Permalink to Merry Christmas, Newt

Merry Christmas, Newt

 

I was still in bed this morning when I heard the words come out of David Gregory’s mouth on “Meet the Press” (by the way, I don’t condone waking up to the sound of Gregory’s voice — I’ll be trying to shake that for the rest of the day). Half-asleep, I thought I had surely misheard him. Then he repeated it: Newt Gingrich won the endorsement of New Hampshire’s most influential (and conservative) newspaper, the Manchester Union Leader.

This is a big moment for the former speaker. The Union Leader’s is one of the few endorsements in a presidential cycle that’s worth its weight in gold and it solidifies him as Romney’s main rival heading into primary season.

Two things in the endorsement stick out. The first is the rationale for Newt, which was virtually transcribed from Rob’s description of his family’s views on this week’s episode of the main podcast:

America is at a crucial crossroads. It is not going to be enough to merely replace Barack Obama next year. We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing.

He did so with the Contract with America. He did it in bringing in the first Republican House in 40 years and by forging balanced budgets and even a surplus despite the political challenge of dealing with a Democratic President. A lot of candidates say they’re going to improve Washington. Newt Gingrich has actually done that, and in this race he offers the best shot of doing it again.

The other revealing excerpt is the thinly-veiled shot at Romney. This is particularly relevant because this is the kind of sentiment that a lot of political wise men thought would be exhausted before the voting started:

Readers of the Union Leader and Sunday News know that we don’t back candidates based on popularity polls or big-shot backers. We look for conservatives of courage and conviction who are independent-minded, grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people, and best equipped for the job.

We don’t have to agree with them on every issue. We would rather back someone with whom we may sometimes disagree than one who tells us what he thinks we want to hear.

Newt Gingrich is by no means the perfect candidate. But Republican primary voters too often make the mistake of preferring an unattainable ideal to the best candidate who is actually running.

Buckle your seat belts, folks. The road to the White House is about to get very bumpy for all involved.

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Members have made 37 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of King Banaian Contributor

    There’s been a lot of commentary about how the U-L hasn’t chosen many winners for their endorsement.  But in NH, Troy is right, that endorsement matters a lot.  I’m a son of the Granite State — used to deliver the paper as a teen — and the Loeb family that published it for many years had influence in the state you cannot overstate.  The paper helped sink Mitt’s dad in ’68 (calling him “Chihuahua George” over his place of birth.)  The current publisher Joe McQuaid grew up at the feet of the Loebs and is only slightly less brash than Bill.  (See this from 1999.)  If they’re up to form, expect the U-L to beat the tar out of Romney for the next six weeks.

    So it’s a gift to Newt alright, and meant to be so by McQuaid.  It’s up to Newt now to use it to help his campaign.  

    • #1
    • November 27, 2011 at 10:39 am
  2. Profile photo of Eric Blair Inactive

    Troy, I agree that the Union Leader is important for the NH primary.  But I’m not so sure about it being worth its weight in gold.  The Union Leader is an institution that endorsed Pat Buchanan, and twice.  I’m not saying that this is a very important moment for Newt, and does add a sense of legitimacy that this campaign in particular was lacking.  Newt does have a growing strength.  But, even with the Union Leader endorsement, I’m still waiting for more until deciding whether or not this is just Newt’s Herman Cain and Bachmann revolving I’m-not-Mitt Romney moment in the sun. 

    • #2
    • November 27, 2011 at 10:44 am
  3. Profile photo of Eric Blair Inactive

    I see had poor timing with my pointing out that the paper endorsed Pat Buchanan in light of the prior comment which I had not yet seen.  King, you’re right that you cannot expect the paper to get it right all the time, but Pat Buchanan is as close to an unforgivable sin as I can think of.

    • #3
    • November 27, 2011 at 10:46 am
  4. Profile photo of The King Prawn Member

    If it’s true that the candidate who stumbles first regains his footing first, then Newt is that guy. He was intriguing to me when this thing first started in the early summer; Newt is regaining my confidence as we go forward.

    • #4
    • November 27, 2011 at 10:57 am
  5. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    “Chest Newts roasting on an open fire…”

    • #5
    • November 27, 2011 at 11:02 am
  6. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Thatcher

    If it’s Romney, it’s Romney. If it’s Newt, it’s Newt.

