Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

COMMON SENSE: As a Trump nomination seems increasingly likely, rumors swirl about him naming Newt Gingrich Chief of Staff and Chris Christie to a key cabinet position, perhaps Attorney General. If this is the direction he is headed, getting behind his nomination—if it happens—will be much easier. Having been Speaker of the House and the chief architect for our last balanced budget, Newt would really help get things done. As a prosecutor, Christie’s credentials are solid, and he is fearless.
By letting us know who he would tap for key positions—like a Parliamentarian model—much of the fear behind a Trump Presidency would dissipate, at least for Conservatives. It’s a smart move on his part, and I hope he continues with it.

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As the results from the South Carolina primary came in, it became clear that Newt Gingrich not only beat Mitt Romney; he beat him handily. The political commentators on Fox and CNN attributed the win to Newt’s debate skills and his feistiness, coupled with his answers to slanted questions in both of the debates by members of the press who hoped for a “gotcha” moment. While all of this played into Newt’s victory, it wasn’t critical. It was superficial.

He won because he tapped into the the heart and soul of millions of Americans who feel increasingly disenfranchised. He clearly articulates the frustration of these people, but he does much more than that. He stirs them with something they have not had for nearly a quarter of a century: Hope. He believes in the American dream and is an unabashed proponent of it.

I suspect his victory is just the beginning. He is poised to have a groundswell of support that will quickly overwhelm his primary opponents and lead him to a head-to-head confrontation with President Obama. Because Newt shares the values of this generation’s “Silent Majority,” he will win like Reagan did—in a landslide.

For that to happen, several things must occur. First, he must make peace with the Republican establishment—all of whom are terrified that he cannot beat Obama. Newt can assuage their concerns by remaining humble and by staying on message. As his support grows, which it will all over America, the doom-and-gloom Republican establishment will come along.

Second, he must keep the focus on Obama’s record. When Newt’s tawdry past comes up, which it will constantly, he has to maintain an attitude of mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. He should not try to defend his failures but continue to explain that he has grown by them—never becoming angry by those who taunt him.

He might use this biblical example. Moses was ready to lead the children of Israel when he was forty. As his first act of leadership, he murdered a man and had to flee into the wilderness for forty years. When he was old, God was finally ready to use Moses. The same is true of Newt. His time has come.

Few believe Newt can be disciplined enough to stay on message. I’m not one of them. At the beginning of the 1980 contest, people feared Reagan couldn’t stay on message either. In fact, commentators referred to “Reagan’s gaffes” often but, when it really mattered, Reagan became tough. Newt can be just as tough, and it’s essential that he does. After all, it is for such a time as this that Newt has been raised up to lead.

Those who think Newt will be easy to defeat have no idea what they are up against.

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Let me say that again—Mitt Romney can’t beat Barack Obama. It’s not going to happen, and the pundits that tout Romney as a the safe choice are wrong—dead wrong.

Romney may be handsome, articulate, and Presidential. He has a great smile, lots of money, and he carries himself well. Plus, he is disingenuous—just like most successful politicians. He is being extolled as the safe candidate—the one that will appeal to the large group of Independents who will decide the election. That’s Romney’s greatest asset—the perceived belief that he can defeat Obama.

Because of this assumption, millions of conservatives are expected to bite their cheeks and vote for him as the lesser of two evils. If this assumption was correct, it would be worth it, but the assumption is fundamentally flawed.

Romney has not been vetted—not like he will be by the Democrats when he is nominated.

Here’s the problem: Romney has an Achilles heel that will be exploited, making his nomination seem like a terrible mistake, which it will be.

Out of tolerance and the unspoken assumption that all faiths are equal, Romney’s Mormon convictions have not even been addressed let alone exploited. If we lived in a perfect society, they probably wouldn’t be, but negative ads are a way of life during elections, and Romney’s beliefs will become an issue. Obama and his PACs will undermine Romney’s candidacy, probably by innuendo.

When the American people discover Romney believes he and his wife will rule some planet in the galaxy as their reward for their lives on earth, his fortunes will plummet faster than Herman Cain’s. Romney will look wacky and unfit to have his finger on the nuclear button. Regardless of how destructive such attack ads will be, Obama’s people will make them. Like Sherman’s march to the sea, if scorching the earth is necessary for victory, they will do it. Make no mistake about it; that’s just the way it is.

