The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Althouse Mis-understimates Newt

Posted on | January 21, 2012 | 42 Comments

by Smitty


Perhaps if Gingrich is the candidate, Obama won’t debate him. Why give him a chance to shine? Here’s why. Obama will predict that the majority of Americans will prefer the nice man who is President over the strange and brash man who is attempting to crush him.


All Obama will need to do is stand his ground and be the normal person, and Gingrich will look like a jackass. Do not fear the Newt. He is self-limiting.

Barack, with his reputation for being such an eloquent speaker (as true as anything else said of BHO) will have to step up to the plate and debate, or be taunted mercilessly with variations on the theme of ‘nutless’.
And Newt isn’t a fool. He’ll understand that, if he comes out with exclamation points, then Ann’s argument holds true. Audience sympathy among fools will fall toward Barack. Which is why Newt will serve up a simple fact, and follow with a question. Sure, as the incumbent, Barack wins by hiding behind the podium. So the clear rhetorical move is draw Barack out past his ring of teleprompters and reveal him for the vastly over-rated bucket of hooey that he is.


42 Responses to “Althouse Mis-understimates Newt”

  1. CO
    January 21st, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

    The debates don’t matter that much, Bush never won one.
    Tonight Newt proved the evangelicals are not single issue voters this time.  He proved they will forgive him his transgressions and vote for him.

    Santorum cannot win the primary and Mitt cannot win the national.  It’s time for Rick to endorse Mitt to assure a Republican victory in November.

  2. Quartermaster
    January 21st, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

    If it comes down to Mittens or the Newt, for me it’s the Newt. Mittens is just a NE Liberal. Hopefully Newt has learned over the last 15 years, but we already know what Mittens is, and he will break our heart early and often. It will be intentional too.

    Newt, however, has Dede Scozafava hanging over his head, along with a couch and Pelosi. Newt may break our hearts intentionally as well. But I think his feet can be held to the fire. I doubt Mittens would listen under any circumstances.

  3. CO
    January 21st, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

    At the very least Newt understands what a conscience is, Mitt hasn’t a clue.

  4. Wilsonia
    January 21st, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

    Anne Althouse is full of it.

  5. Adjoran
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

    Debates aren’t necessarily everything.  As CO points out, Bush did no better than a draw against Gore or Kerry despite having the facts all on his side, but won both elections.  Debates killed Nixon, but for image, not substance – those who listened to the first one on radio thought Nixon won handily.

    Reagan was able to use debates to reassure the public – against Carter, that he wasn’t some crazy man, and against Mondale that he hadn’t gone senile on the job.  But again, that was image, not substance (although he won on that, too, it was not the key either year).

    There is no reason to assume Obama is going to give Gingrich a series of “Lincoln-Douglas style” debates with long answers where Gingrich can explicate and sound intelligent.  One or two with short answer formats is all he’ll agree to, and the media will be far different, too.  Instead of letting Newt go off like in the GOP debates, they will insist he answer the question they asked.  If Newt misbehaves too much, it gives Obama the excuse to skip subsequent debates.

    Independents hate Newt’s guts and have consistently in every poll for more than 16 years now.  Nobody in public life has ever had such sustained negative numbers over such a long time.  Newt cannot win.

  6. Adjoran
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    When has Newt EVER done anything other than for Newt?  Anyone who has ever trusted him ends up with a knife in the back.  Remember it was conservatives who ousted him, the establishment GOP was fine with him once he made his plea deal on the ethics charges.

    And if you haven’t read the full report of the Ethics Committee lead counsel on Newt, do it before Obama’s surrogates spend the whole fall reading it to you.

  7. Adjoran
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    You cannot be serious.  The man has the moral compass of a snake.

  8. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

    Newt sucks.

  9. richard mcenroe
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

    He’s quit on two wives and a whole Congressional District so far.  Looks like he’s moving up.

  10. MrPaulRevere
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

    A lot of folks who like to call themselves conservatives have more disdain for Mitt Romney than for Barack Obama. Good luck with that. If they want to be like Capt. Schettino and steer the ship into the rocks, be my guest. Anyone who thinks Newt Gingrich will ever be POTUS is delusional.

  11. smitty
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

    Conservatives, e.g. this blog, are going to pillory President Loquacious if he doesn’t man up and debate.
    But Newt has plenty of time to get his Icarus on and make a big splash before accepting the nomination, IYKWIMAITYD.

