Newt Gingrich reduced to a Deep South strategy

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and his wife Callista, left, at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday. Josh Haner/The New York Times

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and his wife Callista, left, at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday. Josh Haner/The New York Times

After he skewered a doubting news media and a hostile GOP “establishment” on Tuesday night, a crusty — yet cheerful — Newt Gingrich concluded his victory in the Georgia presidential primary with a vow to carry his fight into Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi.

By the time the sun had come up on Wednesday, Kansas — which holds caucuses on Saturday — had been dropped from the Gingrich itinerary. And campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond acknowledged that the former U.S. House speaker had been reduced to a Deep South strategy.

Gingrich’s hopes of keeping his presidential ambitions on this side of reality now rely on his ability to cut a swath of victories from South Carolina to Texas. Somewhat like General Sherman in reverse — except that Sherman didn’t finish third in Tennessee.

To remain a credible candidate, Hammond acknowledged, Gingrich will have to win both Alabama and Mississippi next Tuesday.

Not place. Win.

The image that comes immediately to mind: A 1994 Camaro charging into a cul-de-sac.

First, there are the limitations foisted on a candidate by the very phrase. “Saying you’ve got a Southern strategy — it’s like saying you’re for states’ rights,” said Steve Anthony, who teaches political science at Georgia State University.

Republicans in the Georgia Senate may still enjoy the occasional debate over nullification, but it is not a profitable topic of conversation in other regions of the country.

Then there’s the matter of reliability. Aside from Sherman, and Richard Nixon’s 1968 bid for the White House, Southern strategies are woefully unpredictable things.

Back in 1986, Georgia House Speaker Tom Murphy joined hands with leaders from several other states in the region and created the multi-state presidential primary that came to be called Super Tuesday.

“It was an effort to force politicians to pay attention to the South,” said Anthony, who at the time was Murphy’s chief of staff.

A fierce Democrat, Murphy harbored hopes that a Southern hurdle could lure someone like then-Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia into a 1988 contest that would end with a national convention in Atlanta.

Instead, Al Gore jumped in. The young senator from Tennessee quickly found himself shellacked in Georgia — and several other states — by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. A fellow from Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, was crowned the Democratic nominee in Atlanta.

It didn’t end well.

A Republican parallel may now be in the works. Rick Santorum may have been handed his hat by Gingrich in Georgia — unofficial returns indicate he won only three of the state’s 76 delegates. But the former Pennsylvania won three states to Gingrich’s one on Super Tuesday: Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota.

On Wednesday, Santorum didn’t ignore Kansas — and still managed to make it to Mississippi. He’ll be in Alabama on Thursday.

Of the pair, neighboring Alabama may be an easier win for Gingrich. Not because Huntsville has a space camp, but because it’s not Mississippi — where the family of former Gov. Haley Barbour still hold sway.

Henry Barbour, the governor’s nephew and a member of the Republican National Committee, is a former supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry — and now a Romney backer.

Two months ago, during the South Carolina campaign, Henry Barbour declared that a Gingrich nomination could lose more than a race for the White House. He still thinks so. “When the top of the ticket is erratic, it makes it dangerous for the majority in the [U.S.] House, and could keep us from winning the Senate,” Barbour said Wednesday.

The RNC member gives Santorum the edge in both Mississippi and Alabama, but declares that Romney has a decent chance of finishing second in Mississippi.

But neither state should be used as a measure of how a GOP nominee would fare against President Barack Obama — that’s what Michigan and Ohio were for, Barbour said.

Chances are that, come August, a former Massachusetts governor will still be handed the Republican nomination in Tampa. But Gingrich’s Deep South strategy serves as a reminder the GOP frontrunner has yet to finish strong in a contested Southern state. (Tuesday’s Virginia match-up between Romney and Ron Paul doesn’t count.)

Yet there were bright spots for Romney.

On Tuesday in Tennessee, Romney finished an unimpressive 50,000 votes behind Santorum — but he won Nashville.

In Georgia, Romney also finished a distant (26 percent) second. But he won Fulton and DeKalb counties. And Savannah. Though Romney generated 57,523 fewer votes than he did in 2008, he still finished first in two congressional districts, including the 6th District in north metro Atlanta, once represented by Gingrich.

That’s not a Deep South strategy. But it is a Suburban South strategy, and in the end, Romney may have to be satisfied with that.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

118 comments Add your comment

ld

March 7th, 2012
5:56 pm

ld

March 7th, 2012
5:57 pm

Maybe his theme song should be Dixie?

honested

March 7th, 2012
6:03 pm

Gingrhoid seems to have somehow forgotten that everyone over 40 has heard his crackpot ideas before and had the dis-pleasure of seeing how badly they failed.

It’s hard to be a ‘millenially outstanding permanently transformational’ gasbag.

roughrider

March 7th, 2012
6:24 pm

There is a rumor going around that when Ropmney gets the nomination , he will make Noot, Moon Commander.”

Attack Dog

March 7th, 2012
6:26 pm

The more we watch how pathetic the Gop has run its primaries may be an indication as to why they want to suppress votes.

seabeau

March 7th, 2012
6:37 pm

Newt did a great job as speaker,forcing Pres.Clinton to revamp the welfare system. But many of his own Repubs in the House abhored his leadership style, which was said to be akin to an eightball bouncing everywhere but where it was needed.

Moon Mullins

March 7th, 2012
6:58 pm

Newt does well among those whose family tree doesn’t have a fork in it. For the rest, he’s seen for what he is — a bullying, womanizer who is undisciplined, lazt, disorganized, unfocused, scattered in his thinking and delusional. Other than that, he’s okay.

snoqualmiepass

March 7th, 2012
7:09 pm

It seems we have seen this playbook before… lets see 1964 AU H20..
Yup, nothing new from this guy. Oh BTW, how many states besides AZ did Goldwater carry? I’m looking for a replay.

smarter than you

March 7th, 2012
7:11 pm

when you idiots watch your Boy odumma crawl back to the streets of chicago us republicans will be in charge and you will see AMERICA return to what it should be.

DannyX

March 7th, 2012
7:21 pm

“when you idiots watch your Boy odumma crawl back to the streets of chicago us republicans will be in charge and you will see AMERICA return to what it should be.”

Can’t wait!! We will return to the good ol’ days! Another Great Recession. Another socialist Medicare entitlement plan, unfunded of course. Another useless unfunded trillion dollar war, bring it on! More huge tax cuts together with a spending spree. More bridges to nowhere! 850,000 job losses per month, good time, good times. Another real estate crash. We love bank failures!

America like it should be! God Bless America!

Centrist

March 7th, 2012
7:33 pm

Quote from Mr. Jim Galloway above – “But Gingrich’s Deep South strategy serves as a reminder the GOP frontrunner has yet to finish strong in a contested Southern state.” So from that, the title of this blog should read: “Fellow Democrats, let’s pretend Obama is going to win the south in November”.

JamVet

March 7th, 2012
7:33 pm

Philandering – Republican Phamily Values.

William Smith

March 7th, 2012
7:55 pm

This election cycle is not only bad but also scary. It looks to be a race between Obama and Romney. Many people blast Obama for his policies that are described as socialist. However, Romney harkens back to the days of Bush number 2. I find myself not fond of any one of the two. The only other possibility although a long shot is Mr. Rick. He strikes me as a good candidate on Ozzie and Harriet but not the current state of America. This reminds me of living in Poland in the Mid 1930’s you have Hitler on one side and Stalin on the other. Choose your poison!

td

March 7th, 2012
7:59 pm

You libs are on the war path tonight. Newt was a great leader for the conservative movement in Georgia and in the nation and you all just hate the fact. He is also the smartest man running for President this year (including the current occupier of the White house) and you all know it and hate it. Keep spewing the hate. We all know that it is really envy.

Moon Mullins

March 7th, 2012
8:26 pm

@td — Then I’m sure he’ll be able to win those three hour Lincoln-Douglas debates with Obama. But first he has to win the nomination. But how can he win the nomination when he can’t win any states. He came in third or fourth in eight out of ten contests on Tuesday.

Maybe he can have those three hour Lincoln-Douglas debates with Callista. I’m sure she’d let him win. Geeeeeeeez!

Travis McGee

March 7th, 2012
8:31 pm

Say td, hows that vote for Newt working for you today? He says he gonna win the nomination. Is he delusional or what? Sheldon Adelson will cut him off and when that happens ol’ Newt will go back to his day job — being a non-lobbying lobbyist.

Ol' Timer

March 7th, 2012
8:33 pm

I never thought I’d see a Republican field that would make McCain look like a strong candidate; but dang if it didn’t happen.

Embarrassed Georgian

March 7th, 2012
8:38 pm

People who sing Gingrinch’s praises live in a fantasy world. They choose to ignore his history as the poster child for everything that’s wrong with Washington. GA Repubs look like a bunch of backwards hicks for voting for their “native son” who brought shame to their state in the 1990s and resigned in disgrace. Yee haw, GOP. You’ll get your clocks cleaned in the general election, just as you deserve.

Newt Gingrich Reduced To A Deep South Good Ol' Boys' Strategy

March 7th, 2012
8:48 pm

To remain a candidate, Newt Gingrich will KEEP THROWING out red meat and dog whistles to the GOOD OL’ BOYS in Alabama and Mississippi next Tuesday.

td

March 7th, 2012
8:50 pm

Embarrassed Georgian

March 7th, 2012
8:38 pm

It is the ones that are saying Obama has done a good job are the delusional people.

Real American

March 7th, 2012
8:54 pm

This GOP primary race is so awesome. ROFLMAO

td

March 7th, 2012
8:59 pm

Travis McGee

March 7th, 2012
8:31 pm

I had no delusion that Newt was not going to drop out of the race. I also know that Romney will be the nominee. The more Newt goes across the nation and keeps the base thinking about gas prices and letting the American people know how biased the media is the better for the party in November.

RaceToTheBottom

March 7th, 2012
9:01 pm

A “Pennsylvania Yankee transplant to Georgia back to Virginia” running on a “deep south strategy”. So this is the best we can do? Wow. George Wallace is spinning in his grave. So is Reagan. Each also used this strategy. Pathetic.

Newt Gingrich Reduced To A Deep South Good Ol' Boys' Strategy

March 7th, 2012
9:08 pm

@smarter than you

March 7th, 2012
7:11 pm
when you idiots watch your Boy odumma crawl back to the streets of chicago us republicans will be in charge and you will see AMERICA return to what it should be.

************************************************************************

Listen WANNA BE GENIUS

The only thing that will be CRAWLING BACK will be the REPUBLICAN GOOD OL’ BOYS crawling back under that rock. :)

missmollie

March 7th, 2012
9:14 pm

Newt will be 69 very soon….RS may be looking down the road. Last chance for Newt, RP, and MR, IMO.. Kansas will be between MR and RS. Texas will be the next big prize….Does anyone believe Newt’s $2.50 gasoline ploy????

Newt Gingrich Reduced To A Deep South Good Ol' Boys' Strategy

March 7th, 2012
9:14 pm

@td

March 7th, 2012
8:50 pm
Embarrassed Georgian

March 7th, 2012
8:38 pm

It is the ones that are saying Obama has done a good job are the delusional people.
***********************************************************

Listen Teedee,

WHAT HAS Newt DONE FOR YOU LATELY?

What will NEWT DO FOR YOU? Huh?

He’ll send you to the MOON. :)

honested

March 7th, 2012
9:20 pm

td,

Identify ANYTHING that nut getrich actually accomplished.
Hint: The hard work of other people that he was quick to take credit for DOES NOT count.

As for the ‘voice of conservatism’ what does that mean?…..other than the symbol of failure.

honested

March 7th, 2012
9:22 pm

By the way, as to the bogus gasoline pricing nonsense, if the house rethugs had half a brain, they would be avidly encouraging Americans to convert to natural gas.

Of course that would cut off the funds from the petroleum refining monster they all count on for re-election.

td

March 7th, 2012
9:22 pm

missmollie

March 7th, 2012
9:14 pm

“Does anyone believe Newt’s $2.50 gasoline ploy????”

If you do not then you are uninformed and may need to improve your intelligence about the subject.

Newt Gingrich Reduced To A Deep South Good Ol' Boys' Strategy

March 7th, 2012
9:23 pm

@td

March 7th, 2012
8:59 pm
Travis McGee

March 7th, 2012
8:31 pm

I had no delusion that Newt was not going to drop out of the race. I also know that Romney will be the nominee. The more Newt goes across the nation and keeps the base thinking about gas prices and letting the American people know how biased the media is the better for the party in November.
**********************************************************************

ONE CAN ONLY HOPE that he will DROP OUT.

The more Newt goes across the nation and keeps FEEDING RED MEAT to the base WE WILL GET gas. :)

honested

March 7th, 2012
9:25 pm

td,

I will run rings around you about actual petroleum stocks little feller.

This is another nootsanity pulled out of his pants.

There is NO crude oil supply problem and the only problem with refining is intentionally reduced capacity. The United States currently exports gasoline (let that soak in for a few seconds).

Everything that crackpot has spouted from ‘drill here, drill now’ to ‘2.50 a gallon gas’ (an American entitlement to cheap gas) has been a LIE. A method to separate fools from their money to give to him.

Newt Gingrich Reduced To A Deep South Good Ol' Boys' Strategy

March 7th, 2012
9:29 pm

@td

March 7th, 2012
9:22 pm
missmollie

March 7th, 2012
9:14 pm

“Does anyone believe Newt’s $2.50 gasoline ploy????”

If you do not then you are uninformed and may need to improve your intelligence about the subject.
***************************************

$2.50 GAS?

heeheeheeheeheeheehee

hahahahahahahahahahaha

Yeah, And I got some land I want to sell you on the MOON… :)

td

March 7th, 2012
9:33 pm

honested

March 7th, 2012
9:20 pm

Did you forget about the 1994 mid term elections? Who do you give credit to for putting the first Republican run House of Representatives in 50 years? Newt told the establishment it could be done by running a national mid term election campaign. They said no way and would not support him with their efforts or money. He raised the money, recruited the candidates all over the country and ran the campaign.

Newt becomes the first Republican speaker of the house in 50 years.
Passed all 10 planks in the contract with America.
First substantial welfare reform legislation (turned a cash payment from an entitlement to a temporary assistance program). Had to basically force Clinton to sign it (He vetoed it 3 times).

Is this not enough? Now would you like to compare Obama’s legislative successes?

Tom

March 7th, 2012
9:34 pm

Is he walking with a cane in the photo? Does he have some health issues?

td

March 7th, 2012
9:39 pm

honested

March 7th, 2012
9:25 pm

What happened when to gas prices when GWB announced and signed executive orders to open up the Atlantic, Pacific, North Dakota? Gas dropped top $1:83 per gallon and then Obama come in office and resends those orders and closes to gulf and what has happened to gas prices?

Keep making those arguments that no one with any common sense believes.

Newt D. Trrd

March 7th, 2012
9:48 pm

TD,
Like your fellow Repubs, you can’t defend your positions with facts; you can only attack others. Dems are far from perfect but at least they’re trying to improve the lot of the middle class. All the Repubs can do is scream “less government” and “less taxes for rich people” as if it’s some magic formula for prosperity. Get with the times, GOP. That formula didn’t work for Reagan and still doesn’t work today. Thank goodness that people are finally starting to wise up that all the Repub rhetoric is BS. The only people they care about are the wealthy elites that line their pockets, they couldn’t care less about the vanishing middle class.

The Presidential candidates are a disgusting bunch of freaking cowards, with Newt leading the parade. Limbaugh makes tasteless, borderline obscene remarks and NONE of the hopefuls even has the nuts to criticize him? Really??? What a bunch of pandering, disgusting hypocrites.

I absolutely REVEL in watching the GOP self destruct this election cycle. They’re reaping the fruits of their own incompetence, ignorance and inability to lead. Mitt “ShapeShifter” Romney is the best they can do? Even his own party doesn’t trust him. The only thing that could make this election more of a blowout would be to see Sarah Palin nominated at a brokered convention. Enjoy 2012, Republicans, you’ve earned it!

td

March 7th, 2012
9:55 pm

Newt D. Trrd

March 7th, 2012
9:48 pm

TD,
Like your fellow Repubs, you can’t defend your positions with facts; you can only attack others.

The above three post of mine are all facts and show me where I have attacked anyone?

What has Obama done to help the middle class? How much has Obamacare cost you since it was passed? How much is gas costing you today as compared to when Obama took office?

Get off the party line and come up with your own facts and not typical party line.

td

March 7th, 2012
9:59 pm

Newt D. Trrd

March 7th, 2012
9:48 pm

“Limbaugh makes tasteless, borderline obscene remarks and NONE of the hopefuls even has the nuts to criticize him? Really??? What a bunch of pandering, disgusting hypocrites.”

The Obama campaign just accepted $1 million from Bill Maher and he called Sarah Palin a “twit” and a “Cu@t”. Where is your outrage? Why has not the Obama team refused to accept the money? Why is David Alexrod going to appear on his show in the next couple of weeks?

Can you stop the spin for a minute you troll.

How DARE you!

March 7th, 2012
10:07 pm

Newt D. Trrd

March 7th, 2012
9:48 pm

TD,
Like your fellow Repubs, you can’t defend your positions with facts; you can only attack others.

I beg your pardon?!? Republicans have a limitless supply of “facts”, such as…
- Reagan cut taxes
- Reagan shrunk government
- Less taxes = more revenue
- The free market is infallible, government should have no role
- Regulating big business = SOCIALISM

In the GOP Bubble, “facts” are unencumbered by whether they’re true. (And they’re toasty warm ’cause they got pulled out of someone’s rear end.)

td

March 7th, 2012
10:20 pm

“While slamming Mitt Romney for not standing up to the “strident voices” on his side, a top Obama advisor is planning to spend some quality time with one on his own, The Daily has learned.

David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior campaign strategist, is scheduled to appear on Bill Maher’s late-night talk show within the next few weeks, according to Kelley Carville, an HBO spokesman.

As the controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke continued, a former Obama White House official today joined Republicans in pointing out that Maher, who recently donated $1 million to a pro-Obama super PAC, has a history of his misogynistic slurs.”

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/03/07/030712-news-web-limbaugh-fluke/

Wonder why this is not a story in the MSM?

Newt D. Trrd

March 7th, 2012
10:30 pm

TD,
Stop your name calling long enough to cry me a river! The economy was driven over a cliff on the Republicans’ watch, and none of your self-righteous whining will change that FACT. And the GOP STILL claims that lowering taxes will actually shrink the defecit? Wow, that is breathtakingly stupid, both for the lack of intelligence and the sheer gall to say it out loud.

One can make a VERY strong point that the economic collapse was due to the BUSH economic policies. People tend to remember little things like losing their jobs and homes. That’s why independent voters are deserting the GOP in droves lately; they can’t BS their voters forever.

Until the Repubs change course away from the proven failed policies of the past, they’re going to continue losing voters and elections. There will always be that 30% who think they can do no wrong, but the GOP is going to wither and die (like the Tea Party they’re so beholden to) as a political force if they don’t wise up. Not that I’m holding my breath!

Have fun in The Bubble, TD. Hope you feel safe and warm in there, away from that pesky reality.

Newt D. Trrd

March 7th, 2012
10:37 pm

td

March 7th, 2012
10:20 pm

David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior campaign strategist, is scheduled to appear on Bill Maher’s late-night talk show within the next few weeks, according to Kelley Carville, an HBO spokesman.

Wonder why this is not a story in the MSM?
***
It’s not a MSM story because Maher is not the defacto head of the Democratic Party. The Dems aren’t afraid of him like the Repugs are afraid of that drug-addled pig Limbaugh.

But, it’s a BIG story for you poor, victimized, persecuted Republicans. Please p!ss and moan among yourselves to your hearts’ content. Perhaps some warm milk will help you sleep, poor babies…

td

March 7th, 2012
10:46 pm

Newt D. Trrd

March 7th, 2012
10:30 pm

Again, where did I call anyone a name?

Your whole storyline is right off MSNBC and is not a fact but their storyline for empowering the Dems. So no you are wrong with your facts.

I see you failed to address my questions so I guess that means you agree that Obama was done nothing but make a recession last longer. I will ask the questions again to see if you have the intellectual ability to answer them.

What has Obama done to help the middle class? How much has Obamacare cost you since it was passed? How much is gas costing you today as compared to when Obama took office?

Gman

March 7th, 2012
10:47 pm

Newt looks like a busted can of biscuits but not as smart!

td

March 7th, 2012
10:55 pm

Gman

March 7th, 2012
10:47 pm

You are just envious because you know you can not hold a candle to his intelligence.

Ted

March 7th, 2012
10:55 pm

Newt and Callista will have to be dragged off the stage kicking and screaming. They love the spotlight.

Anthony

March 7th, 2012
11:12 pm

Newt is the only candidate that has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the Washington establishment, make a distinct contrast of what true conservatism is and make minced meat of President Obama in a presidential debate, PERIOD!

sparta_bubba

March 7th, 2012
11:13 pm

I would support Newt but I just can’t stomach the fact that if he were elected he would continue to always have his garden utensil standing beside him all the time. YIKES!!! uglier than home made sin.

The Kid

March 7th, 2012
11:36 pm

Anthony; pass me a hit of that sh.t man. It’s got to be the bomb.

Frederick Douglass

March 7th, 2012
11:47 pm

At least Newt’s patriotism is unquestioned, he’s the only politician that I know of that shows up for news conferences with a bald eagle on his arm.