And it will work. Obama will win the election and continue to lead this nation toward the cliff. We will be just like lemming, foolishly following our leader, headed toward certain destruction.

Romney will cry “foul” and “unfair,” but the damage will be done. Besides, after the way he eviscerated Gingrich, Romney’s moral outrage will seem like he is reaping what he has sewn.

The future of our nation is too important to allow this to happen. Now is the time to reassess his qualifications, vetting him as thoroughly as David Axelrod will. If we wait until next September, it will be too late. Romney is flawed—fundamentally flawed, and the Republican Party needs to nominate someone else.

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I remember this time in 1979, when the 1980 Presidential election was beginning to heat up. I was in a Ph.D. program at Emory University in political science, and we were being told that the United States was in irreversible decline—that our best years were behind us. In academia, this belief was nearly universally espoused.

Jimmy Carter was in The White House, gearing up for his reelection bid. In Iran, the diplomats and staff in our embassy were being held hostage, inflation was in double digits, gas lines were long, and interest rates were well over 20 percent. After the Watergate scandal, with the Vietnam War still a vivid memory, Americans were weary of Washington politicians, but Carter looked like he would win a second term because the Republicans couldn’t seem to get their act together.

Some supported Ronald Reagan, who was considered a rightwing extremist like Barry Goldwater. The traditional belief was that if nominated, his candidacy would ensure a Carter victory, which would mean four more years of poor leadership. Because I accepted this theory as accurate, I initially supported Howard Baker, the Tennessee Senator—a centrist Republican like Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He looked like a safe bet and someone who could actually defeat Carter, but Baker was unimaginative and as exciting as walls that are painted taupe.

As I listened to Ronald Reagan, however, who was depicted by the media as an old, less-than-intelligent cowboy with wild, grandiose ideas, his heartfelt passion for American exceptionalism captivated me. His love for America matched mine, and I started to believe his vision for a prosperous future, which was to lead the western democracies into the twenty-first century. At Emory, I was the only one in the political science department who felt this way, so I did battle routinely with my fellow graduate students and professors.

As it turned out, the rest of the country, except for the intelligencia, staunch Democrats, and those on the dole felt the same way, and Reagan won an impressive victory, which was accompanied by a landslide victory four years later. As it turned out, Reagan ushered in a quarter century of prosperity, while winning the Cold War.

As the New Year begins in 2012, the parallels with 1980 are astounding. The liberal media continues to champion the failed policies of President Obama, just like they did with Jimmy Carter, and the theme of America’s irreversible decline is once again the clarion message being heralded by the liberal media. Our debt is unsustainable, while President Obama believes he is at least the fourth best President Obama in our history. Plagued by unpopular wars and national ennui, our future looks bleak once again.

As I look at the field of Republican aspirants, it reminds me of this time thirty-two years ago. Romney resembles Howard Baker—a safe bet and a man who will say or do anything to win the White House. The candidate with vision and passion is clearly Newt Gingrich, but the scorched earth criticism of his past by his fellow contenders may derail him; that is, unless people rally to his cause—just like they came to Reagan’s defense. My advise to Newt is to stop whining, stay focused on his vision for America, which resonates with millions, and keep on apologizing for being an ass for all those years. Americans will forgive anything, except for arrogance and cover-ups. I like that about us.

Traditional wisdom says that Romney—the man with money and the Presidential looks—will win the nomination, but I hope that’s not true. I would definitely vote for him against Obama, but I would need a Viagra to muster the energy to do so. If Newt’s the nominee, I’ll work tirelessly for his election—just as I did for Reagan, when I wore a younger man’s clothes.

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Our selection process for picking a Presidential candidate is so flawed; we have become unable to choose the best man or woman for the job. We don’t even look for the best person. Instead, we scrutinize candidates, looking for the one with the least flaws or negative baggage.

If our current methodology were operational throughout our history, many of our best leaders never would have survived the process. For example:

  • Thomas Jefferson, who had a slave concubine and plagiarized much of the Declaration of Independence from John Locke, would never have been taken seriously. The media would have crucified him.
  • Abraham Lincoln, who fought depression his entire life, would have been considered unstable and, therefore, unfit to lead.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was the allied commander in Europe during World War II and responsible for defeating Hitler, maintained a mistress who traveled with him throughout the war as his secretary. He left his wife, Mamie, back home in Kansas. He would have been considered morally unfit to lead.
  • John F. Kennedy’s profligacy, which included movie stars, would never have survived the finger pointing of his rivals in the primaries.

