Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Michael Barone reviews the career of Newt Gingrich.
As for the public, Gingrich became widely unpopular due, as I wrote then, to "a cocksureness, a professorial abstractness about policy, a more than occasional petulance and high self regard." He also showed a tin ear for proprieties, divorcing two wives to marry other women and signing a seven-figure book contract as speaker (later dropped), just as he signed up for seven figures from Freddie Mac after leaving office. Asked a year ago whether he was running, Gingrich said, "Why wouldn't I?" When his campaign staff resigned en masse, he persevered. Now we'll see if voters entrust this autodidact with a position for which few of his colleagues think he is fitted.
I think his current popularity is either due to ignorance of his past or a deliberate indifference based on a desire to think he's changed. Nobody excels in Washington as spectacularly as Gingrich has without great talent, a great ego, or both. Some make it through playing politics, through connections. Others by a combination of talent and chutzpah. I see Gingrich as the latter. But I don't think the Presidency will satisfy his need to prove how great he is, because merely cutting spending and regulation won't satisfy his need to be the one with the answers nobody else recognized.

GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich: Poor children have no 'habits of working... unless it's illegal'Good thing he's not seeking the poor vote. He has a habit of making valid points in the most offensive way possible. Conservatives might like that, but it will blow back on them in the long run. They don't hate the poor, but to describe them in terms that sound critical doesn't win them over or demonstrate the Golden Rule.

Gingrich: Most likely to kiss up to the liberal elite says Jennifer Rubin. That certainly fits my impression of him. But the irrational hatred of Mitt Romney among many tea partiers may drive them into supporting a Washington insider who can't focus on the main task without being distracted by some new scheme for having the federal government solve society's problems. I wondered how he would handle authority but his behavior has become more arrogant just after gaining a lead in the polls, claiming that he WILL be the nominee, have given me the nervous feeling that he hasn't really changed.