    I’m for whoever can best take the fight to the Leftists, and their guy Obama. Hard to picture Romney doing that. Hard to picture Gingrich being an effective president though since he seems to have the attention span of, a newt.

    • #6
    • November 27, 2011 at 11:13 am
  7. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    ETD

    Larry Koler

    But, I want to know: does Mitt have sufficient grit for this election?

    My entrepreneurial instincts lead me to believe that any individual with his financial acumen/experience has the grit to succeed at whatever he d**n well pleases, no? My only concern is that “his people” insist on moulding a populist image – big mistake – and are failing to celebrate his impressive personal achievements.

    I don’t care what the OWS or anyone else says; Americans, thankfully, still respect financial success.

    All sorts of personalities succeed and fail in business and politics, and Romney has already succeeded at both … made $million$, former Governor, leading Presidential candidate in two cycles.  So the “whatever he pleases” part he blew past long ago. He is already in an extremely small success circle. It doesn’t mean he’ll beat Obama or even that he’s more likely to than Newt. Yes, Americans like their leaders to be successful and success in financial terms certainly counts as high or higher then anything else. But again, the question isn’t “could he?” it’s “will he?”  I’m leaning toward those who question his prospects against the specific Alinskyite he faces.

    • #7
    • November 28, 2011 at 1:37 am
  8. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    R. Craigen:

    The Democrate-media machine isn’t shooting at Romney now because they have absolute confidence they can submerge him totally in a general election, and I believe it.  He’s too safe for his own good, he’s not the political outsider people are looking for.  Obama holds all the high cards if Romney gets the nod …

    That’s certainly my fear too … that Romney is another Republican gift to the below-the-belt hitters from Chicago. The analogy with McCain and Rev Wright made by Larry Koler is bang-on.  Mind you I have plenty of doubts about Newt in similar circumstances … just fewer doubts than with McRomney.  Sigh … another year of voting against, not for, someone.

    • #8
    • November 28, 2011 at 1:48 am
  9. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    I just saw the Meet the Press segments on Real Clear Politics.

    Typical Meet the Press. One segment was devoted to Newt, and the other was devoted to Obama. Balance? Not exactly.

    • The Newt segment praised him for winning the NH endorsement, quickly followed by references to his weaknesses of character. 
    • The Obama segment claimed that he should be more antagonistic, but it isn’t in his mild temperament. And the always dependable Michael Dyson delivered, claiming that Newt somehow proved racism … or something. I wasn’t sure of how Dyson got there, to be honest. One second Dyson was talking about Newt, and a moment later he was talking about racism, but I can’t recall how I got from point A to point B.

    So long as the focus is on Obama, we win in a walkaway. When they spend all their time off Obama and on someone else, that’s how we just might lose this thing. And that’s why Obama’s money scares me … he can buy the media’s focus.

    • #9
    • November 28, 2011 at 2:13 am
  10. Profile photo of Beasley Inactive
    Stuart Creque: (…)

    Newt has extensive experience in managing legislative efforts, so one could expect him to be much more effective at getting his policies implemented by Congress.  That of course depends on various crucial factors, including whether his experience in Congress nearly 20 years ago translates to the ability to manage the next Congress….

    Is there anything on record that would give voters insight to Newt (or Romney for that matter) get along with Boehner and McConnell?

    • #10
    • November 28, 2011 at 2:15 am
  11. Profile photo of Eric Blair Inactive
    King Banaian
    Eric Blair: King, you’re right that you cannot expect the paper to get it right all the time, but Pat Buchanan is as close to an unforgivable sin as I can think of.
    Remember that those were Nackey Loeb’s endorsements, not Joe McQuaid’s.  I can’t say who he would have endorsed on Bush41/Buchanan, and he did endorse Forbes in 2000.  But there was certainly no love lost between the U-L and Bush41 or Dole, and I always took the endorsements of Buchanan as more a negative view of the other two than a love of Pat.  It may be the same thing here.  Full disclosure: I last called NH my permanent address in 1980. · Nov 27 at 11:34am

    Ahh I see, thank you for the perspective.  In all fairness to Newt, I should add in my post above that Newt is most certainly not Pat Buchanan.

