Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can Newt Gingrich beat President Obama?

James Carville, Mary Matalin
James Carville is the political genius that got Bill Clinton elected President in 1992 and has hung around for years now advising other Democratic candidates.  I think he has an edge being married to expert Republican consultant, Mary Matalin.  Nothing like bouncing ideas off your opponent.  Carville recently said to the GOP re. its primary candidates: “You have a disaster on your hands.”  It was actually sent to the Republican establishment naming such members as Bill Bennett, Karl Rove and Bill Kristol.

In my book, that covers the bottom of the barrel.  But former White house press secretary for George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, proceeds to tell us what Carville doesn’t get about Republicans.  He does have a good point about the missed prediction by Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) in underestimating the Tea Party appeal in the 2010 election.  In another instance, Reagan’s 1980 win unexpected by Dems because they didn’t think he appealed to mainstream voters.

However, it’s Fleischer who is completely out of touch with reality when he says, “…Democrats are so bent on seeing Republicans as a bunch of angry, right wing, intolerant, unreliable extremists that they have a track record of missing the mood of the country…”  Come on, everyone knows that Republicans are a bunch of angry, right wing, intolerant, unreliable extremists: even some Republicans admit it.  Although Fleischer doesn’t endorse Gingrich, he says he could win the nomination or he could simply “blow up his chances.”

Carville thinks that Mitt Romney is only in the beginnings of explaining his tax returns indicating as a seasoned politician, he should have known this was coming.  This is only on the surface and he wonders if there is anything else volatile yet to come.  If there is you can bet Gingrich’s people will find it.  Of course, the latter has to explain his $1.6 consultancy with Freddie Mac and the fact that he has been married three times.  But if he got through the So. Carolina religious right with that baggage, he is probably home free.

And then David Frum, former special assistant to Geo. W. Bush, comments on CNN that GOP leaders don’t trust Gingrich and tells us why.  There were 4 primary reasons: 1) His grandiose enthusiasm for divisive rhetoric; 2) Using talking points that go over big on talk shows but do not address issues; 3) Many of the man’s co-workers think he shouldn’t be trusted with executive power; 4) His opinion that Gingrich is one of the most disliked people in politics.  There was also the advice to Bush in 2004 that turned out to be irrelevant to the election.

According to Frum, the irrelevancy of these 5 points (see them in the CNN article above) that Gingrich urged Bush to focus on was not because he didn’t think that there were substantive issues then like the inflating housing bubble, but rather because his 5 points were designed to define the opponent John Kerry as “alien, hostile and dangerous.”  In other words, campaign politics as usual and doesn’t this remind you of the hate advertising approach created by Karl Rove?

Newt Gingrich

Frum is probably right about Gingrich but gets an “F” on his assessment of Obama re. being a President out of touch with the world, who was able to con himself into the White House.  Pretty pathetic, in view of the fact Frum’s former boss, GWB, seems to fit perfectly into that profile.

Gingrich is an insider and still seems to weigh in heavily when it comes to GOP ideology.  Case in point is his Contract with America which swept Republicans into control of the House in 1994 for the first time in 40 years.  But recently the right has done little to whet the appetite of the American public, except for the radical fruitcakes in the Tea Party who have some mystical control over the GOP and who have succeeded in blocking almost everything Barack Obama has tried to accomplish in the last three years.

In summary, against Gingrich, Obama will win more electoral votes this November than he did in 2008.

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