What’s at Stake Tuesday, Long and Short Term

The Romance of Delegate Math

If you’re like me you find yourself looking at polling data and calculating delegate counts in your head. If Mitt takes so many delegates in DC, Maryland and Wisconsin, that puts him at a new total of X, extending his lead over Santorum by Y, and making Rick need Z percent of the future delegates to win…. Okay, maybe you’re not like me.

It may sound boring to the uninitiated, but it’s the math behind propelling the most qualified candidate in the race to his party’s nomination, step one in replacing Barack Obama.

What’s at Stake Tuesday: Long View

What Obamacare teaches us. In case you don’t think replacing Barack Obama is a big deal, reflect back on the biggest political story of this week. Okay, not the open mic incident. I’m referring to our hearing our president’s Solicitor General argue to the Supreme Court why Obamacare’s Federal mandate is constitutional. The traditionally conservative justices asked for a rationale that could possibly limit Congress’ power under the commerce clause should they accept his argument. Meanwhile, the traditionally liberal justices tried their best to supply that rationale. Based on the impressions of those reporting, the decision appears headed for a familiar 5-4 vote against the law, with the four traditional conservatives on one side, the four traditional liberals on the other, and middle-of-the-road Justice Kennedy likely voting with the conservatives. But time will tell.

Shape of the Court to come. As someone concerned about finding real limits to Congress’ power (history proving we need limits to preserve our freedom), and knowing the general police power was intended to be reserved to the states (making the difference between Federal Obamacare and state Romneycare night and day), I thank my lucky stars we had presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush to appoint the four conservative justices currently on the court. The liberal justices? Two from Clinton, two from Obama. By way of preview, the next president may have a chance to replace not only the lead conservative on the court in Scalia (currently 76 years old) and a staunch liberal on the court in Ginsburg (79), but iconic swing justice Kennedy, who has made the difference in many 5-4 decisions (currently 75 years old). In other words, who the president is matters, a lot, not just in signing and vetoing laws, but in appointing justices to the court who can protect the Constitution for a generation to come (a combined half-century now for Scalia and Kennedy).

MORE REGARDING THE SUPREME COURT AND AN ESTIMATE OF DELEGATES AWARDED TUESDAY BELOW! (more…)

Prediction: Senator Santorum to Quit Presidential Race in April

This week, a number of news outlets have reported a conspicuous drop in Santorum’s typical strident rhetoric against Gov. Romney. I believe this is a less than subtle way to position himself to exit the race. Yesterday’s New York Times reported,

Rick Santorum has eased up on using phrases like “worst Republican in the country” when tearing into Mitt Romney. And he is no longer saying that a vote for Mr. Romney would be basically the same thing as a vote for President Obama.

Meet subdued Santorum.

After several highly publicized remarks that left many in his party questioning whether he had crossed the line in attacking a fellow Republican, Mr. Santorum has struggled to find the balance between being a tenacious underdog and leaving himself open to criticism that he is just an embittered also-ran.
[...]
The sudden restraint has surprised some of his supporters.

[emphasis added]

Senator Santorum is not stupid; think about it. Just a few days ago, he rips Gov. Romney publicly and that very same day publicly states he would consider a veep position under a President Romney. Yes, I did a double-take as well! But why let up now? The NYT article even quotes his supporters saying that his “passionate” language is one of the things most appealing.

Here is the reason I believe. There are eight primaries between now and April 24th. Romney is expected to win six of them and probably by a wide margin. The other two are Wisconsin (4/3) and Pennsylvania (4/24). As of 7:30 p.m. PST tonight, Intrade shows the probability of a Santorum win in Wisconsin at 11.8% and a win in his home state of Pennsylvania at 31.1%. The other six states are below 5% except Connecticut (6.8%). Above, I said Santorum is not stupid. He is looking at these same probabilities and he is thinking now.

Here is where the dew of reality is descending upon Santorum’s thoughts.

