The Newt

Do not underestimate Newt Gingrich.

In many ways, he is the ‘John Edwards’ of the Republican Challenge – just not as good-looking.

He has been quietly putting together an organization these past few years, “Winning the Future” one supporter at a time.

Like John, he has a web-site which has all the all the bells and whistles that go with a modern political campaign, centered around the use of social media and web-networking.

Newt has a brain that is every bit as organized as John’s, and is possibly more nimble, on both a strategic and tactical level.

This is the guy who stole the House of Representatives from the Democrats back in 1994, with “Contract with America,” and then dictated Bill Clinton’s political agenda for the next six years.

It was Newt’s Republican House that balanced the federal budget, as much as Bill and Robert Rubin.

And don’t be thinking Newt is just an ivory-tower policy wonk. Who can forget the unscripted Town Hall meeting between Bill the President and Newt the Speaker?

When two of the cleverest populists of their time went toe-to-toe for an hour, treating those watching to one of the finest debates of political fundamentals that this country has seen in several generations.
Newt’s aura amongst rank-and-file Republicans may well have increased in potency with the loss by his Republican colleagues of their control of Congress. Control which those same grassroots Republicans remember, all too well, was engineered by Newt in the first place.
They may take the view that, as a born-again Washington outsider, Newt can work that same magic all over again, in the face of the current Democratic groundswell.

What may tip things Newt’s way is the social conservative vote in the Republican Primaries. For all his posturing, Mac is still seen as a social liberal. Rudy is way beyond hiding the fact that he’s always been one. And Mitt…oh please!

It may come down to New Hampshire. I’m guessing Newt will have to get at least 15% of the vote there to be taken seriously. And if he fails to achieve that benchmark, then I believe he will have to win heavily-religious South Carolina to stay in the race.

Thing is, he’s actually leading polls in several states at the moment – including North Carolina…

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 8:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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