Wednesday, 18 January 2012
THE NEWT GINGRICH SURGE??
On Monday night, there was a debate held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Centre in South Carolina sponsored by FOX News and The Wall Street Journal. There, Newt Gingrich had one of his best debates of the 2012 primary season.
His response to moderator, Juan Williams about black voters was nothing short of brilliant.
Williams (left) asked Gingrich if he could see how his comments about how “black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps” were viewed, “at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans.”
“No,” Gingrich curtly said, using Williams as a perfect liberal foil. “I don’t see that.”
Gingrich said his daughter’s first job was doing janitorial work and “she liked earning the money” and “liked learning that if you worked, you got paid.” He said only elites “despise” giving people opportunities to earn money.
When Williams pressed Gingrich further, Gingrich said, “the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.”
At that end of his response there was a raucous applause for minutes. You get those during campaign rallies, not moderated debates.
When he responded to Ron Pauls’ ridiculous claim that Osama Bin Laden was akin to a Chinese dissident Newt responded:
A Chinese dissident who comes in here — a Chinese dissident who comes here seeking freedom is not the same as a terrorist who goes to Pakistan seeking asylum,” Gingrich said, noting that a 13-year-old named Andrew Jackson was sabred by a British officer during the Revolutionary War in South Carolina and wore that scare his whole life.
“Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear-cut idea about America’s enemies: Kill them,” Gingrich said to another round of raucous applause.
It seems whenever there is a debate he always raises his game. From his time as Speaker of the House and his significant achievements, he has blown people away with his knowledge of the issues and he’s able to put them forward in such a ‘commonsense’ like manner that few people could disagree.
If there was a debate everyday of this primary season, he would be doing far better than he is doing now. However, a question is always asked, why hasn’t he gained enough votes to really trouble Mitt Romney? He hasn’t even won the ‘Conservative’ vote in the GOP Primary. He even admitted that he is in a struggle with Rick Santorum as the uniting ‘Anti-Romney’ candidate. This situation only helps the former Governor of Massachusetts and may assist him in winning the nomination sooner rather than later.
The question is, if he is the most intellectual, smartest and experienced candidate, why isn’t he winning this easily?
My theory is that whilst his message is profound, the folks do not like the person saying it. He has a poor track record when it comes to his personal life(baggage),
which does count a lot to the electorate. Having been married three times, had an affair during the Bill Clinton impeachment hearings and being described as being egotistical, angry & condescending at times, it is clear why people don't have a liking to the guy. I doesn’t help that his company took $1.6million dollars from the failed mortgage company, Freddie MAC for consultancy fees and he received an ethics violation during his tenure as Speaker of the House.
Experience can count for something, but when your likeability is low as a candidate, almost everything has to go right for you to win.
Toe-to-toe, Gingrich would walk all over Obama during a debate. I think that Obama realises that and will sanction only two debates. One is on the Economy and the other Foreign Policy, with the latter being his strong point, due to the assassination of Bin-Laden.
He may be a naive President but when it comes to campaigning he is very smart. If he accepts more, than he is clearly showing ill fated hubris and is setting himself up for a big fall.
The latest polls from South Carolina show Mitt Romney with a sizeable lead over Gingrich. The fact that Romney is doing so well in this state, tells you that the pundits, who think that he would struggle in a southern state, are talking baloney.
A recent Rasmussen Reports poll taken on the 16th January, prior to the FOX News debate later that evening, showed Romney 35% against Gingrich at 21%. This is huge lead and something that will be difficult for most to recover from when you think that the Primary is on Saturday!
How can Gingrich recover from this deficit or create some form of momentum?
The first question is the polling from the recent debate. How much has he gained and how much have others lost. He must gain and Santorum & Romney must lose points for anything meaningful to happen.
The second is can he perform as spectacularly on Thursday night at the CNN debate in Charleston, South Carolina.
He may have received a huge backhanded endorsement from a hugely influential person. Sarah Palin (a huge hit with the Tea Party)
said in an interview, ‘if I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going, I'd vote for Newt. And I would want things to continue. More debates, more vetting of candidates’.
She has tremendous sway with the voters as South Carolina is a heavy Tea Party state. With her comments, she could tip a lot of voters to the Gingrich column. Regardless about her motives to keep the primary going, she clearly could of said Santorum, Paul or Perry but she chose Newt.
If Newt is able to create some momentum from these next few days, then he may be in with a shout of winning the primary. If he comes a clear second then all roads lead to Florida where there primary takes place on the 31st January and it is Mitt vs. Newt