Rick Santorum’s private thoughts (my conjecture):

“Wow! I could lose this thing fast in the next few weeks. I have to win. I put too much into this thing with my wife, my children, and Bella — And dang it, I worked harder than the other guys and I deserve to win! I have to win Wisconsin to build the momentum into my home state but Mitt is so much more prepared and his machine is killing me in Wisconsin. I have to win Pennsylvania! If I lose Wisconsin, that will not be good going into Pennsylvania! Mitt is picking up steam in Pennsylvania this week. I have to win Pennsylvania! Having to answer to that dang 18 point loss in my senate race in 2006 has been shear [pain] in this race — embarrassing! There is no way I will lose Pennsylvania — No way!”

Do you see where Rick’s mind is right now? Can he win Wisconsin next Tuesday? Absolutely he can if we let up at all. I strongly believe Governor Romney has Santorum in a strangle hold with Wisconsin, especially if he trounces him Tuesday. Romney will likely smash Santorum in DC and Maryland and if he has a really strong win in Wisconsin, Santorum will be all but dead going into Pennsylvania.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported in February:

Yet six years ago, as he sought a third Senate term in Pennsylvania, Santorum proved he can also lose in such a politically competitive state — and lose big.

Santorum’s last race — an 18-percentage-point defeat in 2006 bid — raises questions about his appeal to independent voters who could help decide the national election in November, as well as to Republicans who will determine who gets the party’s nomination.

Santorum’s loss was “the largest defeat by a Republican United States senator seeking election or re-election in modern Pennsylvania history,” said G. Terry Madonna, a polling expert and public affairs professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

So think about it. If I am Santorum and I know I now have two choices (after losing Wisconsin): 1) I could do what I have said I would do and stay in the race all the way to the convention (remember: “principle”) and lose Pennsylvania and be thoroughly embarrassed again, or 2) I could exit stage right and declare my loyal support to Romney and hear everybody cheer me to glory.

How does Santorum avoid losing Pennsylvania again?

If Santorum were to lose Wisconsin to Romney, which do you think he will choose? 1? or 2? I predict Wisconsin will be another close race but that Romney will win it. If this happens, Santorum will “evaluate” the race at that point and decide to exit entirely. What seems hard to predict is when he would make that announcement. I think it would likely be the weekend following the Wisconsin primary and not a lot later so that it does not appear to be correlated with a fear of embarrassment — which a loss in his home state certainly would be.

The most compelling argument for Santorum to attempt a graceful exit from the race, upon losing Wisconsin, is this (he is not stupid — Santorum is the epitome of the political animal): He wants a future in politics — and presidential politics at that. If he were to lose Pennsylvania bad (very good possibility), he would be almost for sure pushed out of the race with people laughing, and his political reputation would be all but destroyed.

If he were then to attempt to run for POTUS in future years, it will always be remembered of him that he could not win reelection (2006) to the Senate in his home state (historically huge loss) and that he bad-mouthed Romney for months before being trounced again in his home state of Pennsylvania (2012). And why? Because of a) a huge ego, b) stubbornness, and c) strident social positions. He would be washed up and would forever be overlooked as a serious national candidate. He will not allow that to happen — not when he can control the outcome now.

As we say in business, the risk-reward consideration is making this untenable for Mr. Santorum. I think the probability that Santorum will compete in Pennsylvania is less than five percent.

He will not allow himself to be embarrassed. Not by Governor Romney!

GO MITT! Let’s all work as hard as we can to bring a HUGE win to Mitt in Wisconsin — We do not want the Wisconsin results to even be close! We can finish off Santorum next Tuesday.

“As the world’s finest democracy, we do not do guillotines. But there are other less bloody rituals of humiliation, designed to reassure the populace that order is restored, the Republic cleansed.” ~ William Greider

Exit Question: What is a One Term Obama Presidency Worth to You?

Barack Obama’s Team Admits Losing to Mitt Romney

In case you missed it, the Obama camp admitted two days ago that it could lose the election for President to Governor Romney. But why go negative? Why not try to convince your supporters with all the positive things your candidate possesses? Check it here:

President Carter / Single-Term President

Friend,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wrote today, “If the general election were held today, President Obama would lose to Mitt Romney — according to the latest poll from Washington Post-ABC News. Now, many other polls put the President on top, but all point to the same reality: We’re looking at a race that will be tighter than you think,” Messina warned.

