Newt Gingrich's SC win reshapes the primary, but does he have the character to win the Republican nomination?

Newt Gingrich's SC win reshapes the primary, but does he have the character to win the Republican nomination?

The GOP is not going to nominate a thrice married adulterer. It’s just not going to happen. I don’t care how conservative he is. Maybe its because I’m a product of Illinois, where the Illinois GOP makes a candidate withdraw from senate races because he and his wife went to sex clubs.

But the race for the GOP nomination has certain taken a turn this week. This time last week– hell, Thursday morning– it looked like Mitt Romney would be the winner of three states in a row and the other candidates would be forced to withdraw after Florida. Then after Newt Gingrich ripped John King’s face off after asking him about his marriage in the opening question of Thursday’s CNN debate, things started to change. W e learned Rick Santorum won Iowa; Rick Perry dropped out of the contest and endorsed Newt; Marianne Gingrich, Newt’s second wife, told the world that Newt wanted an open marriage so he could keep his mistress, his current wife, Callista. Then, when CNN’s John King opened the Thursday night debate with a question on the open marriage allegation, Newt pounced and destroyed John King for asking the question. "I think the disruptive, vicious, negative nature of the news media makes it harder to govern this country. I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that."

Newt so throughly eviscerated John King, I too found myself supporting him, thinking how dare King ask that question. Then I actually thought about it. My business partner and I frequently talk about work-life balance and the difficulty in maintaining it, and of course, marriage comes up. He once said that he could never be in business with someone who cheats on his wife because that person could/would cheat him. True statement. It comes down to integrity. And that is something we should expect the president of the United States to have.

So the question John King asked is legitimate. If Newt Gingrich has admitted to cheating on two spouses, why wouldn’t he cheat on us? If he had the gall to serve divorce papers on his first wife while she was in a hospital bed recovering from cancer, what type of man are we talking about? Is that integrity? Is that doing the right thing?

So this question is not going to go away. It’s not just about his personal life– it’s about the type of man he is.

This primary now has Newt Gingrich as the frontrunner and other Republicans will start to turn on him. According to Newt’s second wife, Newt was in such a severe depression during the late 1990s, that GOP leadership had to do an intervention. According to the timeline, shortly thereafter he lost his speakership. We’ve heard from many Republican politicians who have somewhat ambiguously stated Newt does not have the temperament to be the president of the United States. Is this what they were talking about? Will this episode be made more public before Florida votes?

What about Newt’s finances? According to his second wife, he couldn’t keep them out of debt and we know that Newt loves to spend lavishly. Will his alleged inability to handle a personal checkbook prove fatal when Republicans are looking for fiscal responsibility?

Maybe its these skeletons that made it look like Newt was on a book tour earlier in the campaign rather than seriously running for president.

 

Or will Newt just blow up at the wrong time? Rick Santorum suggested it. The process is not going to get easier now. More scrutiny will be placed on Newt in the coming days by the media and the Republican party. Will Newt just be Newt?

And remember, importantly, we’re talking about South Carolina. It is not a bellwether for the rest of the country. Didn’t these people start the Civil War? They have threatened to leave the United States as many times as Newt’s been married. South Carolina first threatened to leave the Union in 1828, and promptly withdrew its threat after Old Hickory threatened to send federal troops to the state and hang the leader of the secessionists from the highest tree in South Carolina. The leader was Jackson’s vice president, John C. Calhoun, who promptly resigned as Vice President. The state again threatened to secede from the union in 1850. It was the first rebel state by being the first to secede from the union in December 1860. It was the election of Abraham Lincoln– our greatest president– which prompted the state to secede.

Not to dismiss this state like Bill Clinton did in 2008, but maybe we should let these people go already?

Seriously, it is only one state that appropriately liked the aggressiveness to Newt Gingrich after being asked a tough question about his marriage; a question that should not have led a presidential debate. But the question is valid. CNN’s Erin Burnett asked on Twitter if a person who is unfaithful at home will be unfaithful as president? That is an appropriate question to ask. Let’s see how Newt answers that question and other tough one on his character in the run up to Florida.

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    LESSON Learned from SC: Do not underestimate the folly of voters

    - how easily they are moved by shrewd 30seconds/30minute ads and 30minute debate performances. SuperPacs seem to have changed outcome results by 10% to 20% as seen in Iowa against Newt Ginrich and in South Carolina in favor of Newt Ginrich.
    - how easily they can forget former convictions: The Tea party was against the Washington establishment. Mr Washington, Newt Gingrich, won. Christian conservatives focus on family values and Mr Ginrich wins although he has the wildest past in this respect .
    - how difficult it is for them to follow wisdom. Anger is not a good advisor for reasonable decicions.

    Watch: German preacher's thoughts on 2012
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpLYq525SpM

  • Not that I would ever consider supporting him in a gazillion years, but -it's not just the cheating that Americans should bear in mind; it's the "disruptive, vicious, negative" way he went after Bill Clinton and all the while was doing pretty much the same with what's her face. Talk about doubly deceptive. He's a complete hypocrite on many levels.

  • When does character come into it for the GOP? South Carolina's own Lee Atwater didn't exactly espouse character when running the GOP's strategy. Character assassination, maybe.