    • #11
    • November 28, 2011 at 2:52 am
  12. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: “Chest Newts roasting on an open fire…” · Nov 27 at 10:02am

    [:-) If Axelrod gets his way, Newt will be roasting … I’ll bet he’s opening the spigot from his Opposition Research cesspool right now. The three things Axelrod fears: (1) a mobilized, energized Right (uniting solid Republicans with those utterly mistrustful of the GOP), which potentially Newt can deliver and which could swamp the demoralized Left; (2) his teleprompter addicted Sloganeer-in-Chief, who for the first time in his career must run on his record of non-achievement; and (3) a rapier-witted pit bull flaying Obama’s record in a compelling, attention-getting way.

    Let’s face it, Obama has never gone even one round in a slugfest. The Greatest has yet to fight his Smokin’ Joe. The trick, should he get the nod, is to keep Newt not just lean and mean, but scrawny and vicious. Obama has benefited by facing punch-pulling GOP softies.  Newt has got to be willing to go ugly early and stay there until next November. Romney probably can’t/won’t. Many have their doubts about Newt too, myself included. Maybe he’ll prove us wrong.

    • #12
    • November 28, 2011 at 3:47 am
  13. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    KC Mulville: I wasn’t sure of how Dyson got there, to be honest. One second Dyson was talking about Newt, and a moment later he was talking about racism, but I can’t recall how I got from point A to point B.

    It doesn’t matter ‘how’ because it’s the only destination they have and all roads lead to it.  When you can’t run on your record you change the subject and set about to delegitimize your opponent(s).  “Squirrel!”

    • #13
    • November 28, 2011 at 3:58 am
  14. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: “Chest Newts roasting on an open fire…” · Nov 27 at 10:02am

    “By leftists ev’ry one knows….”

    • #14
    • November 28, 2011 at 5:01 am
  15. Profile photo of Scott R Member

     Newt’s emerging as the non-Mitt comes as a great relief. Versus either one, Obama will have a very hard time selling himself as the “smart” one. Finally we’ll be able to head into the fall debates expecting to win them, not merely hoping to survive them. A new experience.

    Still, it continues to worry me that those who have worked with Newt most closely are often those least likely to support him. Why? With so much experience, so many connections, so much history, why doesn’t Newt have more big names going to bat for him?

      

    • #15
    • November 28, 2011 at 5:05 am
  16. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    Scott Reusser:  Still, it continues to worry me that those who have worked with Newt most closely are often those least likely to support him. Why? With so much experience, so many connections, so much history, why doesn’t Newt have more big names going to bat for him?

    I’m not really following the endorsement tally . . . don’t those with significant name recognition normally hang back until a front runner or two emerges?  Which “names” are you thinking of that ‘should’ be in Newt’s corner by now?

    • #16
    • November 28, 2011 at 5:25 am
  17. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Scott Reusser:  Newt’s emerging as the non-Mitt comes as a great relief. Versus either one, Obama will have a very hard time selling himself as the “smart” one. Finally we’ll be able to head into the fall debates expecting to win them, not merely hoping to survive them. A new experience.

    Still, it continues to worry me that those who have worked with Newt most closely are often those least likely to support him. Why? With so much experience, so many connections, so much history, why doesn’t Newt have more big names going to bat for him?

       · Nov 27 at 4:05pm

    The problem is Newt is erratic.

    This race will be interesting. Of the two, Newt is the smarter one and the quicker one. Of the two, Romney is the harder-working one and the steadier one. We are nervous about Romney’s public record and about Newt’s private life. Neither is a principled conservative. Both are managerial progressives, Neither is incompetent or uninformed.

    If I were asked to bet, I would bet on Romney. He has the wherewithal to stay the course. If I were asked to choose right now, I could not.

    • #17
    • November 28, 2011 at 5:58 am
  18. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator
    Paul A. Rahe

    Neither is a principled conservative. Both are managerial progressives, Neither is incompetent or uninformed.

    If I were asked to bet, I would bet on Romney. He has the wherewithal to stay the course. If I were asked to choose right now, I could not.

    Yep. That’s about the size of it.

    • #18
    • November 28, 2011 at 6:06 am
  19. Profile photo of Publius Thatcher
    Paul A. Rahe

    The problem is Newt is erratic.

    This race will be interesting. Of the two, Newt is the smarter one and the quicker one. Of the two, Romney is the harder-working one and the steadier one. We are nervous about Romney’s public record and about Newt’s private life. Neither is a principled conservative. Both are managerial progressives, Neither is incompetent or uninformed.