Messina didn’t even bother praising the president when he asked for money. “If the idea of a President Romney scares you, it’s time to own a piece of this campaign,” he said before appealing for donations of $3 and up.

Gotta love it! Mark March 13, 2012 on your calendar as the first day the Obama team began its whining. From now until November, we will hear all kinds of whining from Obama, his surrogates, the MSM, union leaders, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, every actor in Hollywood (except the best one there — A TRUE AMERICAN HERO: Gary Sinise), Barbara Streisand, and about 50,000 other celebrities who love throwing money away.

Be sure to watch the video on the next page. (more…)

Numbers Don’t Lie; Mitt is a STRONG Frontrunner

Total votes cast so far: 4.21 million and Romney has nearly 800,000 more than anyone else.

Percentages of total pre-Super-Tuesday cumulative votes cast:

Romney: 42.4%
Gingrich: 23.5%
Santorum: 22.7%
Paul: 11.4%

Delegate Counts (CNN, RCP, NYT, Avg of all 3, total percentage of delegates):

Romney: 207, 173, 180 = 187avg = 55%
Santorum: 86, 74, 90 = 83avg = 24%
Paul: 46, 37, 23 = 35avg = 10%
Gingrich: 39, 33, 29 = 34avg = 10%

States Won:
Romney: 9
Santorum: 3
Gingrich: 1
Paul: 0

Mitt has nearly double the votes of anyone else in the race, a MAJORITY of the delegates and a MAJORITY of the contests. And, it’s looking like he’ll get a solid majority of the delegates on Super Tuesday. The polls are trending strong in his direction and Intrade (the market where people put hard money on who they think will win) markets currently stand as follows for those 10 states (top 2 candidates per state listed here):

Alaska: Romney 78%, Paul 19%
Georgia: Gingrich 94%, Romney 4%
Idaho: Romney 94%, Paul 21%
Massachusetts: Romney 100%
North Dakota: Romney 71%, Santorum 15%
Oklahoma: Santorum 82%, Gingrich 13% (Romney at 12%)
Ohio: Romney 80%, Santorum 20%
Tennessee: Santorum 58%, Romney 45%
Vermont: Romney 97%, Paul 4%
Virginia: Romney 96%, Paul 2%

I think Mitt will win 7 or 8 states on Super Tuesday. The states he’s at risk of losing (GA, TN, OK) are all proportional and he should take delegates out of all those contests as well.

The Romney train is picking up steam!

Check out the latest cartoon from MittFitts below the fold. (more…)

Mitt Romney: Wins WA — Super Tuesday Delegates — “Most Qualified” — Georgia: Can Gingrich Fail?

Following the big Michigan and Arizona wins this week, the WSJ published an article titled, “Contest Shifts to Super Tuesday’s High Gear.” See excerpts here along with table illustrating the delegate count leading into next Tuesday:

Of course, by prevailing on Tuesday night, Mr. Romney also increases the stakes for his opponents. Mike DuHaime, a Republican strategist who managed Rudy Giuliani’s White House bid in 2008 and remains unaligned this year, said Mr. Romney’s win “creates a great deal of pressure on the other candidates to show strongly next week, or the pressure will mount for them to drop out so as not to unnecessarily drag out the process.”
[...]
Sen. Rob Portman, chairman of the Ohio Romney campaign, said he believed Mr. Romney would overtake Mr. Santorum after voters focus on his economic policies and message. “Mitt Romney will provide the type of conservative leadership that we need to spur economic growth and create jobs,” said Mr. Portman.

SUPER TUESDAY DELEGATES

Looking ahead to Super Tuesday, Governor Romney won the Washington caucuses today by a healthy margin. The New York Times reported this:

The victory gives Mr. Romney some momentum heading into the big contests this week on Super Tuesday, when 10 states vote. With 81 percent of the Washington votes counted on Saturday night, Mr. Romney had won about 37 percent, with Mr. Paul at 25 percent, Mr. Santorum at 24 percent and Mr. Gingrich at 11 percent.

“The voters of Washington have sent a signal that they do not want a Washington insider in the White House,” Mr. Romney said in a statement as he campaigned in Ohio.