  12. ThePaganTemple
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa it tickles the shit out of me to see all these Mitt supporters going apoplectic over Mittens getting his ass kicked.

    “So-called conservatives don’t love my Mittens Boo Hoo Hoo”.

    “Newt is nothing but a snake. So there!:

    And my favorite one of all-

    “I don’t care that Newt won in a landslide most people hate him WAAAAHHHHHH”


  13. smitty
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

    I don’t know who these conservatives are of whom you speak. I have the highest personal regard for Santorum, of the four men standing, but only three are plausible POTUS material and there are reasons to raise questions about all of them.

  14. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

    Ann is just signaling how she will vote if it comes down to Newt and Barack.  She will vote for Barack again.  

    I have a problem with Newt’s womanizing too:  I will have a very hard time forgiving him for his flings with Dede Scozzafava and Nancy Pelosi.  But why is Rick Santorum not catching fire?

  15. Jeff Y.
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

    Where is the small government candidate? Newt isn’t he.

  16. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

    Newt could certainly win.  Newt could also certainly self destruct.  Newt is his own worst enemy.  

  17. MrPaulRevere
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    Maybe I spend too much time reading blogs Smitty and I agree competition and vigorous debates are valuable. However a lot of folks I used to look to for wisdom seem to be intoxicated with Romney hatred. You are not one of them of course as you see the big picture and have sound judgement.

  18. Anonymous
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:15 am

    Instapundit on why Marianne Gingrich’s attack did not work.  

    MORE STILL: A female reader writes that Gingrich may not have been so hurt by ex-wife Marianne’s TV interview:Hate to say this and don’t use my name, but I watched the interview and thought“You bitch, he cheated on his first wife with you. What the heck did you expect?”

  19. richard mcenroe
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:15 am

    The South Carolinian exits said debates were a major influence.

  20. richard mcenroe
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:16 am

    By that rule, Newt is entitled to one free cheat on Callista, no?

  21. Finrod Felagund
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:28 am

    Ahh, the kind of simple eloquence I’ve come to expect from the anti-Newt crowd.  At least you’re more concise than Adjoran.

  22. richard mcenroe
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:02 am

    Not true.  Newt Gingrich not only knows what his conscience is, he knows where it’s buried.

  23. Adjoran
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:07 am

    And if it doesn’t work out well, he still has the $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s for backup!

  24. Adjoran
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:08 am

    Yep – and religion, unfortunately.

  25. Adjoran
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:09 am

    Yeah, but his timing always works out so it happens at the worst possible time for the Party.

    And it isn’t as if the conservative blogs will be nice to Barry if he agrees to ten debates, is it? He has little to lose.

  26. Adjoran
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:10 am

    My memory works just fine.  Are you suffering dementia?

  27. Adjoran
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    If there is a more hated man in America besides maybe Manson, show me the polls.  Newt’s high mark is about 20 points underwater, he’s around -35% with the electorate right now, and that includes the conservatives with no memories who support the jerk.  He’s been in that range since 1995 and NEVER rose above it.

    People hate him because he is not a nice man.  Conservatives in the House learned the hard way and threw the bum out on his keister.

  28. Adjoran
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:15 am

    If the little prick wins the nomination, be sure to show up here the day after the election, mmmkay?

  29. Jackson
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:32 am

    If he does (he won’t) it will be some nonsense answer, like blaming it all on Karl Rove why Newt lost the biggest landslide in several generations.

  30. Jackson
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:39 am

    Obama will do 2 debates with Newt. 

    Gingrich will be better, but Obama won’t screw up, he’ll calmly make his talking points, and go back to spending $800 million explaining to voters what a corrupt piece of sh#t Newt is, and even rock solid Republicans will find a reason not to go to the polls.

    Ask President Gore and Kerry how important the debates were, Bush got walloped at nearly every one.  And Obama is not going to be the “deer in the headlights” Dubya was.

    Also, the expectations will be set so high for Newt, any wager on who’s more likely to either not meet expectations or have a meltdown?

  31. Anonymous
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:40 am

    You’re probably right. Newt probably can’t beat Obama.

    On the other hand, he’s the only one of the remaining GOP candidates who has any chance at all  of both getting the nomination and beating Obama.

    Romney could get the nomination, but he has zero chance in the general election.

    Paul might be able to beat Obama, but he has zero chance at the nomination.

    Santorum doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell at either one.

    That leaves Gingrich, who has a pretty good shot at the nomination and a slim but real shot at the White House.

