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Thursday, March 10, 2011

I hope character counts.

Newt Gingrich has been incredibly brazen in the past few weeks, forming an exploratory committee to help consider his first steps towards a presidential bid in 2012. Yesterday it was reported that "if he runs for president he will make his announcement in early May outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia" and that he's leaning towards a "yes" on his decision to run.

I'm in the George Will school of skepticism about Newt's run. I think of him as an attention hog with very few principles to rub together. Sure, he did a great service in 1994 as Speaker of the House. Sure, he knows a lot of history.* But look at his career after Congress!

Vanity Fair really nailed Newt on his recent commentary regarding his adulterous past:

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network this week, Newt Gingrich blamed his history of philandering on patriotism: “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.” Which raises many questions, and prompts a few conclusions. To wit:

1. This must be a recent insight of Gingrich’s, because a quick Google search shows he never cited Bill Clinton’s love of country during the 1998 impeachment drive.

2. If loving America leads to full-on adultery, does loving your home state lead to office-party flirting?

3. Ewww. Where does loving France or Greece lead?

I have an interview tomorrow for an internship. I wonder what will happen if they ask about a blemish in my résumé and I proceed to cite diligence or congeniality as the cause....

Newt isn't a bad person, necessarily. Though I fail to understand why anyone would favor him over someone like a Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, or Haley Barbour. Everyone has baggage, but why should we have to nominate anyone who oscillates carelessly?

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  1. Seeing that the left magnifies every perceived flaw and often outright lies about Republican candidates it makes no sense to hand them a candidate with a real character blotch on his record. Bad idea, Newt.

  2. If you're going to put Huntsman on the list, then I think I favor Gingrich over him. We don't need another pretend Republican. But I really wouldn't want Gingrich running. I don't think he'd have a snowball's chance in hell in winning.

  3. Newt has soo much baggage that he couldn't afford to fly commerical.Like the 'Prince of Darkness' said of Newt. He did a great job in 1994, and then he got bored.

  4. Since patriotism causes him so much stress and stress inevitably leads to "mistakes", I'm going to reward him with my highest degree of benevolence and good wishes. I'll NOT vote for him in 2012.

  5. I can't wait to tell my mate, "Sure I have a girlfriend. It is because I'm a patriot."

    I think I'd have 36" or 48" of flagstaff up my posterior in short order. Ungreased.


    There is no need to magnify Newt's flaws. They are plenty large without magnification.

  6. Hmm. I seem to remember a number of presidents, some of them great ones, with "blemishes" on their records as regards women. Jefferson, FDR and Eisenhower among them. Not one of them gave a public apology and said they had asked God for forgiveness.

    It's clear from the context that he isn't blaming his passion for the country for what he did. Otherwise, why would he need forgiveness?

    I'm not a Newt supporter, but it's not over something as petty as beginning an off the cuff answer askew. I give him loads of credit for saying that he thought what he did required forgiveness.

    I wonder how many of those critiquing his statement have ever themselves admitted publicly to asking for forgiveness for specific acts. That takes courage, even character in an age in which divorce (for any reason) and promiscuity (for any reason) is more normal than not.

  7. He not only cheats on his wives and kicks them when they're down, he is disingenuous. His spin on his behavior is almost as bad as his behavior. Glad you feel the same.

  8. @ T.D., my point was that he wimps around it when confronted. Also, Newt's Arne Duncan-collaborating, flip floppy, tax dodgy ways speak for themselves.

  9. Gee, Kathleen, no women on your list. I hope you're not a misogynist.

  10. That would be very hard on several levels -- (http://tinyurl.com/6a8j67k)

  11. Governor Palin to Politico: Take Your Liberal Biased Debate And Shove It!

    “[I] hope [the Reagan Library] host the first Republican debate,” Hewitt said. “I just don’t want Politico and I especially don’t want NBC to be moderating that debate and deciding what Republican candidates ought to be talking about. I’ll tell you, Steve, the thing that’s amazing. Chris Matthews nightly has his head spin around in a circle about Michele Bachmann. Michele Bachmann almost certainly will be on the stage. How in the world is NBC, I don’t care if it’s [‘Nightly News’ host Brian] Williams or Chris Matthews or if it’s Rachel Maddow – how in the world do they expect Republicans to take them seriously when they’ve become a radical network? So I think — I hope that Republicans refuse to go to this demand, this dictate came out of NBC on May 2. I hope they boycott it.” Hugh Hewitt


    “It has nothing to do with a decision [about running for president in 2012]. The Governor said the other day that she will make a decision about that in the coming months,” Tim Crawford, the treasurer of Palin’s PAC, told National Review Online."

    NRO, The Corner

    "a wise prince should establish (herself) on that which is in (her) own control and not in that of others;" Nicolo Machiavelli

  12. You are right about Newt's self-promotion. Ever since he sat on that couch with Nancy I felt he was an attention wh**e. He lost me right then.

    About his adultery. His argument doesn't hold water. Why? Because as Robin Williams explained it best "Men have two heads. Trouble is they have only enough blood to run one at a time."

    If Newt was so focused on being a patriot he could not have had time or blood enough to get into trouble. However, if he was paying attention with his other head, that might explain his lack of focus in the latter part of his time in office.

    I'm going with the latter.