The article continues after referring to a Santorum comment as to how he would transform Ohio if elected (several more photos too): (more…)

Romney Jumps to Big Lead In Nation Polls

Both Rasmussen and Gallup released polls ending yesterday on Leap Day, and the results show a literal giant “leap” in support for Governor Romney. The swelling wave of momentum has come rather quickly since his dual victories in Michigan and Arizona just two days ago.

The Rasmussen poll, conducted entirely yesterday, gave Mitt a whopping +16 point advantage over Santorum, while the Gallup Poll, a five-day rolling average, puts him at a +11. (Expect that to climb higher in the next few days)

Here are the total results for the poll:
POLL Date Romney Santorum Gingrich Paul MOE Spread
Gallup 2/25 – 2/29 35 24 15 11 4% Romney +11
Rasmussen 2/29 40 24 16 12 3% Romney +16



RealClearPolitics.com tallies and graphs the rolling average of the most recent national polls in the GOP primary – polls from the most recent week or two are typically included. With the release of the Rasmussen and Gallup polls today, combined with two older polls from last week that showed Santorum with a slight lead, the RCP average now has Romney taking the lead again – the sixth time in this race that has held top spot.

RCP National Poll Average as of 1-6-2012:


35.3 Romney +6.0 29.3 Santorum 14.8 Gingrich 11.3 Paul
Perry Huntsman Bachmann Cain

RCP National Poll Average Chart:

Milestones
Romney has broken through the 40 point barrier for the first time this season, and he has become the candidate to receive the highest RCP average for any given day – sitting today at 35.3%. Again, I would expect this to go higher in the next few days when the Gallup poll results start to factor out numbers from before Romney’s wins on Tuesday.

Has the last mole been whacked?
As the candidates announced their campaigns last year Romney started out in the lead in nation polls, and he retained that lead until mid-August. Since that time we have seen the lead change from Romney, to Perry, to Romney, to Cain, to Romney, to Gingrich, to Romney, to Gingrich, to Romney, to Santorum and then back to Romney once again. Candidates have each, in turn, surged to become the official challenger to Romney, only to disappear just as quickly as they came. After all, by definition a surge is only temporary, though Newt was lucky enough to get “two rides on the roller coaster”.

So, has the last mole been whacked? I don’t know, but I’ve got a good feeling about it going into Super Tuesday next week!

~Nate G.

Addendum from Ross: Watch Rep. Paul Ryan say Romney well on his way to GOP nomination below the fold. (more…)

New Polls Show Mitt Up Nationally and in MI; A Few Other Thoughts

Mitt Romney Thumbs Up

Direction of Latest Polls.

A new poll came out today showing Mitt with a 2% lead over Rick Santorum in Michigan.

Gallup’s Tracking Poll yesterday showed Mitt with a new nationwide lead, but that’s just window-dressing (note the link is to the poll as updated daily, so the results may have changed by the time you click on it; for the story at CNN click here).

More importantly, since the nomination is won state by state, the real story is that PPP‘s polling today showed Mitt up 39% to 37% in Michigan:

Mitt Romney’s taken a small lead over Rick Santorum in PPP’s newest Michigan poll. He’s at 39% to 37% for Santorum, 13% for Ron Paul, and 9% for Newt Gingrich. Compared to a week ago Romney’s gained 6 points, while Santorum’s just stayed in place.

Even better news, however, is that Mitt may have a lead in early voting that Santorum could find hard to overcome:

Romney will go into election day with a large lead in the bank. Only 16% of Michigan voters say they’ve already cast their ballots, but Romney has a whooping 62-29 advantage over Santorum with that group. Santorum actually leads Romney 39-34 with those who are planning to cast their votes on Tuesday, but he’d need to win election day voters by even more than that to neutralize the advantage Romney’s built up.

As I’ve been opining here on MittRomneyCentral, Santorum’s very socially conservative comments appear to be doing him damage, even among those that are inclined to agree with him (and I thought the damage would be mostly with the independents; also note who’s running the negative ads):

The last week of the campaign in Michigan has seen significant damage to Santorum’s image with GOP voters in the state. His net favorability has declined 29 points from +44 (67/23) to now only +15 (54/39). Negative attacks on Romney meanwhile have had no negative effect with his favorability steady at +20 (57/37). Two weeks ago Santorum’s net favorability in Michigan was 34 points better than Romney’s. Now Romney’s is 5 points better than Santorum’s. Those kinds of wild swings are the story of the GOP race.

