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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Warts & All

I have to tell you, this has been a doozie of a political primary season.  If only because the Republican Party establishment didn't hand the rank-and-file its choice of candidate and move on to the general election (here's John McCain; you may cheer now).  Perry's up.  Perry's down.  Bachmann's up.  Bachmann's down.  Ron Paul's up.  Ron Paul's down.  Jon Huntsman's ... well, skip that one.  And maybe we'll be skipping Herman Cain as well.  Who knows.

But the one guy who started down - way down - and is showing an ever-strengthening improvement in poll numbers?   Hold onto your hats ...

Newt Gingrich.

Might he be the last Republican standing after the smoke clears and the ballots are cast?

Paul Gigot is beginning to wonder too:
Can Gingrich Break Through?
Wall Street Journal

This is an unusual primary season, however, and the question is whether voters will now give Mr. Gingrich another look. The former House speaker's allies think so. They say Ms. Bachmann and Rick Perry can't come back, Herman Cain will fade as his national sales tax gets broader scrutiny, and neither Mr. Santorum nor Jon Huntsman has attracted much voter support. That leaves Mr. Gingrich to emerge from Iowa as the main challenger to Mitt Romney. Even if Mr. Romney wins New Hampshire, the campaign then becomes a two-man race heading into South Carolina and Florida, where Mr. Gingrich's debating talents and conservative agenda will contrast with Mr. Romney's poll-driven caution.

That scenario may be a long-shot, but no one should rule it out. After Thursday's education session, Mr. Gingrich mentioned that in a conventional year he might not get that second look. But this year, voters are worried enough about the condition and direction of the country that they are willing to consider someone with proposals that are bolder than the political norm. Mr. Gingrich must still overcome the perception that he's been around too long, as well as his habit of talking himself into trouble (recall his criticism of Paul Ryan's Medicare plan). He'll need more money too. But in a year when GOP voters are still searching for someone who can go head-to-head with President Obama, don't be surprised if Mr. Gingrich gets another turn in the spotlight. [link]
We all know that the mainstream press gives a pass when it's a flawed Democrat who's running for high office. All those "bimbo eruptions" back in the 90's? It must have been mighty tough to avoid them. Yet the press did. Because the flawed candidate involved in so many scandalous misadventures was their flawed candidate. So ho hum.

But Republicans and conservatives are treated differently. And God knows ol' Newt has his flaws. So we'll see where that goes.

But, if nothing else, an Obama/Gingrich match-up would be entertaining. Newt, I think, would clean Mr. Wonderful's clock.

Stay tuned.