Home > Elections, Obama, Primaries, Republicans > Obama to Gingrich: Thanks Buddy!

Obama to Gingrich: Thanks Buddy!

I regret that I haven’t managed to put out a post since my Iowa prediction, during which time a lot of crazy things have happened in the GOP nomination marathon. Perhaps one of the weirdest twists was having my prediction for the Iowa race be off by only 9 votes (in other words, Michele Bachmann having a bad hair day probably could’ve swung the results) and then finding out only a few weeks later that a recount put Santorum in the lead by 34 votes, thus 100% confirming my prediction! Clearly the Republican establishment has been reading my blog and decided to pull a few strings to boost my ego!

Newt Gingrich

South Carolina decided that instead of a Mormon, they would vote for a three-time philandering lobbyist with past ethics violations.

But preening aside, let me sum up what’s happened and how things look going forward. Having gotten rid of the black man and the woman, the race for the GOP nomination began in earnest with the New Hampshire primary. When Mitt Romney solidly dominated there, it looked like this race would finally be over in a quick and painless fashion. Romney had two wins under his belt (an unprecedented feat) and was ready to be crowned victor in South Carolina: the kingmaker state of GOP nominations. But then the rug got pulled out from under Romney and smacked him in the face. The Iowa recount declared Santorum the winner, and South Carolinians decided they were fed up with that smug look Mitt was developing. So they voted for Gingrich.

That’s right, Newt Gingrich. I could list the litany of reasons why Newt Gingrich is an awful person and candidate, but I’m sure you can find it easily enough. Instead, let me explain why Newt managed to somehow resurrect his campaign (again) and get taken seriously (again). He passed the gut check. It’s really that simple in my mind. Romney just does not look comfortable talking on stage. Gingrich does. Romney may be willing to say anything to get elected, but Gingrich is willing to say it and actually believe what he’s saying, or at least sound like it.

So thus it became the Romney-Gingrich face-off. This is really unfair to Rick Santorum who won Iowa, but didn’t get the momentum from it going into New Hampshire because no one knew he actually won. Instead, he was placed neatly into the custom-made narrative the media had ready for him as the religious conservative firebrand that takes Iowa by storm but then flames out. Really, the ways things stood, each of them – Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich – had won one state, so they should have seemed on equal footing, but the difference was that Romney and Gingrich were well-known and the early frontrunners before any debates had occurred, while Santorum was a dark horse polling below 3% at the start of all this. So Santorum had a lot stacked against him from the start.

Never before in the history of the GOP nomination have Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina voted for all different candidates. That proves that no, it’s not just you: this race has been totally nuts. Speaking of nuts, Gingrich has been labeled as the “insurgent” in this whole affair, leading the Tea Party hordes against the doors of the Republican establishment. If that doesn’t make you stop and scratch your head, it should. Gingrich was the Speaker of the House in the mid 90s. He’s been involved in politics for over 20 years. He’s the outsider leading the charge against the establishment?

Newt Gingrich and Dwight Schrute

While Gingrich reminds me of Nixon, astute observers noticed a different similarity...

So congratulations, Republicans, you’ve narrowed it down to two excellent choices: would you like the Washington insider pretending to be an outsider, or the outsider acting like an insider?

Well, it doesn’t matter, as I’ve said for a long time now, you’re getting Romney. Gingrich was beating him in the Florida polls just a week ago, but now that’s all over. Romney has a strong lead again, and he has informed his sweat glands that they can turn off. Not even Gingrich’s plan to build a moon base could rocket him back into the lead (and he criticized Ron Paul’s ideas for being too far out). Maybe if he offered to send all Fox News anchors out there I would consider voting for him.

So here’s how I see it all going down in Florida:

  1. Romney
  2. Gingrich
  3. Santorum
  4. Paul

Romney will secure Florida tomorrow, though maybe not by quite as much as recent polls suggest. He will then go on to win the nomination. Gingrich will declare “Game on!” and continue to fight as long as his ego has some air left in it. Ron Paul will soldier on, hoping to at least lift up his message if not his candidacy, perhaps knowing that the media decided long ago he was too crazy to get covered seriously (which is ridiculous when royal nutjobs like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, and limelight clowns like Herman Cain merited full coverage). Rick Santorum will vow to continue, but then drop out relatively suddenly sometime in the next couple weeks. His fundraising money has dried up and his daughter has been in and out of the hospital, so I don’t really see him drawing out the inevitable.

Obama Smiling

Obama must be pretty happy to have a buddy like Gingrich to help with his reelection!

In the end, one man will emerge eminently victorious: President Obama. Yup, I think his chances of creaming Romney in November have gotten a lot better, and he has Newt Gingrich to thank. Newt has never been all that likeable, but he’s very good at one thing: tearing people down. And now he has ripped so many chunks out of Mitt Romney’s candidacy that Obama will be able to scale it like a rock wall. Obviously this election won’t be a cakewalk, but a lot of attacks have been tested already by Gingrich and Santorum, and the Obama team will be studying them. Romney’s Republican opponents also brought his income and taxes onto the table as a legitimate issue. Now it’s already on people’s minds, and nobody can accuse Obama of class warfare for bringing it up, since Republicans brought it up first. Gingrich is going to keep clawing at Romney as long as he can generate airtime for his own voice, and I think that must look like an early birthday present as far as Obama is concerned.

And so, gentleman, fight on!

Categories: Elections, Obama, Primaries, Republicans Tags:
  1. Julie R.
    January 30th, 2012 at 21:41 | #1

    What do you think the chances are of Ron Paul running in the general election as an independent, and who will that hurt most… the majority of the pundits I’ve heard said Obama. Either way, this just seems incredible that it panned out to these terrible choices for the Republican party. It makes me happy for Obama’s campaign, but concerned about if Republicans win the gen. election and then one of these men is really going to be our president….

  2. David Brisson
    February 2nd, 2012 at 15:03 | #2

    I think the chances of Ron Paul running in the general election are somewhere between zero and nil. Since his 1988 presidential run with the Libertarian Party, he has clearly adopted the more pragmatic belief that change can best be accomplished from within the established two-party system, and he has worked hard as a Republican to move the GOP towards libertarianism. I imagine he also has an eye towards handing off the torch to his son (and recently elected Republican senator), Rand Paul, and playing spoiler wouldn’t help the Paul family standing in the Party. I expect the Pauls to both continue being active in the GOP, although I think this will be the last grand run you see from Ron Paul. His son, however… I wouldn’t be surprised to see in a presidential bid sometime in the next 4-12 years.

    If for some reason I’m wrong and Ron Paul does run as an independent, it’s hard to gauge what impact exactly he would have. I imagine he would likely draw the largest support from people who weren’t planning to vote, as well as disaffected folks from both parties, so his impact would be muted. Hard to say, really.

  3. Raresparky
    February 6th, 2012 at 07:52 | #3

    I’m still hoping you’ll weigh in on guesses about the Republican nominee for VP. Of course the field could include a lot of relative unknowns, but it would be interesting to speculate about who Romney and the powers that be, would think help him fill in the gaps in his popularity. Undoubtedly this would be a Tea Party darling and methinks some rather rabid voice… Or…. Could it actually be someone that would give him more gravitas against Obama? No, it’s not gravitas the Republican party seems to be looking for, just votes naturally. Scary prospect that, just like recent presidential prospectives, but rather thrilling to think about all the same.

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