Tue. Nov 12th, 2019

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Gingrich Enters the Ring

3 min read
If you are a registered Democrat, then right now you should like Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. You heard me right; liberals should embrace “the Newtster.”

If you are a registered Democrat, then right now you should like Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. You heard me right; liberals should embrace “the Newtster.”

Why should this shockingly apocalyptic viewpoint come to pass?

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Put into context, Gingrich is former governor Mitt Romney’s enemy, making him President Barack Obama’s current best bud because he could still bloody Romney’s political nose (not his real nose, Romney’s flawless make-up crew would have that covered in a flash) and possibly divide the GOP political base.

Right now in the GOP candidate race, Herman Cain and Rick Perry have swan-dived in the polls after each committing major blunders. From Cain’s poorly contained reaction to numerous sexual harassment charges to Rick Perry’s rather embarrassing brain freeze during a GOP debate, voters now have seen the more fire-breathing candidates at their less-than-stellar.

Will their support falter? Is Romney truly the Mormon juggernaut that will inevitably clinch the nomination? Not necessarily. There might be a way another way for conservative voters to avoid having to support the moderate Romney they do not trust.

That way is through Newt Gingrich.

After his whole campaign staff quit on him over the summer, Newt continued campaigning relentlessly and that managed to keep the door from closing entirely on his prospects. Having kept a fairly low profile recently, it would seem that Newt Gingrich is content to wait patiently until his opponents ruin themselves.

That time would be now. Newt can now jump more boldly into the field to rally the neo-conservatives under one campaign banner. This is a field where he has Romney on the defensive; after all, he was the governor of Massachusetts.

Romney, for all his virtues, cannot ‘out-conservative’ the Newt. Therein lies the potential for a real humdinger of a GOP showdown: if Cain and Perry really do not recover from their latest stumbles, then the Gingrich-meister will be the real winner since he is far more likely to get ultra-conservative votes than Romney.

That scenario is not inevitable, for Gingrich’s greatest strengths also remain his greatest weaknesses. He may be a social conservative at heart, but cheating on his wife while frantically trying to impeach Clinton for the same thing did not endear him to any “family values” voters. His political experience gives him a political edge, but his temper and legendary egotism contrast awkwardly with Romney’s soft-spoken campaign approach.

There is still a lot of time and ground to cover before the nomination finally does occur, but this may be a telling moment. Gingrich has the experience to know when to kick a campaign into overdrive, and picking up momentum towards the end has shown to work in primaries past.

Gingrich, who has done poorly until this point, has started polling third place regularly while second place Cain is quickly becoming a falling star.

If things get ugly, it could very well be that Obama would be the real winner.

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