    Anyone whose priority is beating Obama supports Gingrich from here on out. It’s just that simple.

    Since I personally don’t care who wins in November, I don’t care a great deal about whom the GOP nominates, either, except that I hate boredom. Gingrich, Santorum or Paul could at least make it an interesting summer and fall. Romney would be like six months of watching paint dry.

  32. KLP
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 2:27 am

    Adjoran’s right, and people in the dextrosphere seem to do a good job of rationalizing why their candidate is the most electable (Ron Paul? please — any non-interventionist cred he gets with non-Republicans is more than canceled out when he opens his mouth. he’s the prototypical third-party/insurgent candidate, strong support core and that’s it.)

    i’m biased toward Romney not cuz i’m a squish, but because people are seriously underestimating Obama just because he’s no longer The One of ’08. if Romney is nominated and loses, i’m sure we’ll hear plenty of tales about how we lost cuz we Abandoned Our Principles, despite the fact that if an Obama win is in the cards he’d likely beat all the other candidates by a wider margin.

    conservatives need to realize that apolitical independent types are disappointed with Obama but they do not hate him with the intensity that they do. someone as polarizing as Newt will give them the excuse to vote for the “cool-headed” guy again.

  33. Adjoran
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 5:54 am

    Are you saying that all the polling is rigged to trick us?  Because Romney has been the most consistent named opponent vs Obama in polling for a year now, even showing a lead in a couple of them.  That’s unusual for a challenger who is still only competing, because supporters of his opponents downplay their likelihood to vote for him if he wins.  Some of the others have fared well  in individual polls, too, even Cain and Paul, but NEVER Newt.

    One thing has been clear since the 1995 government shutdown:  Newt Gingrich is the most despised public figure without a felony conviction in America, and he has never shown any serious signs of recovering his standing. Independents hate him.  These swing voters don’t invest a lot of thought and study into voting, that’s why they keep swinging from side to side.  Impressions matter, and if you can’t spot Newt as a grade-A prick within five minutes of him opening his mouth, you shouldn’t be outdoors without a helmet.

    Gingrich would suffer one the worst defeats in recent history, rivaling the Goldwater, McGovern, and Mondale losses. 

  34. ThePaganTemple
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    I’m one of the few people here who have defended Rove, though I have criticized him as well. I just call it like I see it. I’ve criticized my own preferred candidate, and I’ve tried to be fair to all of them in my assessments. I’ll be damned if I’m going to suddenly be a fucking cheerleader for the ones I’m most opposed to.

  35. DAN
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    Newt is 68 years old. 

    Is his womanizing even an issue anymore?

    Isn’t focusing on the sexual activities of a 68 year old man slightly weird?

    The only reason we’re even discussing it is that the establishment and the Romney creatures want to drag Newt down, and will reach for any boulder to throw at him.

  36. DAN
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    Why the term: “unfortunately?”

  37. DAN
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    So who here thinks we need Saint Francis in the White House?

    Is that what you want, a guy chanting  Saint Francis’s prayer: “Make me a channel of your peace…..”

    Do you want a conservative to rip and to tear into the federal bureaucracy, or do you want a pussy frightened of his own shadow?

    Your choices have narrowed, if you haven’t noticed.

  38. Edward
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    Because he doesn’t have any passion for the job.  He doesn’t have any passion for getting into the octagon and fighting at arms length with razor blades.

    He flinches.

  39. Anonymous
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

    So long as it is not Dede Scozzafava, Nancy Pelosi, or (God forbid) Debbie Wasserman Schultz…okay.  

    Maybe Newt can hook up with Ann Coulter or Jen Rubin.  Now that would be funny!  

  40. ltw
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    Professor Gingrich and Professor Obama will be expected to debate, because that’s what professors do that are running for president.  It’s a learning opportunity for America.

  41. Anonymous
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    No, I’m not saying the polling is rigged to trick us.

    Polling can be useful, but it’s not necessarily very predictive of a race nearly a year in the future, featuring not-yet-chosen participants.

    Romney shows as doing better versus Obama than he’d actually do, because Obama hasn’t started knocking him around yet.

    Gingrich shows as doing worse versus Obama than he’d actually do — for the same reason.

    When you start landing punches on Romney, he falls apart.

    When you start landing punches on Gingrich, he grins at you for a little while, then rips off your head and shits down your neck.

  42. Bob Belvedere
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

    This is the way many women think, Richard.  It doesn’t have to make sense, as my wife admits, but it is the way they often think about things.