As debates resume, Gingrich prepares for a shot at the top

The latest meme in the GOP presidential primary is: “Newt is back!” They are not making the point I made after the last debate: namely, that Newt Gingrich was poised to be next in line should the current leading-Republican-not-named-Mitt-Romney, Herman Cain, stumble. They are making the case that Gingrich is earning his shot as the challenger to Romney’s aura of inevitability:

Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal:

Newt Gingrich’s rise in the polls — from near zero to the third slot in several polls — should come as no surprise to people who have been watching the Republican debates, now drawing television viewers as never before. The former speaker has stood out at these forums, the debater whose audiences seem to hang on his words and on a flow of thought rich in substance, a world apart from the usual that the political season brings.

Byron York of the Washington Examiner, reporting from Iowa recently on Gingrich’s “wonkish, unconventional” presidential bid:

[T]he former Speaker, whose mother spent the last years of her life in a long-term care facility, has devoted a lot of time over the years working on Alzheimer’s issues. But now he is in the middle of a presidential campaign. He’s in Iowa, with 60 days to go before the caucuses that could decide his future. He is hours away from a crucial speech to the Iowa Republican Party’s annual Reagan dinner. And he is spending nearly two hours of his day, behind closed doors, with three doctors, a couple of aides, and one reporter, talking about brain research. The topic of the approaching caucuses does not come up.

    Wonkish, unconventional and substantive as Gingrich’s campaign may be, a stumble by Cain was certainly necessary, too — and it is being delivered. In his press conference yesterday, Cain made clear that he would take his stand on the claim that he has “never acted inappropriately with anyone, period.” He is staking his candidacy on the idea that his accusers cannot prove, with actual evidence, that he did otherwise; that it will simply be his word against theirs; and that voters will decide he is more credible.

    There’s a potentially high reward in a Republican primary for Cain’s positioning of himself as the outsider who’s standing up to the ruthless politics of false accusations. But he can hardly afford for anything to go wrong, and it’s not clear that voters are buying it anyway: Rasmussen Reports this morning released a poll showing that “51% of voters nationwide say it is at least somewhat likely the allegations against Cain are both serious and true.” And his campaign has made a couple of embarrassing mistakes in trying to blame someone for old accusations’ coming to light.

    It is hard to see how this ends well for Cain.

    So, Gingrich’s number may be up. This is probably happening a little earlier than his campaign would have preferred — a mid-December rise in the polls might have translated more easily into primary and caucus votes, without affording as much time for scrutiny to return to his campaign and track record. For the Machiavellians among us, that may be one reason why Gingrich has been content to play nice with Cain in recent appearances: He doesn’t want Cain to slip just yet.

    On the other hand, we’re about to enter another weeks-long period during which debates figure heavily in the race. Pretty much everyone concedes that debates are one of Gingrich’s strong suits. If a little buzz leading into these few weeks affords him more face time in those debates, that almost certainly couldn’t hurt him.

    If you want confirmation that Gingrich is preparing the foundation for a campaign resurgence, check out his willingness last night to repudiate the climate-change advertisement he infamously filmed with Nancy Pelosi (the relevant part of the clip begins at the 6:39 mark):

    Before that, his daughter sought to set the record straight on the details of her father’s first divorce. (H/t: Instapundit)

    Scoff at Gingrich if you want — and I’ll admit to having dismissed his chances months ago. But he, at least, is taking seriously the possibility that his window of opportunity is about to open.

    – By Kyle Wingfield

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    153 comments Add your comment

    HDB

    November 9th, 2011
    12:36 pm

    The door may be opening for some…but for many, Gingrich is as welcome as Jehovah Witnesses knocking on your front door on Saturday morning!!

    joe

    November 9th, 2011
    12:48 pm

    I pray every day that Gingrich wins the nomination.

    I’m waiting with Iphone in hand.

    arnold

    November 9th, 2011
    1:10 pm

    How long before he shoots himself? 3 weeks, 4 weeks,???

    Mike

    November 9th, 2011
    1:16 pm

    It will be good to see more of Newt. The more he is on tv, the more he talks. The more he talks, the more of a nutcase he reveals himself to be. There will always be people who believe what this man saids. All those repub candidates look like one long SNL episode.

    Jefferson

    November 9th, 2011
    1:18 pm

    JDW

    November 9th, 2011
    1:19 pm

    It says loads about the current state of the Republican Party that Newt is even in the conversation…same old people, same old ideas that got us into this mess.

    If the Republicans want to challenge they need something new otherwise its all downhill from here.

