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Friday, January 20, 2012

Last night's debate

A lot of observers were commenting on Twitter and elsewhere last night that Gingrich won the debate last night in the first five minutes by blasting John King for asking about the ABC interview with his ex-wife. Sure, a candidate can always win applause from Republicans by bashing the media. But fiercely attacking the media is not a qualification for the presidency. Whatever anyone thinks about the Marianne Gingrich interview and the timing of the story, I suspect that people will be a bit queasy about voting for a candidate who cheated on his wife, wanted an open marriage, and asked for a divorce right after she'd been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Overall, I think that Santorum was the clear winner of last night's debate. He summed up the problem with Gingrich in one sentence,
“Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich, he handles it very well.”
Gingrich responded that this was a grandiose country. Nope. We're a grand country, but not grandiose. For one who prides himself on his rhetoric, Gingrich should know what the word means.
characterized by affectation of grandeur or splendor or by absurd exaggeration
Yup, that's Newt. And Santorum knew whereof he spoke.
“I served with him. I was there,” he said. “It was an idea a minute. No discipline, no ability to be able to pull things together.”
Santorum was strong in attacking the three other candidates. Romney did as well as he usually does, but the story will be his waffling about releasing his tax returns. It's still surprising that he was not ready with a better answer. All he's doing is building the story up. Any benefit that goes to Santorum will probably come from Newt's support and that helps Romney.

Gingrich has been improving in the polls and the movement seems in his favor. He could well win tomorrow in South Carolina. He is doing better now that debates are back on the agenda. But anger at the media will not be enough to carry him through the rest of the states. Don't Republicans want more from their potential nominee? And that anger was totally manufactured as was clear by the end of the debate when Newt was praising John King for his handling of the debate.

If Gingrich is the candidate, the entire campaign would be about him. The GOP needs a candidate who can keep the focus on Obama, not his own grandiosity.

6 comments:

hw said...

In the Charleston debate Newt Gingrich made a passing remark that the public undoubtedly missed yet is a key problem with Government in Washington, DC. “I would always repeal all of it [Obamacare] because I so deeply distrust the congressional staffs that I would not want them to be able to pick and choose which things they cut.” Congressional committee staffs, Members’ staffs, and bureaucracies in the departments and agencies of the vast Federal government machine involve themselves in minute detail of policies and programs. Individuals and groups of like-minded individuals within these staffs develop their personal concepts of right & wrong, what’s good for you, and, entrenched as they are, will hammer home their opinions on the country regardless of political cycle, elected/appointed leadership, or expressed will of the people or sense of the Congress. My own radical, unlikely solution: cut the staffs and bureaucracies in half; then they’ll enough urgent work to do that they’ll have less time to impose personal agendas on the Government and Country.

tfhr said...

hw,

Agreed - regarding the need to curtail the size of Congressional staffs. TERM LIMITS are also needed.

Linda said...

I've been hearing conflicting accounts about that 2nd wife:

First, she was the hussy that broke up the first marriage. Payback's a bi#ch.

Second, she DOESN'T have MS. She has another, lesser condition that MIGHT lead to MS eventually (but usually doesn't).

I dunno. I'd hate to be judged on the word of someone who has an ax to grind.

UrbanBard said...

I am not a Gingrich supporter, but there is something unsavory about using someone’s ex-spouse for political purposes. That ex-spouse is likely to have an ax to grind and thus might tend to bend the truth.

Newt’s second marriage was rocky and there were problems on both sides. Newt’s ex-wife does not look like a saint, nor is the story she tells convincing.

She left him in 1989 and they were separated for six years, They got back together in 1994 and separated again in 1999, divorced in 2000. She was not diagnosed with a medical condition until almost a year after they had filed for divorce.

In short, this marriage may have been over long before they took legal action. Sometimes in the past, people would rather have an “open” Marriage than go through a divorce. Often in failed marriages, one of the partners needs to find a new love interest to give them a reason to split.

Why all the moralizing? Why assume that Newt is the only one guilty?

There are many substantial reasons to reject Newt as the nominee. Why descend into the gutter of a failed relationship? None of us knows what went on there and no sane person would want to know. Only a leftist Mainstream Media uses such methods.

Locomotive Breath said...

“I served with him. I was there,” he said. “It was an idea a minute. No discipline, no ability to be able to pull things together.”
===
I remember similar things being said about Ronald Reagan.

Locomotive Breath said...

p.s. Not only did Newt "well win" but he won well.

"I suspect that people will be a bit queasy about voting for a candidate who cheated on his wife, wanted an open marriage, and asked for a divorce right after she'd been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis."

Apparently not.