    If I were asked to bet, I would bet on Romney. He has the wherewithal to stay the course. If I were asked to choose right now, I could not.

    Newt doesn’t have any executive experience or an executive temperament. Given his failure as Speaker (he was whacked by his own people in the end), it’s questionable that he was much of a legislative leader. He’s wildly intelligent, but with an emphasis on the wild.  He strikes me as having more of an academic temperament where having a thousand ideas idea (some great, some awful) a day is more conducive to success.

    My money is on Romney, but I’d vote for either one in general election without hesitation.

    • #19
    • November 28, 2011 at 6:44 am
  20. Profile photo of Frozen Chosen Thatcher

    So the Union Leader endorses Newt Gingrich because supposedly he is the true conservative in this race, huh?   Would this be the same paper that endorsed that rock solid conservative John Mccain(!) in the last cycle?

    It’s obvious these guys have some sort of personal beef with Romney and will probably endorse Obama over Mitt in the general election.  Small-minded dinosaurs from a tiny little newspaper in nowheresville.

    Meanwhile, Mitt gets meaningful endorsements from real conservatives like Kelly Ayotte, John Thune, Tim Pawlenty, Ann Coulter and Chris Christie.

    • #20
    • November 28, 2011 at 6:48 am
  21. Profile photo of Peter Robinson Founder
    Scott Reusser:  Newt’s emerging as the non-Mitt comes as a great relief. Versus either one, Obama will have a very hard time selling himself as the “smart” one. Finally we’ll be able to head into the fall debates expecting to win them, not merely hoping to survive them. A new experience.   · Nov 27 at 4:05pm

    Newt’s rise began at the very moment a certain unnamed Ricochet member sent me an email admitting, very sheepishly, that he had just made a contribution to the former Speaker’s campaign.  I won’t name that Ricochet member, of course, Scott, but I have one question for you.  Have you ever got more of a bang out of fifty bucks?

    • #21
    • November 28, 2011 at 7:22 am
  22. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    OK, many are saying with sound logic that Romney is the prudent, tested executive, the less erratic leader. It’s a persuasive argument, especially in light of Prof. Rahe’s point that either way you get a managerial progressive (sigh). Here’s the money question: Is Romney the more plausible victor against an Alinskyite manipulator, a former ACORN acolyte turned tactical field commander, who by some sad quirk of fate became the Free World’s Commander-in-Chief? Or is Newt the better suited to mix it up Oxford Union style, to flay and display Obama’s dyspeptic worldview for all to see and reel back from?  Before it’s too late?
    • #22
    • November 28, 2011 at 7:25 am
  23. Profile photo of CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    Several posters have suggested that Newt needs to be very nasty to the President in order to flay him, drive him before him, and hear the lamentation of his women and children. But when I think about the most effective opponent the President has faced, it is Mr. Smiley Nice Guy himself, Paul Ryan. And I also think that Newt has been at his best and most presidential, at least in the “debates”  when he refuses to get nasty and instead has spoken with substance and style. A good debater does not need to get ugly to win, and perhaps this is the wrong thing to be hoping for? I am second to none in my desire to see the President get smoked, but I am hesitant to desire a pitbull attack dog as our candidate.

    • #23
    • November 28, 2011 at 7:47 am
  24. Profile photo of Publius Thatcher
    HVTs:   Here’s the money question: Is Romney the more plausible victor against an Alinskyite manipulator, a former ACORN acolyte turned tactical field commander, who by some sad quirk of fate became the Free World’s Commander-in-Chief? Or is Newt the better suited to mix it up Oxford Union style, to flay and display Obama’s dyspeptic worldview for all to see and reel back from?  Before it’s too late?

    I’m guessing Mitt is better suited since he’s more disciplined when it comes to staying on message and not saying anything randomly odd that creates a weeks worth of “clarifications” from the Newt campaign to try and get back on track.

    But it would be much more fun to have Newt v. Obama in the debates.

    • #24
    • November 28, 2011 at 8:08 am
  25. Profile photo of HVTs Member
    Mama Toad: I am hesitant to desire a pitbull attack dog as our candidate.

