Newt Gingrich for President?
Mr. Gingrich has been in and around the political arena for a long, long time. After all these years he knows how to play the political game, or at least he thinks he still does. I believe that his most recent presidential interviews clearly show that he has mellowed out politically since his true-blue conservative days of the nineties. I can clearly see from his recent political flip-flopping statements that he believes that he has to appear to be both a conservative liberal and a moderate conservative to have any true hopes of ever getting into the White House. (One of the most obvious examples of this is Newt’s climate control spot with ultra-liberal Nancy Pelosi. Many conservatives believe these types of ads will ‘hurt’ Newt’s chances of winning a presidential race. I do not think so. I personally believe this ad, like other seemingly politically correct, anti-conservative ads, are part of Newt’s (future) scheme to win over those voters who would not vote for him if he chose to run for president as a dedicated conservative.)
Mr. Gingrich is a very, very intelligent (I.Q. intelligent) person, but so was the Absent Minded Professor. (Sometimes very intelligent people say or do real dumb, unthinking things.) Now, none of us are perfect, but the conservative public is not going to be quick to forget a very blatant political or personal slight, especially when it is done against a very nice conservative or liberal politician, as when Newt recently referred to Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan as some sort of “Right Wing Social Engineering.”. Mr. Gingrich recently found that his lack of tact when criticizing Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan has back-fired politically causing him to walk it back and issue several apologies. I believe the words ‘political traitor’ have rolled off the lips of many true conservatives in America because of what Newt said about Paul’s budget plan! (Newt Gingrich, he of supposedly very high intelligence showing a lack of basic political wisdom.) He has since apologized, or so it would appear. Oh, I know that publically Newt has said he was sorry for what he said about Paul Ryan’s budget plan. My question is, was it a genuine apology or simple political theater ? There are those arrogant politicians who are so into themselves that they actually believe that everything they say will be received well because, after all, they said it. (President Obama is a good example of that.) Newt needs to remind himself that this type of political arrogance works well for liberals but not for conservatives.
I know that many people, especially true conservatives, believe that Mr. Gingrich pretty much ended any presidential aspirations for 2012, when he publically ridiculed fellow conservative Paul Ryan’s budget proposals. I disagree. I believe when Newt slammed Paul Ryan (and then ‘apologized’ a day later for doing that) Newt caught the attention a lot of possible voters who voted for Obama in the last election, but who are not going to vote for him again. I believe Newt’s anti-Paul Ryan comments caught the ear of voters who are disenchanted with President Obama and who are looking for a candidate who is not too far to the right of the political center, and someone who is conservative enough to get America on track economically. ( kind of like more of a Blue Dog Democrat instead of a Conservative Republican.) Someone not so conservative that they would touch the sacred cows of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, even though technically, those programs are on their way to insolvency if they are not reformed very soon. (Newt kind of pulled the same political game when he went to Iowa and started telling the people of Iowa that ethanol was a great product—even though most Americans and Newt know that it is not. Ethanol subsidies also cost the U.S. taxpayer over $11 billion dollars in 2010.)
Though there is a wonderful conservative Tea Party movement going on in America I do not believe the movement is large enough to dominate or determine the outcome of a national presidential race,although I do believe they do have the clout to determine which Republican candidate will be in the national election. So I believe Newt is willing to ‘sell his soul’ to moderate or conservative Democrats, moderate Republicans, and many Independents in hopes of winning a presidential election. That is why I personally believe the slamming of Paul Ryan’s budget plan was either purposely planned, or politically used by Newt in an attempt to gain support from a wide range of voters on the national political level.
Unfortunately for Newt, I don’t believe he thought he was going to get so much conservative backlash from what he said about Paul Ryan’s budget proposals. (I believe Newt is finding out those ‘pesky’ Tea Party Conservatives are the real deal!) So once Newt starting receiving all the Tea Party-like backlash from his careless comments about Ryan’s budget planes he wisely ‘back-downed’ (at least verbally) with an apology. ( Newt is also smart enough to know he also needs the conservative vote, along with the moderate Democratic and Independent vote if he wants to be president.)