There are many other good Presidents who would not have been electable, while many weak leaders would have survived, including Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama—the two worst Presidents in my lifetime. To be fair, mediocre Presidents like George W. Bush and Richard Nixon also would have survived. So would most of the Presidents of the late-nineteenth century—the ones nobody can remember.

The point is this: the mediocre survive the process. As finger pointing has become the norm, it seems that few ask the fundamental question, “Can the candidate in question lead us in perilous times or not?”

Take the current crop of Republicans for instance. If you’re going to choose—based on knit picking and who is safe—Romney is your guy. He is a good, safe bet—straight down the middle, as mediocre as they come. He looks good; he’s affable; and he will be whatever you want him to be—just as long as he thinks it will bring him victory. He’s the poster boy for playing the role of a Presidential candidate.

Herman Cain’s popularity, which has certainly peaked, is an exciting candidate. I love his honesty and his candor. By paying those women for their sexual harassment suits, however, his goose was cooked before he ever started. That’s as good as a nolo contendere plea. Actually, I’m not as concerned about the sexual discrimination issue as I am about his competency to lead. Frankly, I don’t think he can do it—nor can Bachmann or Santorum. Ron Paul’s followers are as faithful as hound dogs, but he’s a fringe player—just like Ralph Nader and Ross Perot were in the past.

That leaves two others—Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. Both have real records, which are impressive. Newt’s baggage appears to be more extensive, but he’s been in national politics much longer than Perry. The Texas Governor has an impressive record leading America’s second largest state, which is important, but he seems ill prepared in many areas.

That leaves Newt who hasn’t gone out of his way to impress me with his conservative credentials, but I still remember how he led the charge to turn the nation around in the mid-nineties. We need someone to do that again, and I believe he can. What has impressed me the most is his knowledge. He’s capable of leading us in turbulent times. I’m certain of it. Finally, I believe he’s eaten enough crow to know he doesn’t want to make a fool out of himself again, but only time will tell.

—Jack Watts


  • What do you think of this editorial? Be specific with your comments.
  • Do we pick the safest candidate or the best one?
  • Which Republican candidate would make the best leader? Why?
  • Is Herman Cain’s candidacy finished?
  • Can Rick Perry’s candidacy make resurgence? If so, how?

If you want to join the discussion, go to http://webelieveamerica.com/forum/topics/who-will-be-the-republican-presidential-candidate and let your voice be heard.

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Discounted early, especially by the mass exodus of his campaign leadership, Newt Gingrich has made a surprising comeback. When he chose to go on a cruise rather than visit small towns in Iowa, many thought his campaign was dead in the water. In past election cycles, I think he would have been, but times have changed.

With so many debates, which has kept his face in front of the camera without expense, Newt has been free to do what he does best—be a professor. I remember him when he was at West Georgia College—the only conservative political scientist in the entire state. Even then, his intelligence was clear.

Now, more than three decades later, he has resurrected his campaign and become the clear favorite for all of us who want Obama out but can’t stomach Romney as an alternative.

Newt knows what he’s talking about. Everybody knows that. He’s clearly the best qualified Republican, but his sordid past has clouded his potential success. He says he has changed, and I’ll be darned if I don’t believe him. He’s older and wiser—both of which are appealing, especially when you look at the alternatives.

In the 1930s, people counted out Winston Churchill, many thinking his career was over, but it wasn’t. Instead, he became the champion of democracy and the man most responsible for the defeat of the Fascists and the NAZIs.

When Ronald Reagan ran in 1980, he was an old man, clearly past his prime, disrespected by most in politics. He paid no attention and became a man of destiny, ushering in a quarter-century of prosperity. Now, universally acclaimed, Reagan’s accomplishments have become legendary.

In Newt, perhaps we have exactly what we need—a “new” old man, someone who has the courage to lead and the strength of hisconvictions. He has seen it all and may have the opportunity to become a “Man of Destiny.” At bare minimum, his positive spirit is refreshing.

—Jack Watts

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