Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Oppo on Newt

Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank have said what a lot of Democrats must be thinking - boy, would be such a gift for the Democrats.
Pelosi knows more about Gingrich than perhaps any other major national political figure. She was a senior Democrat when Gingrich was House Speaker, served on the ethics committee that investigated Gingrich for tax cheating and campaign finance violations, and even cut a 2008 ad with him on the importance of addressing global climate change.

But when TPM asked her to talk a bit about his recent ascent and the possibility that he’ll be the GOP nominee, she mostly demurred.

“I like Barney Frank’s quote the best, where he said ‘I never thought I’d live such a good life that I would see Newt Gingrich be the nominee of the Republican party,’” Pelosi said in an exclusive interview Friday. “That quote I think spoke for a lot of us.”

Pelosi didn’t go into detail about Gingrich’s past transgressions, but she tipped her hand. “One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi said. “I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.”

Pressed for more detail she wouldn’t go further.

“Not right here,” Pelosi joked. “When the time’s right.”
Of course, it would be unethical for her to leak information from the Ethics Committee investigation of Newt, but there are plenty of sources for such oppo on Newt. Atlantic Magazine does a little googling on Newt and comes up with a non-exhaustive list of Newt's less-than-stellar moments. Reporters and opponents don't need Pelosi to violate her position on the Ethics Committee for this sort of stuff.

Or if you don't like the list of old baggage from Newt's past, how about the arrogance of the guy. Check out this list of famous people that Newt has favorably compared himself to: Charles de Gaulle, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Abraham, Lincoln, the Duke of Wellington, Henry Clay, and also Marion Barry and Ho Chi Minh. Sheesh! We've had to live through the years of Obama's off-putting arrogance. Is Newt's arrogance any more appealing?

And then there is this list of Newtonian flip-flops that he himself admits were stupid ideas in the first place.

Conservatives may prefer to just return with taunts about Obama. But that isn't sufficient. Will a dumping of this sort of stuff lead independent voters to choose Newt over The One? I doubt it. He wasn't appealing to them in the 1990s, and a reminder of the reasons why isn't going to lead those voters to like him better now. And like it or not, presidential elections are won by winning those very moderates. And that is why GOP primary voters need to pay attention to such dumps of oppo research.