One place Santorum may have hurt himself in the last week is an overemphasis on social issues. 69% of voters say they’re generally more concerned with economic issues this year to only 17% who pick social issues. And with the overwhelming majority of voters more concerned about the economy, Romney leads Santorum 45-30. Santorum’s winning those more concerned about social issues 79-12 but it’s just not that big a piece of the pie.

Mitt is also cutting into Santorum’s lead in key support groups:

Romney has made significant in roads with all of Santorum’s key groups of support. 2 weeks ago Santorum had leads around 30 points with Evangelicals, Tea Party voters, and those describing themselves as ‘very conservative.’ Santorum’s still winning all those groups, but by significantly diminished margins- it’s only 7 points with Evangelicals and Tea Partiers and 10 with ‘very conservative’ Republicans.

So much for not being able to convince the conservative base. Did anyone really believe that? Bueller?

A Few Other Thoughts

Mitt’s Availability to the Press. Interestingly there were two contrasting stories in Politico today, one criticizing Mitt for not appearing on Meet the Press, with the other reporting how available he has been to local talk shows in Michigan. Hmm…if I were running for a national office but the voting was state-by-state, where would I go? National shows or the ones where the voters are? (LOTS MORE AFTER THE BREAK!)

(more…)

Endorsements Matter, Especially for a Republican

NOTE: Specific Endorsement Count by Candidate & Names: End of Post

Any one endorsement for a presidential candidate, in and of itself, is not generally considered that important in the long-term. However, how that endorser supports the candidate over time and the number of endorsements of stature can have significant influence. Every endorsement is a huge vote of confidence by the person putting their name on the line, in public (consider those who do not endorse candidates at all — there is a reason they don’t step up)

I have been giving a lot of thought to the large number of endorsements Governor Romney has compiled week in and week out. Gingrich sees this “voting” and he attempts to blunt their importance by referring to these as “the establishment” supporting Governor Romney.

Nonsense.

No matter how you cut it, almost EVERY one of these endorsers knows both Gingrich and Romney; some better than others. Very few of these choose Gingrich. By the way, I have yet to hear any close friend of Gingrich or any colleague of his (that worked closely with him for years), ever say anything positive about the man as a leader (besides his ability to speak well). Why is that? I only hear negative things said of him from those that know him well.

Yesterday’s Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal discusses this important topic:

Do endorsements matter? Politicians certainly think so, and they spend loads of time courting party elites and opinion-makers. So far, though, 2012 has shown how the politics of anointment and appointment can fail.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley flopped mightily in trying to deliver her state for Mitt Romney. Evangelical leaders held a summit to get the Palmetto State to back their new choice, Rick Santorum, but he fared much worse than Mr. Romney. Newt Gingrich knows the feeling—New Hampshire’s supposedly dominant Manchester Union Leader newspaper huffed and puffed for Newt and got him less than 10% of the vote.

But it’s easy to cherry-pick examples to prove the folly of endorsements. In some circumstances, they can make a substantial difference.

Throughout American history, presidencies have been created by the laying on of incumbent hands. Thomas Jefferson effectively passed the presidency to his friend and confidant, James Madison. Andrew Jackson handed his populist democracy off to an unlikely dandy, Martin Van Buren, in 1836. Few would have imagined the studious and portly William Howard Taft as president until Theodore Roosevelt picked him in 1908. More recently, George H.W. Bush might not have been elected president without Ronald Reagan’s blessing. Madison, Van Buren, Taft and Mr. Bush all got their predecessor’s third term—when popular, presidents have extraordinary powers.