    “Pitbull” as in tenacious, unrelenting and out for metaphorical blood.  Not “attack” as in name-calling, vomiting out ad hominem hair balls, etc.  Policy, not personal. Worldview, not IQ. (Oh, I keep forgetting Obama is the smartest man on the planet!)

    We need someone who won’t pull their rhetorical punches just because the main stream media starts complaining about the “tone” of the campaign—and you know they will! As soon as Obama is against the ropes, they will trot out wholly subjective lamentations about the Republican candidate’s “tone.” And then they will say he is really sending coded messages to that vast swath of the electorate that’s itching to see an uppity Black man put in his place. You can write the articles now. Race and “tone.”  It’s going to take an intellectually self-confident, tough-minded, ‘don’t just want to be loved and admired’ personality to weather the storm and win.  I’m not sure anyone is up to it, although Cain certainly would take some of the race card away from the white guys running Obama’s campaign.

    • #25
    • November 28, 2011 at 8:43 am
  26. Profile photo of ETD Inactive
    ETD
    Scott Reusser:  Newt’s emerging as the non-Mitt comes as a great relief. Versus either one, Obama will have a very hard time selling himself as the “smart” one.   

    Perhaps, but Obama wins hands down over the Newt re: the “cool” factor. And regardless of how we may wish all those young and independent voters will focus solely upon the issues… they won’t. As my father would say, “It’s a beauty pageant.”

    Mitt Romney may be (to quote fellow Ricocheters) ” too perfect,” but the fact remains that he is handsome, fit, charming, impeccably dressed, well-mannered, and sophisticated.

    And just as intelligent as his considerably less attractive and less disciplined Republican rival.

    • #26
    • November 28, 2011 at 8:59 am
  27. Profile photo of John Marzan Inactive

    Newt’s able to get things done with Clinton re the budget and Welfare Reform.

    • #27
    • November 28, 2011 at 9:56 am
  28. Profile photo of Larry Koler Member

    Mama Toad’s balanced approach and ably assisted by HVTs’ provisos above — this is the best approach. The truth lies right there. It takes discipline and temperament to pull this off. 

    It’s interesting: I think Obama is disciplined really. He does it by not speaking — and like with Chance the gardiner the MSM has always filled in any ambiguities. But, I wonder what will happen to Obama when he is really on the ropes — will he lose his cool? I wouldn’t be surprised. He’s a very immature fellow, really. He’s had so many things given to him for just showing up all his life. I wonder if this will be the first severe test he will have and I wonder how his discipline and temperament will hold up. Is he tough enough?

    Newt can be depended on to finish the job if he can keep his own balance. Mitt is naturally balanced but can he be depended on to furnish the coup de grace? I wonder…. McCain couldn’t. With things the way they are for the country I would rather trust in Newt. I want to bury the Marxist strain in this country for good.

    • #28
    • November 28, 2011 at 10:04 am
  29. Profile photo of Publius Thatcher
    Larry Koler

    But, I want to know: does Mitt have sufficient grit for this election?

    I think I largely agree with your assessment of the failings of the McCain campaign, Larry.  I suspect that Mitt does have the juice necessary to go head to head with the Obama team. It’s going to be a pretty brutal election cycle since Obama can’t run on his record.  

    He’s been pretty steady, unflappable, and on message during this primary election cycle which has been more than a little bit of a roller coaster.  However, the level of attacks that he will suffer as the nominee are going to be much greater.

    I’d really rather it be Perry, Newt, and Romney at this point since that puts two people with proper executive backgrounds in the mix against Big Idea Newt. It’s a nice blend to have, but if it’s Romney v. Newt, I suppose that’s better than a Romney coronation. 

    • #29
    • November 28, 2011 at 10:38 am
  30. Profile photo of ETD Inactive
    ETD
    Larry Koler:. Mitt is naturally balanced but can he be depended on to furnish the coup de grace? I wonder…. McCain couldn’t.

    Larry, You are one of my very favorite Ricos, but I have to give a gentle prod here. I wish people would stop speaking of Romney and McCain in the same sentence; no two candidates have ever come from more fundamentally divergent backgrounds.

    McCain has been an able and honourable servant to his country; Romney is an entrepreneur. I think the dilemnas of this country demand an entrepreneurial expert, as they most certainly did in 2008.

    Romney- 2008 & 2012!

    • #30
    • November 28, 2011 at 11:22 am
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