    If Gingrich is the nominee the the Dems will have little problem reclaiming FL, IN, VA, OH and other swing states.

    Then again, who knows yet if Gingrich can even make it through Super Tuesday.

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    heck ya!! GO NEWT!!! ....i just realized how big of a BOSS Newt is.... and i quote:
    "Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about America's enemies...KILL THEM"
    LOL...come on, he sounds like the ex--cali governator/terminator .. I LOVE IT!
    video:
    http://www.peeje.com/newt-gingrich-americans-want-paychecks-212/

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    This is a two man race between Romney and Paul. Santorum and Gingrich are not on the ballot for 500 delegates worth of states. They are not, and will not be on the ballot in other states besides just Virginia. They have no grassroots support and virtually "zero" ground game. They cannot win the nomination.

    Period.

    All this MSM Propaganda pushing either Santorum or Gingrich is a joke. Anyway you work the numbers, they are out.
    You have to ask yourself why the media isn't telling the American Public the truth. Do the math and see for yourself.

  • In reply to Phil Stanley:

    Phil, thanks for reading, but I disagree. Paul needs a boost, because although he is viable, nobody is paying attention to him. And although that's because of the media's lack of attention to his candidacy, he needs the media to remain viable. The 10-15% grassroots support he has will not win him the nomination. And without media supplementing grassroots support, he's not going to get there. See 2008 as an example.

    Ron Paul sitting out Florida is exactly what he doesn't need. The race becomes Newt vs. Mitt in the next ten days (with Santorum in there as seasoning) and Paul, currently an afterthought, becomes forgotten.

    And remember, Newt doesn't need to be on the Virgina ballot, to wage a write in campaign.

  • Remember when I said RECOUNT RECOUNT about Iowa a couple of weeks ago? I was being facetious, but turned out to be right.

    As far as this post, it appears that Newt did effectively stick it to the media, but I don't know how much further it gets him.

    However, watching pretty much all the talking head shows, I hear horse-race stuff, but nothing about the issues, like what they are going to do about the deficit, health care, tax policy, etc. If the race is down to horse race, that doesn't say much for it.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack-- you were right on.

    You're right, they don't discuss issues. And when they do-- on CNN for example-- they use democratic/republican "consultants," better stated windbags (like Donna Brazill), giving us the party-line, rather than commentators teaching about the issue and explaining alternatives.

  • Brian, well done piece. You know I had a draft all worked out basically saying everything you have put down so eloquently - so need for me to embellish. South Carolina is in many ways the stereotype for the typical Conservative Evangelist; sin, repent and repeat the process. Well good ole Newt has shown a propensity for that. Thankfully, there aren't many primaries where Newt will duplicate his success of S.C. - I foresee, not a quick resolution, but one that none-the-less puts him out of his misery. Florida could be a barometer, but I suspect Super Tuesday will go a long way in setting the course for the GOP. The only question, though, will the schism within the GOP hand Obama the win? As they say - stay tuned. It will be interesting though.

    Again, great piece!

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    oops "no need to embellish" sorry.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Thanks Michael. I certainly have had times where I had something in my head and ready to write, then I clicked on your blog and saw my drafted post there.

    I agree with you; this will certainly be interesting to watch. I still think it's Romney's to lose-- he's the only one (other than Paul) who has a national campaign. Newt's not even on the ballot in Virginia. I don't think Romney can beat Obama. Romney can barely beat Newt. Then once Romney's tax returns get out, there will be a middle-class backlash.

    BTW: Newt is calling Romney the establishment candidate? That's rich!

  • Well stated, sir!

    If nobody else has coined it, I want to go on record calling Gingrich "The Energizer Bully". His seemingly boundless energy is fueled by his ego's need to destroy others who point out his shortcomings. By going on the offensive, he can attempt to turn a glaring weakness into a strength in the eyes of other bullies, would-be bullies, and ironically, perpetual victims.

    A bigger narrative here seems to be the constant claim of victimization. Newt's a victim of a vengeful ex-wife. He's a victim of a sensation-seeking media. Christians are under attack. Family values are under attack. American Exceptionalism is under attack...

    Never mind that he kept a mistress for eight years, racked up ethics violations that forced him to resign, and put undue stress on his 2nd wife while trying to find the money to pay for his mistakes.

    Forget about the fact that he tried to remove Clinton from office for the very same behavior he was guilty of at the time.

    South Carolina seems like an anomaly - surely your average GOP voter in other states can recognize his hypocrisy, be repulsed by his bullying tactics, and remember his antics as Speaker of the House...

  • In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    Amen. I completely agree.

    Much of this is going to come down to Mitt though. The same things people said about Obama back in 2008 during the primary (is Obama too nice to win? Does Obama not have enough fight to beat a Clinton?) are things I'm starting to question about Romney. It will be nice to see him take the gloves off. Especially against a guy like Newt.

    I don't need to see photos of Romney doing laundry-- I need to see him go after Newt.

  • A philandering, self righteous, judgmental, unforgiving, deceitful, greedy, power hungry, well heeled, old white guy. Who could be more representative of Republican "values". He is the Uber Republipuke as a matter of fact.

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