What about little-known state legislators and local sheriffs? Even low-level backing can attract the cameras and generate a positive story. But this can backfire if candidates overplay their hands, as Jon Huntsman did when his campaign hinted at a “major” announcement in Florida. Speculation naturally centered on former Gov. Jeb Bush. Not quite. Mr. Huntsman got only his son, Jeb Jr., and the media’s letdown showed in the coverage.
[...]
Even more than Democrats, Republicans typically nominate a candidate that party elites support. In “The Party Decides,” political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel and John Zaller analyzed endorsements made prior to the Iowa caucuses in presidential primary contests from 1980 to 2004. They found that the candidate who had won the biggest share of endorsements won the eventual nomination in nine of 10 competitive contests (the exception was Democrat John Kerry in 2004). On the GOP side, the eventual nominees all won a strong plurality of endorsements.

Not surprisingly, given Mr. Romney’s position as the front-runner and the fear that many Republican officeholders have of sharing a ballot with Mr. Gingrich or Ron Paul, the former Massachusetts governor has a long lead in endorsements from elected officials. According to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Mr. Romney has the backing of 72 members of Congress, versus a combined 17 for the other candidates.

This is good news for Mr. Romney. Mr. Gingrich is attempting to stir the populism of the GOP base by railing against “elites,” but many voters welcome guidance in intra-party contests. In a general election, voters have the invaluable short-hand cue of the party label. But in a nominating contest, all candidates have the same party label. How to choose just one? Differences in personality, background and policy help, but so does a candidate’s association with other well-known party figures. People want to puzzle out which candidate comes closest to their kind of Republican or Democrat.

Non-endorsements can send powerful signals to voters as well. For decades, leading Southern Democrats practiced “golden silence” in presidential years, refusing to endorse their party’s presidential nominees. This was a green light to voters that it was acceptable to support a Republican for the White House. In 1960, President Eisenhower wanted Vice President Nixon to succeed him, but he damaged Nixon’s campaign when asked what major decisions in his administration Nixon had influenced. “If you give me a week, I might think of one,” said Ike. The comment ended up in one of John Kennedy’s TV ads.

Could non-endorsements end up mattering in 2012, too? Despite decades on Capitol Hill and four years as speaker of the House, Mr. Gingrich has only 11 congressional endorsements, five of them from Georgians.

[emphasis added]

CHECK THESE TWO SITES FOR MANY SPECIFICS:

Endorsements for the Republican Party presidential primaries, 2012

RACE 4 2012 — Endorsements as of January 20, 2012
,

Gingrich: A Man Who has Never been a “Leader” — A Person Without a Core

Nobody believes that Newt Gingrich was ever serious about a run for the presidency. So why did he enter the race you ask? Think about it. The man loves the limelight. It is all about Newt. Have we ever seen any man on the world stage, in any era, with such an insatiable love of self? Is there any person even close in comparison to Mr. Gingrich in self absorption?

Photo Credit: Drudge Report

One man comes to mind: Hugo Chavez. I insert that name here because the man’s ego and self-love is enormous, but even Chavez does not compare with Gingrich. As dangerous as Chavez is, hobnobbing with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is not as dangerous as Newt Gingrich.

The world knows Chavez as a corrupt dictator (non-leader); a dictator of a third world country — Gingrich would have the world believe his “core” is now different; that character is not important. Chavez is a known entity. Gingrich has the world fooled; to this point — today. Gingrich was literally kicked out of the Speakership by those he was “leading!” And hit with a huge fine! As Speaker, 84 ethics violations were filed against him. He was kicked out of the House leadership with a vote of 395 to 28! Mr. Gingrich is seeking power of the greatest nation on Earth.

Try to imagine what would be written in the elementary school history books about all the “firsts” that a Gingrich presidency would usher in. Need I list them all? Just think about all the character lapses in marriage, numerous unethical decisions, the many times he has said, “Yeah, that was a mistake” (about 10 times in the last three months alone), etc.

Did you hear what Gingrich said Saturday night during his speech? He said something like, “You know, it is not my ability to debate that brought this win; it is my ability to articulate the values Americans want to see in their President . . . “ He said that! Gingrich actually believes that of himself! (have I ever mentioned arrogance in reference to this person?)

