Mr. Gingrich’s superficial appeal was quickly obliterated this week. What do we call that again? “Flash-in-the-pan,” was it? Before Americans had a chance to have their memories jogged, many lined up behind the Newt. At Intrade, he peaked last Monday (12/12/11) at about 37.5% — exactly a week ago, Gingrich was at 32.5% and still rising in the “put your money where your mouth is poll.” He has dropped like a boulder and is now threatening to take over Huntsman and Paul at the dregs of the Intrade polls at right around 13.0%. Stunning is the fall — there is no other way to describe it. Consider this: No more than five days ago, Gingrich and Romney were about five points separated in Intrade; today the spread is 50 points!
Lest you have forgotten (or you never saw it), watch this 60-second video at ABCNews from 12/1/11 to watch Mr. Gingrich tell the entire world he would be the Republican nominee and also state, in reference to the other GOP candidates (more than one time), “They’re not going to be the nominee.” By the way, if any of you ever wondered who was more intelligent between Gingrich and Romney, this one-minute video should have resolved it for you. No intelligent person would ever set the expectations of voters to the highest possible level, months ahead of the possible result — a pretentious, arrogant, narcissistic man would though. As you watch the video, look at the smug look on his face. Try to imagine Governor Romney ever taking such posture, let alone saying such a thing. That said, I have heard Gingrich use the word “humble” before, in reference to himself no less!
Why has his highness fallen and so fast?
The vetting process is working. We all know the “good talker” type among those we have met, right? The smooth, confident, charismatic used car salesman type. Few people in politics are as articulate and knowledgeable as Gingrich — no question about it. But possession of knowledge (facts…) and rhetorical skills do not make the man! They certainly do not make the leader. In my opinion, Gingrich is a very poor leader. He is a very good historian though, and it shows as he always schools us in the debates. But his style reminds me of the professors I had in business school that used to tell us what it takes to run a business when their entire reference was from academia, not business. Gingrich has never been a true executive leader accountable to any bottom line — though he was ultimately accountable to the American people when he was run out of Congress by his peers. And what about wisdom? Rarely is the word “wisdom” used in any way to describe Gingrich.
Why the fall? I strongly believe it is his lack of moral character. This week, Gingrich made a fidelity pledge — no really, he did. But my point is that this was his fourth pledge. He made the very same pledge, if not much stronger and more sacred to three women, including his current wife. Why are we to consider that there is important meaning in his pledge of 12/12/11? Again, I really believe that Gingrich is not that bright for him to think that all Americans are that gullible and naive. Why would Republicans, who stopped supporting Herman Cain partially because of only alleged infidelity, have any desire to retain Newt Gingrich? Gingrich is an admitted serial adulterer — albeit a self-described “repentant” one — and a grandfather! Let’s hope his grandchildren never run across this, this, this, and this.
Governor Romney is the leader of undisputed moral character that America needs right now to remove us from the rudderless course.
“What the statesman is most anxious to produce is a certain moral character in his fellow citizens, namely a disposition to virtue and the performance of virtuous actions.” — Aristotle
“Leadership is understanding people and involving them to help you do a job. That takes all of the good characteristics, like integrity, dedication of purpose, selflessness, knowledge, skill, implacability, as well as determination not to accept failure.” — Admiral Arleigh A. Burke