Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Newt Gingrich Needs a History Lesson

The Time Has Come for Newt to Bow Out

Newt Gingrich loves history. He taught History. He earned a Ph.D. in History.
He should heed the lesson of Senator George Aitkin of Vermont. After the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, the Senator said the United States should simply claim victory and withdraw.

Win, lose or draw in Alabama or Mississippi later today, Newt should declare victory and withdraw.

His political instincts are right; a conservative candidate can beat Mitt Romney and President Obama. It’s just not Newt. He carries too much personal baggage into the campaign. He lacks gravitas, that cliché of 2000.

He should heed the lesson of Cassandra. She spoke truth to the Trojans, but none were willing to listen to her.

Newt Gingrich is like Moses or Barry Goldwater; he can point the way, but cannot enter the promised land.

The Speaker and Senator Santorum between them outpoll the Governor in almost every state, but they split the conservative vote, allowing the Governor to claim victory in states like Michigan and Ohio with a narrow plurality. H. Ross Perot’s campaign in 1992 allowed Governor Clinton to win the Presidency through a plurality, just as Governor Romney is winning the Republican nomination so far.

The Governor has 1/3 of the delegates necessary for the nomination, or about 4 times as many as Newt. The math does not work out for the Speaker.

Newt dragged Mitt Romney kicking and screaming to the right, right where the Governor does not want to be. Senator Santorum though is taking advantage of being the true conservative in the race.

No matter how politically savvy Newt is, he does not connect with the voters.
Neither does Governor Romney, but Senator Santorum connects with blue collar voters because he is one.

The Speaker is firm on Israel, while the Senator may be a little suspect, but the Governor is a strong supporter of Israel.

If Governor Romney or Senator Santorum wins either Alabama or Mississippi today, Newt’s regional campaign is finished.

The South may be the heart of the modern Republican Party, but a Southern strategy will not win the Presidency.

The Speaker’s professional and political career may have been in Georgia, but he’s no Southerner. He hails from Pennsylvania, just like Senator Santorum. Southerners know it.

The public, as usual, is seeking an outsider who can reform D.C. Newt Gingrich is the consummate insider. He may have left Congress a decade ago, but his legal residence is in Virginia. He made money off Fanny and Freddie, just as the Democrats. He’s an insider – not a reformer.

The Speaker has no money; he can’t afford much television time. That’s not a winning strategy for a great political strategist.

He can throw red meat at conservatives by attacking the media, but it won’t win the nomination, much less the Presidency.

The Speaker needs to swallow his ego and end his quixotic quest for the Presidency.

His campaign effectively ended last summer before it began when his campaign aides resigned and he took a cruise. He couldn’t get on the ballot in Missouri and Virginia, displaying major organizational weaknesses.

If Speaker Gingrich wins Alabama or Mississippi, then he should declare victory and gracefully withdraw.

As he prolongs the campaign, precluding a clear winner, the ultimate winner will be President Obama.

Should the nomination go to the convention, Newt will fail to receive the summons to be the GOP candidate. Too many Republicans have bad memories of him as Speaker. He proved last Saturday that he wasn’t in Kansas anymore by walking out on Kansas.

History tells us that Newt Gingrich engineered the Contract with America and the Republican landslide in 1994 that broke the Democratic hegemony over the House and elected him the first Republican Speaker in 4 decades. That’s his legacy.

That’s how history should remember him.

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