As I see and hear of Newt ‘compromising’ his conservative values, I believe Newt is not seeing an important piece of the puzzle that is critical to his making it to the White House in 2012. He has to win the Republican nomination first! I believe Newt has over-looked that fact that it is not the moderate or conservative Democrats that make up the the Republican base of voters. If Newt Gingrich truly wants to have any hopes of making it to the White House, he had better figure out ways to soundly and truthfully reconcile himself to the true conservative base in the Republican Party. These are the voters who will either make or break him at the Republican Convention—the first of two steps to White House.
When a conservative politician aspires to be in office and then makes statements to the contrary of what they are supposed to believe in, it is very difficult for that conservative/moderate/flip-flopping conservative to explain all of the ‘new’ (confusing and misleading) positions they now claim to have. (This is what is commonly known as political waffling, and it speaks of a lack of character.) This type of tactic works well if one is running as a beloved liberal with total media support, but if you are running as any type of conservative this will not work! Newt has already found out that the same ‘media love’ for liberals is not offered to conservatives—no matter how middle of the road they say they are! An obvious example of this was when Newt ‘bashed’ Paul Ryan’s budget plans. The liberal Democrats used that situation to falsely proclaim in false, Medicare cut ads that stated that even some conservative Republicans do not agree with the Paul Ryan’s ‘extreme’ budget plant; which of course was not true. One extreme Democratic ad even went so far as to portray Paul Ryan as pushing Granny in a wheelchair off of a cliff to her death!
The political times are very different today, then they were in the nineties, back in days of Newt’s previous political powerhouse. Not only do I believe this will be the most expensive presidential election we’ve ever had, I also believe this upcoming presidential race is going to be the politically meanest and dirtiest election in a real long time. The internet has changed the way people get information—and unfortunately much of that ‘information’ is made-up political lies. Also, much of the information you read on the internet about political candidates is much more personally detailed than it has ever been before. By the time the presidential election roles around in 2012 people are going to know much more about the personal and private life of Newt Gingrich then they might even know about their own parents.
Mr. Gingrich also has the baggage of past sexual affairs in his political resume. These are tough to overcome when you are running as a Conservative. I know, I know, a lot of people say a man’s personal life should not be a determining factor when voting for someone. I believe many disagree with that opinion—especially people on the Conservative side of the ticket. Many believe that if a person cannot keep their wedding promises, how will they ever keep their political promises? Do people make mistakes? Absolutely! However, many believe making the decision to cheat on your husband or wife shows a true lack of moral character, and leads people to not trust in that person. Many agree that if you cheat on your spouse, you will also cheat (lie) to get into office. Voters do not forget adulterous affairs that easily,especially if the politician was a conservative.
I personally believe that ultimately it is not Newt’s (sometime) lack of conservative savvy or lack of political tact which might cost him this election. I believe at the end of the day it might boil down to his lack of personal charisma. For many Newt comes across as curmudgeon of a politician who is just going through the motions of feeding his ego in running for president. He just does not seem to be excited about the political quest he has involved himself in. From what I have seen of Newt so far, (and it still early in the race) he just does not come across as a presidential candidate who has the ‘fire burning in his belly’ to really want the job.
Let’s also face some other facts about Newt. He is not what some might call an attractive person, and he does not come across as being a charismatic speaker, even though he is a very intelligent speaker. A lot of Americans are very superficial when it comes to finally deciding who they are going to vote for as president. A lot of Americans will simply vote for a candidate if that candidate both looks good and talks good. Again, I know it is early in the 2012 Presidential primaries, but Newt does not come across as the much favored “fresh face” many voters are demanding in 2012.
This country is pretty much split down the middle between the two major political parties. Both sides are in the fight of their lives. I would encourage Mr. Gingrich to try to avoid burning the conservative bridges as he strives to reach the White House. ( he may have already burned too many ) Chances are that the very conservatives he ridicules, mocks, or ignores (on his march to Pennsylvania Avenue) will run him out of town at the Republican Convention!
While we are still a long way off from the 2012 election, Newt Gingrich has certainly made his path to win the 2012 Republican nomination for President a lot more difficult by alienating a good percentage of the conservative voters in America. I believe that Newt could make a good president, but he definitely has to pick up his game a bit. He not only needs to work on his political demeanor, but I also believe he also needs to work on being a more likeable (i.e. funny, charismatic, friendly, but conservatively bold) Reagon-esque type of candidate. The question is whether or not Newt will ever be able to recover from his recent statements that have really turned a lot of conservatives and Republicans alike away from him. Only time will tell.