    DW

    November 9th, 2011
    1:31 pm

    WHAT A D-BAG. lmfao

    BS Aplenty

    November 9th, 2011
    1:35 pm

    Nothing scares a libtard worse than having the former Speaker of the House take on the sacred cows of the “bureaucratic socialist” left. Yes, Mr. Gingrich is a long shot but so was the current president. America loves the underdog especially one whose fiscally conservative ideas resonate so well.

    The left will attack Gingrich’s personal life, although they loved Bill Clinton’s affairs, Obama’s membership at the hate-spewing Trinity United Church of Christ and even, to a lesser extent, George W. Bush’s rumored cocaine use. Gingrich is just old school and believes in marriage. He’s, unfortunately, also learned the hard way that many marriages don’t last.

    Go Newt.

    Susan

    November 9th, 2011
    1:36 pm

    I believe more every day that Newt is the one person who is capable of getting America out of the mess we are currently in – intelligence, experience, good ideas are much more important at this critical juncture in America than soap opera distractions in candidates’ pasts.

    Rock me like a Herman Cain

    November 9th, 2011
    1:40 pm

    My favorite Newt story is his response to the Sharon Smith case in SC. Remember that one? A troubled young woman drove her car into a lake with her two children, she escaped, they drowned; all because her boyfriend didn’t like kids. But she claimed a black man stole her car and drowned the kids — but that was quickly proven to be false.

    Newt blamed the liberal culture of America. However when she went to trial she claimed that it was her history of being abused by her father that caused her to commit the crime. The best part? Wait for it…her father was the Chairman of the local GOP.

    Newt didn’t comment on that part or how America’s “liberal culture” was responsible for this tragedy.

    This kind of hypocrisy is priceless.

    Justin

    November 9th, 2011
    1:40 pm

    Yeah those crazy libtard’s really will be there to remind Newt the family man (who divorced his wife on her death bed) how much of a family values kind of guy he is.

    yawn

    November 9th, 2011
    1:41 pm

    You guys are a hoot. I’d love to see Peewt try to win the middle.

    yawn

    November 9th, 2011
    1:43 pm

    Rock me….
    x2!!

    Max

    November 9th, 2011
    1:46 pm

    Nothing would absolutely ensure a devastating Obama landslide more than a Gingrich/WhoDat ticket (except for maybe a Palin/Bachmann ticket). With that in mind I encourage all of the GOPers out there to support Newt. :-)

    yawn

    November 9th, 2011
    1:47 pm

    BS fo sho…”Gingrich is just old school and believes in marriage.”

    And owes his relevance in today’s politics to gullible fools like you.

    Devil's Advocate

    November 9th, 2011
    1:54 pm

    Of course, it’s the liberal media’s fault that Newt might overtake Cain.

    BS Aplenty

    November 9th, 2011
    1:57 pm

    The current president’s vision of this country as something akin to a European socialist nanny state provides the most effective rallying point for ANY Republican candidate. He’s on the wrong road and doesn’t know it. And the polls at Politico indicate that the vast majority of Independents are dissatisfied with Obama’s handling of the economy.

    Can you say, “I don’t want to be like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland,…France….”

    BS Aplenty

    November 9th, 2011
    1:58 pm

    yawn, in what respect am I “gullible?”

    Jefferson

    November 9th, 2011
    2:00 pm

    The US was bailed out 1st. when it comes to Greece,Italy, Spain….in 2008

    Bart Abel

    November 9th, 2011
    2:03 pm

    Are we talking about the same Newt Gingrich who called Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization plan “right-wing social engineering” and then claimed he didn’t say it and then called Paul Ryan to apologize for saying it?

    The same Gingrich who complained that Obama wasn’t sending forces into Libya, and then when Obama sent forces into Libya, complained that Obama was sending forces into Libya?

    This is the same Gingrich who has divorced his previous wives twice to marry women who he had been committing adultery with, but now runs around calling himself a Catholic while continually referencing “our Creator” in his speeches?

    As previously mentioned, Newt Gingrich appeared in an advertisement with Nancy Pelosi in which he said, “We do agree our country must take action to address climate change”, but now goes on Fox News to say “I actually don’t know whether global warming is occurring.”

    I could go on and on with these kinds of example. The man is a shameless hack who will say anything and do anything for money and power, and it’s really unfortunate that anybody would take him seriously.

    Chris

    November 9th, 2011
    2:04 pm

    I am a big fan of Newt. They have the ful cain-Gingrich debate at http://Nationalsponsor.com along with videos and articles on Newt, amond other things.

    BS Aplenty

    November 9th, 2011
    2:11 pm

    Jefferson, here’s where you ‘tards gain your status as, well, ‘tards. The U.S. government has not been close to defaulting on its sovreign debt. Although if we keep growing the government like Obama prefers, then our total debt/GDP (currently around 100%, I believe) may well put us on that road. Hence the need for a fiscal conservative like Gingrich. Greece had a total debt/GDP ratio approaching 180% – they couldn’t roll it over at less than 12% interest rates – that’s simply unsustainable for them, hence their negotiated default.

    Now, most of the banks, etc. that received TARP money have REPAID those amounts with interest and warrants to the U.S. Treasury. I strongly suspect that TARP will ultimately prove PROFITABLE to the U.S. Government. Compare that record with the money given to the government sponsored fiascos, FNMA and FHLMC. The U.S. Government will, imho, never see that approximately $175 billion (so far) again. With TARP, the taxpayer will be made whole. With FNMA and FHLMC, no way.

    yawn

    November 9th, 2011
    2:13 pm

    Chris

    November 9th, 2011
    2:04 pm
    I am a big fan of Newt.

    No need to give your IQ, we already know it.

    DixieDemons

    November 9th, 2011
    2:18 pm

    GOP family values

    yawn

    November 9th, 2011
    2:18 pm

    Bart Abel @ 2:03:

    X2

    Jefferson

    November 9th, 2011
    2:27 pm

    BS for sure.

    old timer

    November 9th, 2011
    2:30 pm

    I will support anyone against Obama…

    H. Smyth

    November 9th, 2011
    2:32 pm

    Compare Obama”s record to Newt’s record in government. A history of being a community organizer which he was very good at, still is, just look at the riots he is organizing and the laws he decides to not enforce. Of course the critics of Newt try to play the divorce card. Too bad Newt didn’t follow the Bill Clinton model, don’t divorce, just have affairs and play hide the cigar with young interns. And the mainstream media has the gall to try to destroy Herman Cain after giving a complete pass to Clinton. One of the biggest oxymorons is “logical Democrat.”

    RGB

    November 9th, 2011
    2:32 pm

    Re: “GOP family values”

    Most conservatives at least have family values and sometimes miss the mark.

    Liberals have none and therefore cannot be held to account for something they do not have.

    Tom(Independent)

    November 9th, 2011
    2:32 pm

    Bart Abel – 50% of marriages end in divorce, that is 1 out of every 2 for you liberals who do not understand math! Get over it, divorce happens!! Yes Newt talks alot, he is a very smart man. No he does not have to read from a telepromter(misspelled) like your hero, the annointed one, Barrack Hussien Obama. Yes, I would like to see them in a debate, one on one. Former Speaker of the House vs the most famous Community Organizer.

    sean Smith

    November 9th, 2011
    2:35 pm

    The republican party will have ZERO credibility on moral issues if they nominate a serial adulterer.

    Besides do you really want this obnoxious jerk representing our country???? Arrogance is not a becoming attribute in a president, we just saw that play.

    BarrelScraper

    November 9th, 2011
    2:40 pm

    The Republicans are not scraping the bottom of the barrel with Newt. They are through the bottom and into the subsoil. They’ll reach China on the other side before they’re done. Pitiful sight.

    Bankshot

    November 9th, 2011
    2:48 pm

    I think Newt is still angry w/ his parents for naming him after a lizzard.

    What is in a name?

    November 9th, 2011
    2:57 pm

    Ref Bankshot @ 2:46

    His actual name is Newton Leroy Gingrich. Still leads me to want to call him “Lizardman”.

    I remember when...

    November 9th, 2011
    2:58 pm

    “And the mainstream media has the gall to try to destroy Herman Cain after giving a complete pass to Clinton. ”
    What pass did Clinton get: Go directly to impeachment, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00. That’s not much of a pass. Clinton paid a heavy price for his dalliances. You guys need to join everyone in the 2000’s and give up the Clinton ghost. You complain that Obama blames Bush for everything, then go back even further to support your own arguments.
    And let’s remember, Newt was out there attacking Clinton for his personal moral failures while he was running around on wife no. 2 with Calista. Hypocrisy in action. Do as I say, not as I do is not a strong moral or political philosophy.

    Chris

    November 9th, 2011
    3:02 pm

    All of your sanctimonious liberals who want to crucify Newt for things that happened 20 years ago but want to ignore Clinton’s adultery, Bush’s drinking and whatever else, and Obama’s admitted drug use are being complete and utter hypocrites. There was ONE perfect person that ever walked this earth and his name was Jesus Christ. Being a believer is not about being perfect, nor is it even about not living a life of sin. We are ALL sinners and so it is not our place to judge.

    That said, do any of you liberals really believe it is conservative ideas about economics that got us into this mess? You really believe things have not gotten significantly WORSE since the liberals took over? I know that the 2000’s set a terrible standard when the republicans sold their souls to special interests, but from 2006 to 2011 things have gotten substantially worse.

    What we need is to stop talking about all these distractions and focus on what candidate will actually take steps to right the ship. It won’t be Obama, I can promise you that. I also don’t think that person is Romney, Cain, Perry or the slew of other “conservatives”. I do actually believe Newt is smart enough and understands economics well enough to right the ship if he has a truly conservative congress. (Note: the 2000-2006 “republican” leadership was not what I would call conservative by any stretch).

    Hillbilly D

    November 9th, 2011
    3:06 pm

    As far back as I can remember, I’ve never seen a Presidential debate that was actually a debate. What they have are multi-candidate news conferences. The questioners and/or moderator are as much a part of the debate as the candidates. What I’d like to see is a referee and the candidates. Referee says, “Candidate A, you’ve got 5 minutes”. Then Candidate A says anything he wants or asks any other person, any question he wants to ask in his 5 minutes. Let ‘em have at it.

    H. Smyth

    November 9th, 2011
    3:10 pm

    I should not have said that Obama was still a community organizer, he is now a community DIS-organizer as witness the riots throughout the country. Looking at TV now you can”t tell whether you are looking at some city in the US or looking at Greece or some other European country. This will now be the pattern in this country if the Obama Democrats and their union bosses have their way.

    BarrelScraper

    November 9th, 2011
    3:11 pm

    Herman Cain should know how the handle those lobbyists in DC. Seeing as how he was president of the National Restaurant Association which might have lobbied DC once or twice over the years. The ultimate lobbyist as President. Can’t get any better.

    Gm

    November 9th, 2011
    3:19 pm

    The rep are always going around talking about family and morals, I guest they turned a blind eye to Newt who married his mistress, say what you want about Obama I will take his family values over Cain and Newt.
    Newt and the rep party shows what a bunch of hypocrites in the rep party.
    Thanks Obama, for not ever been caught up in Scandals and showing the true meaning of family values”””

    jconservative

    November 9th, 2011
    3:21 pm

    We need Cain to win this thing. Who else is committed to preventing China from gaining a nuclear capability? No one!

    Sandra

    November 9th, 2011
    3:25 pm

    To Bankshot: A lizard is fast and can make a decision instantly and do something with his decision.
    Newt would make a great president. Herman Cain would be so good if the Democrats were not so
    jealous of him. One of these 2 guys should be president and the other vice president.

    Sandra

    November 9th, 2011
    3:26 pm

    Women are their personal life. Not the United States.

    Tea Party Hobbit

    November 9th, 2011
    3:31 pm

    sean – an obnoxious jerk representing our country? Did you happen to catch what Obama said about the Israeli Prime Minister? It’s like he thinks that Israel is just some gnat or something…oh he’s just too busy trying to find the next way to cover up his incompetence to need to talk to the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the Middle East! At least Newt would be an intelligent obnoxious jerk!

    Tea Party Hobbit

    November 9th, 2011
    3:33 pm

    Sandra, they cannot be the full ticket, because they are both from Georgia. However, if the candidate is Cain, he should make Newt his chief of staff. If Newt is candidate, I am sure Herman would be good for a Cabinet spot, such as SecTreas.

    Hillbilly D

    November 9th, 2011
    3:41 pm

    Although it isn’t done and is probably a bad idea, there’s actually nothing to prevent the Presidential candidate and the Vice-Presidential candidate being from the same state.

    http://www.snopes.com/history/american/vicepresident.asp

    Newt’s really a Pennsylvanian, anyway. ;-)

    yawn

    November 9th, 2011
    3:42 pm

    “Herman Cain would be so good if the Democrats were not so
    jealous of him.”

    LMAO!! Those meanies!!

    Gm

    November 9th, 2011
    3:42 pm

    Obama you have made American safe for the last 3 years, you have killed every one who was a threat to our nation, you have sent bills to this do nothing congress to help put people back to work, but these retards on the right rather destroy the country then work with you.
    President Obama you have not been caught in any scandals, you love your wife and family but yet the bigots tea party continue to discredit all the work you have done but the rest of the world and real Americans know why they hate you yet they love hypocrites like Cain and Newt that have no shame in embarrass their wives.
    Rep party of scum ””’

    yawn

    November 9th, 2011
    3:44 pm

    “However, if the candidate is Cain, he should make Newt his chief of staff. If Newt is candidate, I am sure Herman would be good for a Cabinet spot, such as SecTreas.”

    Heehee! I know…let’s play make believe!!!

    yawn

    November 9th, 2011
    3:46 pm

    Gm

    November 9th, 2011
    3:42 pm

    X2