What does he tell us? “Forget all that stuff in my past, “I have matured. I am 68 years old. I am a grandfather now. I sought redemption . . . ” “I”, “me”, “I”, “I”, “I” — What? I remember maturing from age 15 to 25. Gingrich tells us he is still maturing as he pushes 70 years old?! You know what that is code for? They are the words of a two-timer — a person who is used to wanting his cake and eating it too. Are they not? Have you ever compared the number of self-described pronouns used by Gingrich vs. Governor Romney in any of the debates? There are too many to count.

Gingrich hates the “elite media” right? He said so with conviction by yelling at John King at the debate. He has everybody fooled on this front too. Consider this from MailOnline, speaking for the press:

Gingrich loves the press. In some respects we are, as John McCain famously noted, his “base”. He craves the media. I’ve never seen a man so happy as Gingrich was when he ambled into the spin room in Myrtle Beach last Monday night and about 200 of us swarmed around him hanging on his every word.

Romney would have rather been anywhere else in the world than that in the middle of that heaving, sweaty scrum. But Newt was in pure heaven. He loves the game.
[...]
At the end of the Charleston debate, Gingrich warmly thanked CNN and afterwards he spoke cordially with King.
[...]
In South Carolina, it was an open secret that the press were rooting for Gingrich, not out of bias or any belief that he would be a weaker candidate against Obama but simply because the press wants a good story and a knock-down, drag-out battle for the GOP nomination to cover.

Let’s face it, Gingrich loves the “destructive, vicious, negative” news media. He knows how to play the game. And the press loves him for it.

[emphasis added]

Gotta love how Governor Romney is peeling away layers of the gloves in Florida. The world has not yet seen even a glimpse of Mr. Gingrich’s sullied, hidden career. Well, we are about to find out a lot more than we ever thought existed about Mr. Gingrich. Frankly, I was surprised that more than a handful of people voted for the guy. But I think it is because of what Ann Coulter said yesterday; that voters don’t think more than “three seconds” about the man’s past.

Jayde’s great article below refers to the reporting of Reid Epstein of Politico. In my opinion, Governor Romney was generous in his reference to Gingrich by using the term “leader” in any form:

“Speaker Gingrich has also been a leader,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “He was a leader for four years as speaker of the House. And at the end of four years, it was proven that he was a failed leader and he had to resign in disgrace. I don’t know whether you knew that, he actually resigned after four years, in disgrace.”
[emphasis added]

It is only my opinion, but based on what I have learned about Gingrich’s “leadership”, his style is more like that of a dictator. He has the reputation of giving his word to one person on a specific direction and then taking a wholly different tack without blinking an eye. A true leader is above reproach and does not exhibit any ethical lapses.

Gingrich would have us believe these major character flaws were “mistakes” of his past. They are not mistakes at all. They are actions which serve as spotlights on major core character weaknesses. A true leader is honored by those whom he leads. A true leader puts the team he leads before self and deflects credit to those members of the team that follow his lead. A true leader knows how to execute (Gingrich is not an “execute”ive). Gingrich has always struggled to keep a team in place. Why is that?

Consider the hundreds of sincere testimonials that have been published from people that have been “led” by Mitt Romney throughout his career. How do those compare to what people say about Gingrich when he has had power? Is it possible to find any testimonials in support of Gingrich that even compare? Are there any? I have yet to hear of any or read any of them.

There are those around Hugo Chavez that would like to kick him out of office like the House did with Gingrich, but Chavez has the power to rule with an iron fist to keep them from the insurrection.

(more…)

MUST WATCH: Ann Coulter Hits the Nail on the Head

Great video of Ann Coulter discussing Newt Gingrich and the South Carolina primary. Check it out:

When I listen to Gingrich in his debate performances, and I do mean “performances,” his answers always seem reminiscent of the Shakespeare line, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

I, for one, was very confused and dumbfounded about the whole “standing ovation” thing that Newt accomplished in South Carolina. I truly felt that Gingrich’s answers weren’t that amazing. In fact, the answers were really quite average if you take just a moment to think about what he said. Often Newt dodged the question rather than answered it. Or he resorted to giving snarky, glib retorts rather than having a grown-up conversation about the issues. Hopefully Republican voters in Florida will see that many of Newt’s “great debate performances” are really just dodging the question in order to distract from his genuine flaws.