Newt Gingrich as ‘Professor Cornpone’

If you’re a presumptive Republican candidate for president, tearing across crucial states such as Iowa and Ohio, you don’t want to lose a news cycle to a biting editorial generated by the Wall Street Journal.

Alas, this is what has happened to Newt Gingrich, dubbed “Professor Cornpone” in an unsigned piece published today. A few tastes:

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich waits to speak at the Renewable Fuels Association summit in Iowa last week. Associated Press

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich waits to speak at the Renewable Fuels Association summit in Iowa last week. Associated Press

The former Speaker blew through Des Moines last Tuesday for the Renewable Fuels Association summit, and his keynote speech to the ethanol lobby was as pious a tribute to the fuel made from corn and tax dollars as we’ve ever heard. Mr. Gingrich explained that “the big-city attacks” on ethanol subsidies are really attempts to deny prosperity to rural America, adding that “Obviously big urban newspapers want to kill it because it’s working, and you wonder, ‘What are their values?’”

One senses a generational gulf in this next paragraph:

Mr. Gingrich is right that ethanol poses an intellectual problem, but it has nothing to do with a culture war between Des Moines and New York City. The real fight is between the House Republicans now trying to rationalize the federal fisc and the kind of corporate welfare that President Obama advanced in his State of the Union. We’ll dwell on this problem not merely because Mr. Gingrich the historian brought it up, but because it and he illustrate so many of the snares facing the modern GOP.

Finally, the knife with a twist:

Some pandering is inevitable in presidential politics, but, befitting a college professor, Mr. Gingrich insists on portraying his low vote-buying as high “intellectual” policy. This doesn’t bode well for his judgment as a president. Even Al Gore now admits that the only reason he supported ethanol in 2000 was to goose his presidential prospects, and the only difference now between Al and Newt is that Al admits he was wrong.

A note to younger readers: The key to understanding the “Professor Cornpone” label can be found in an essay by Mark Twain, published after his death, discussing the self-interest embedded in opinions generated for public consumption.

Stripped of dialect: “Show me where a man gets his corn-pone ground, and I’ll tell you what his opinion is.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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28 comments Add your comment

The Snark

January 31st, 2011
5:15 pm

Newt Gingrich, the Trailer Park Trotsky.


January 31st, 2011
5:36 pm

Why would any sober person want to vote for Newtie to be President?
We have enough problems without making matters worse.

Rafe Hollister

January 31st, 2011
5:51 pm

Newt would make a better president than Obama, but there are about 300 million others that would be a better choice. He needs to get off the stage, he is only concerned with what is best for Newt.


January 31st, 2011
6:05 pm

I liked Newt Gingrich until the second half of his House Speaker term. He admitted that term limits in the Contract with America was a gimmick he and most other GOP Congressmen had no intention of supporting.

On top of Gingrich’s ethical problems in the past – this should knock him out of GOP contention (except in Iowa, of course), even though he should be a good cabinet member. As long as his personal aspirations don’t get in the way, he is a very bright and level thinker.

I hate to say it, but “Boot Newt” for presidential contention.


January 31st, 2011
7:23 pm

He and Herman Cain are “running for president” just to increase their speaking fees and appearances.


January 31st, 2011
7:33 pm

I said this years ago when I lived in his district, and I’ll repeat it now, ‘I’ve had a snoot-ful of Newt!’

Go away, Melonhead, go away.

Just Wait

January 31st, 2011
7:59 pm

Gingrich, Palin, whoever. The Republicans chances are looking dimmer and dimmer.


January 31st, 2011
8:03 pm

Gingrich is a lying, philandering, pretender-to-the-throne of the first order. He resigned as Speaker of the House in Congress in the middle of the Clinton/Lewinsky BJ probe. Why? Because he was dipping a chippie on the side in DC while his 2nd wife (chippie #1, mind you) sat at home in Georgia. Two of America’s most famous quitters: Palin, from the governor’s job in AK and Gingrich, from the Speaker’s job.

Furthermore, Gingrich recently said to a metro ATL Chamber of Commerce : many of the judges in the U.S. are “just plain wrong” and that he would abolish the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in San Francisco and has been critized by conservatives. (source:

What part of Checks and Balances does he NOT get? If he does not understand this concept, he is fundamentally unfit to be President of the United States of America. Candidate for President or Fuhrer? You be the judge!


January 31st, 2011
8:26 pm

Just think: if Newt got to be Pres, Georgia could claim both the worst Democratic and worst Republican Presidents in US history!

buckhead willie

January 31st, 2011
9:01 pm

Newt is a scumbag. He voted to impeach Clinton while cheating on his second wife who he married after cheating on his first wife who was hospitalized with cancer. Now he’s a pious Catholic complaining about Obama’s lack of religion. Slee-zee. He makes John Edwards look like a statesman.

Jack What ? Ga does not like Newt ??????

January 31st, 2011
9:17 pm

Enter your comments here

Bill Orvis White

January 31st, 2011
9:21 pm

It’s a fact that I love the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. He’s a deeply religious man who possesses passion, intellect, a pro-business attitude and a dedication to a culture of life. While he would make an outstanding president, I’m still sold on the Honorable Herman Cain. With that said, I’m sick and tired of the Newt Bashing that I see everywhere. Even though his tenure was short, it wasn’t as short as Nanny Pelosi’s embarrassing time in the House. With that fact out there, Newt accomplished much more in his short time as speaker because he was able to rally an excellent conservative Congress to stop Bubba Clinton’s radical leftist agenda. In other words, Speaker Gingrich saved the nation — another conservative who stepped up to the plate, just like the Honorable President Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Now, we are up against stronger leftists like Nanny Pelosi, Hairy Reid and Bawney Frank. I’m confident that the amazing current Honorable Speaker John Boehner will not only stop Hussein Obama and these left wing fools, he will make sure that they won’t have the same liberal replacements.



January 31st, 2011
9:54 pm

fruit loop newt, sarah bunker palin (archie’s other daughter that takes after edith the dingbat), huckanut, rino romney…..hell, obamma is looking like the least worst. i might be holding my nose and voting for the soul man.


January 31st, 2011
9:57 pm

I’m confident that the amazing current Honorable Speaker John Boehner will not only stop Hussein Obama and these left wing fools

speaking of left wing fools, look who sponsored and supported the no child left behind act in the house. yes, such fine conservative values from the current speaker.


January 31st, 2011
10:35 pm

Herman Cain for President in 2012. He is a Georgian who could and would make a difference.

Field 'o Dreams

January 31st, 2011
10:39 pm

“Some pandering is inevitable in presidential politics…”

Yeah but that’s one artifice the American people are pretty quick to pick up on. If Newt starts saying whatever he thinks the audience du jour wants to hear he’ll go nowhere even faster than he is now.

Home School Drop Out

January 31st, 2011
11:29 pm

JEB BUSH is the only canidate that can DEFEAT OBAMA.

Question Man

January 31st, 2011
11:53 pm

Who else is ashamed that Newt Gingrich is from Georgia?


January 31st, 2011
11:59 pm

Jeb Bush? That will surely make me vote for the soul man. At least Obamma tells everyone he is a liberal. Bush just let the knives in the back do the talking.

Is there none?

Recent Grad

February 1st, 2011
3:08 am

Who the hill gets their cornpone ground? And who the hill names their child an ingredient in a witch’s brew?

Sick of Republicans

February 1st, 2011
5:24 am

Gotta love the entertainment these right wing nuts give us don’t we? In their eyes it was okay for Newt to play sheet warmer but wrong for others. I don’t condone adultery from any of them but geez – why is it okay for Newtie to do it? He is a scum bag and don’t think much of wife number 3 – she too knew he was married and according to divorce news here in Georgia tried to help him hid his assets. Most catholics I know don’t much like that kind of stuff. By the way, I am white but me thinks you Obama bashers are that simply because he is black. Shame on you.

RNC establishment

February 1st, 2011
7:06 am

You people will vote for who we darn well tell you to.

We are leaning toward Romney as PresBo, Huckabee as Vice, Palin as Sec, and possibly Newt as ………………….we’re not sure yet. Cain can play a part too.

And you will LIKE it!


February 1st, 2011
7:50 am

Read the expose on newt by his lastest exwife. He is a true slime ball who goes in any direction the wind blows. Immoral and irrevalant.

the mehlman rings twice

February 1st, 2011
8:00 am

Jeb Bush? You must be kidding! Here is another coincidence for Michelle “Swine Flu” Bachman. Every time a Bush is in the White House a rash of failures of financial institutions (S&Ls, investment banks, home loan banks) seems to occur. Not only that, once the old man dies, Jeb’s protection against investigation of many of his former business partners goes away. And I’m not even going to mention how he is responsible for the $325M loss to the Florida employee’s pension fund (let’s just say that Enron execs got golden parachutes because of it).

Newt? I have the same question for Newt that I would ask Thomas Jefferson, “What servant were you sleeping with while Sally was pregnant?”


February 1st, 2011
8:55 am

The trailer park trotsky??? Hilarious….!!!

Sam the Sham

February 1st, 2011
10:17 pm

I have always appreciated Newt’s intelligence and statesmanship, but his recent ideas to allow states to go bankrupt as a way to vacate their retirement contracts with their employees lost me. He and Isakson are off of my Christmas card list.

Just Nasty & Mean

February 2nd, 2011
11:33 am

Oh Newt….. I thought I knew you!?!?!?!?!?


February 2nd, 2011
4:32 pm

B.O. White: You are, indeed, delusional! None of the fine democrats you mention is a serial adulterer, nor have any of them written books about the south winning the Civil War.
Newt is a worthless, self-promoting Elmer Gantry of the first order.
Why does Georgia produce so many neo-conmen and women!?!