hero to most of us, Speaker Newt Gingrich, took the time to swing by and see us during a California trip. I lined up with everyone else, shook his hand and smiled for the camera, and some time later there it was in my in-box: a signed photo of me with the Speaker. "Thanks for all your help, Dan - Newt."
That photo has followed me in the years since, sitting in its cherry wood frame on my desk, or on the wall, or on a book shelf as I moved from San Diego back to DC, then on to law school, to a big law firm, to the Massachusetts State House, and finally to my current office. Except for when I was traveling, hardly a day of my professional life has gone unobserved by Newt's silent, grinning visage, even as the other occupants of my political "ego wall" have mostly fallen to the wayside.
I generally prefer to stick to discussing the local & statewide issues as much as possible but hey, I'm human and I get attracted to the national spotlight from time to time as well.
I saw the news about Rick Perry last night and I woke up this morning to learn news about Newt Gingrich. For those of you busy actually getting ready for the holiday this Christmas Eve and don't know what I'm talking about, it appears that both candidates have FAILED to obtain ballot access in Virginia for not submitting enough certified signatures. It seems that their rules are particularly tight in VA.
The deadline for presidential candidates to submit their raw signatures into the local Registrar of Voters was yesterday at 5:00 pm. The next deadline is submission into the Secretary of the Commonwealth by Friday, January 6 at 5:00 pm. The deadline to file objections to any signatures is Monday, January 9 at 5:00 pm
All that having been said, just what is the state of the various Republican presidential campaigns here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?
Could Gingrich or Perry flame out here? Do they have strong campaigns around here? Are they on life support? How about Ron Paul? I assume that we can assume that Mitt Romney isn't doing too bad in his home turf but what about Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, or Jon Huntsman?
Who would you even contact if you wanted to sign on for a particular campaign?
Today is Christmas Eve and the New Year is just about a week away. That leaves just over three quick months until primary day. I bet most RMG'ers know who they're voting for but for whom will we be able to vote & just how reasonable are their chances at earning delegates here in Massachusetts?
A very sharp set of observations from UMass Professor Maurice Cunnningham over at CommonWealth. The table is set for November 2012 and not all is hopeless for a party that barely represents 13% of the electorate.
The Democrats dependably serve up a generous helping of scandals, and there is some turmoil in the House, as shown by Speaker Robert DeLeo's recent removal of Rep. Charles Murphy from his leadership post. Labor was reeling in the most recent legislative session, with even Democrats accepting the need for stronger managerial controls in public employment. There are intellectual engines for conservatives from the Pioneer Institute and the Beacon Hill Institute. Redmassgroup.com provides a punchy daily blog on conservative, libertarian, and party politics.
Barney Frank is leaving. Bill Keating is moving. Richard Tisei is in against John Tierney. These are all opportunities for Republicans to compete and win congressional seats. And as state legislators and other elected officials attempt to move to Congress, they leave behind open seats. Whereas incumbents win at least 95 percent of the time, an open seat is much easier to capture for the out party. If Mitt Romney gets the Republican nomination for president, that puts our former governor and Scott Brown atop the GOP ticket. They could even build a coordinated campaign that would help down ballot candidates here.
But getting back to reality, Professor Cunningham notes that all could come apart easily with the nomination of Newt Gingrich, the antithesis of Massachusetts Republicanism and a sure-bet train wreck. Gingrich will destroy not only the top of the ticket where Brown needs every lucky break but also the down ballot where the GOP is trying to hold on to the seats it captured in 2010.
Read the whole article. There's very little to disagree with.
If Mark Steyn wrote ten columns per week, this would be the CriticalMASS Top 10 Steyn columns of the week...
The Terrorists Have Won - Mark Steyn [NRO, The Corner Blog]
Yesterday, we learned that the crack operatives of the TSA had prevented a teenage girl from boarding her flight to Jacksonville because her handbag has a gun design on the front of it. But don't worry, after she'd been put through the wringer, SouthWest were able to get her on a later flight to Orlando, a mere 300-mile round-trip detour for her distraught mother and, in the scheme of things, a relatively modest transfer of man-hours from the productive class to the great sucking statist behemoth.
Today brings the news that, fresh from that triumph, TSA agents decided to strip-search an 85-year old, 4′11″, 110-pound grandmother in a wheelchair...
Most of us live primarily in the moment. It is hard to bring historical perspective to bear on the day-to-day. That's why even President Obama is able to say with a straight face, as he frequently does, that his Administration has faced 'unprecedented' challenges. Some (Lincoln, FDR, Grant, Truman, Ford...) might quibble, but whatever - the president is entitled to his perceptions.
I keep hearing that the ongoing Republican primary is like nothing we've ever seen before. The word "crazy" is used a lot, to describe both the electorate's volatility and some of the candidates. People who say this, it seems to me, forget that within the past decade John Kerry shared a stage with both Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton. They forget that in a pre-DVR age, a Saturday Night Live writer who missed a general election debate involving Ross Perot might as well have hung up his satirist's pen.
Part of the problem is that there are too many debates this year - too many by orders of magnitude. At the rate they are proliferating can two-a-days be far off? They are working for my guy, generally speaking, both because he is doing a great job and because his opponents keep using the debates as opportunities to self-immolate in public. But it's still too much. If anyone were watching beyond the most hard core Republicans and slightly unhinged political junkies I'd worry about a 'pox on all their houses' effect, but hardly anyone is watching. Except those satirists. They love this year's debate schedule.
Newt Gingrich is the strongest Republican candidate when matched head to head against Democratic President Barack Obama, according to a McClatchy-Marist Poll released Tuesday.
The former speaker of the House of Representatives is neck and neck with the incumbent president, back just 2 percentage points among registered voters. Obama leads 47 percent to 45 percent.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is next closest, trailing Obama by 4 percentage points. In that matchup, Obama leads 48 percent to 44 percent.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is the third best bet for the Republicans right now, 8 points back from Obama. No other Republican is within single digits of Obama. The survey has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
It's hardly definitive in terms of substance, and it shouldn't be. But, in terms of the superficial "electability" argument Romney had going for him, well, that's kaput. Gingrich is, at least at the moment, the most electable.
Recent polls have confirmed Newt Gingrich's emergence as a top-tier candidate in the race for the Republican presidential nomination - and it's about time. Gingrich is the most intellectually gifted human being since, probably, Einstein, and possibly Aristotle. His ideas are earth-shattering, his arguments unassailable. Every single person he has ever interacted with is, undoubtedly, mentally inferior. Which is why condescension, sometimes mixed with pity, has become Gingrich's signature look. Here are some of his greatest hits.
Wouldn't it be great to be able to shove stuff like this in the face of the liberal, elitist media by having the GOP unite behind and nominate Newt?
UPDATE: If you need a second reason, how about this awesome interview from 2006: