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Eye of Newt

December 15, 2011 - John Stack
How is it that Newt Gingrich has seeming risen from the ashes like a Phoenix to lead the Republican primary contest? Has he come up with a new idea or plan for us? Well, no. he seems to still be exactly the same as he’s always been. I think its really just a poor reflection on what the political pundits have to say as well as multi million dollar campaigns seemingly having no real idea how to win a campaign of this magnitude.

I use the word ‘pundit’ carelessly. I think a better term would be ‘talking head’ for most of the analysis. Back when Michele Bachmann had her 15 minutes of leading the pack, the press seemed to cover her as if she was a real candidate. It seemed that to any logical observer, she was just way too looney, way too far right and way too narrow minded to ever actually win even the GOP nomination, let alone the Presidency. But she won a straw poll 2 years ahead of the election voted on by about 40 party crackpots and was anointed a contender. At least the press never took Rick Santorum seriously, but we’re talking a shallow pool here.

Herman Cain? He never really even thought he could win. I assumed he was in it for some type of name recognition and he was trying to monetize this somehow. But, he was completely unprepared for a spotlight this big with the stakes so high. From somehow not realizing running for president is the most scrutinized event on earth, not realizing his whole family would be involved, and that his past would be fair game for all. I sympathize with candidates who’s kids or family get caught up in the rottenness of a campaign, but that’s what you sign up for and if ya can’t take the heat PizzaMan, get away from the ovens.

Rick Perry? He has some type of belief that he is by divine providence the best candidate. Once again, this is a race for only the best, most hardened and aware candidates. He seems to be clueless that all of his ideas aren’t embraced by all. He doesn’t seem to realize when running for a GOP spot, you don’t’ act like a democrat (immigration). As much as has been said about his lack of speaking abilities, its tough, but if the nation sees you up on stage, unprepared and lost, its not the guy we want with his finger on the button – “wait a minute, am I calling for airstrikes on Afganistan or Azerbaijan?”

Mitt Romney? He’s been running for president for 5 years now. He has tried to do everything he could to land the nomination. 10 years ago, he’d probably be a shoo-in. Now, with the Tea Party and the like looking more for extreme change , a self appointed and anointed nominee may have a hard time winning. He’s run basically a stealth campaign (not unlike Pataki in the 90s). He won’t go out on any limb, destroys any records that might trip him up, and puts his finger in the air each week, waits 10 days to see which way the GOP wind is blowing, and tacks in that direction. Of all the contenders, he’s the most obviously transparent in doing anything it takes to win, especially with having no unique thoughts or saying anything to get himself in trouble. He’s nobody’s first choice, and he’s hoping everyone just kills each other off. Unfortunately, when he has opened his mouth extemporaneously, he lets out a little of who he really is, such as a privileged, stiff, out of touch politician.

Newt though, hasn’t really changed. He has held on by being Newt. Of all the hopefuls, he seems to be the only one who espouses any common sense at all. Where Michele Bachmann says to deport all the illegal immigrants, Newt sees this as completely unrealistic. Default on our National Debt? Come on guys! But newt is also battle scarred and thick skinned. He carries more baggage than any of the other candidates, but seems to make more points on his negatives than losses. When the other candidates try to say ‘ we need new leadership’ or ‘ we don’t need career politicians’ Newt will say ‘ The only reason the others may not BE career politicians is because they LOST!

I think that the GOP as a whole is basically realizing that only Mitt and Newt seem prepared to be president. Newt’s been there. People know he can do it. When Eliot Spitzer came into office, he wielded a big stick as if the legislature would cower to him because he won decisively. He was clobbered by the most corrupt of them all, Joe Bruno. Newt seems to realize this. As a politician, I think people realize Newt can get IT done, whatever IT may be.

This is not to say Newt is not a terribly flawed candidate. His views on the poor and the working class show that he really has no good grasp of the complexities of those making under $50,000 or how people can or cannot survive without health care/safety nets/unemployment. And, truly, I hope he gets the nod, as I believe he would be easier to knock off than Mitt….!!!


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