The image is from a rejected Bloomberg cover and noted here. In the final stretch Romney leads by a 3pt nose (RCP) and Gingrich is doing his best with a 6MM ad-buy courtesy of his SuperPAC friends.
On the stump, Newt rolls some 99% boulders Romney's way:
"I think you have to live in worlds of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatic $20 million a year income with no work to have some fantasy this far from reality," Gingrich said, jabbing at Romney's self-released income taxes from this week.The conservative blogosphere is up in arms about it and Ann Coulter brings out the big guns:
By comparison, Gingrich said, his approach to immigration includes "people who have been here for a long time, who are grandmothers and grandfathers, who have been paying their bills, they've been working. Now, for Romney to believe that somebody's grandmother is going to be so cut off she is going to self deport? This ... is an Obama-level fantasy."
Gingrich may have spent his entire life in Washington and be so much of an insider that, as Jon Stewart says, "when Washington gets its prostate checked, it tickles [Newt]," but he is deemed the rebellious outsider challenging "the Establishment" -- because, again, "the Establishment" is anyone who opposes Newt.She thinks--and so do a lot of other people--that Gingrich not only isn't an outsider ... isn't a conservative ... but is a November disaster in the making for the GOP.
This is the sort of circular reasoning one normally associates with Democrats, people whom small-town pharmacists refer to as "drug seekers" and Ron Paul supporters.
But if Mitt is also a loser, what's to be done? Hot Air 'debunks' the hope for a brokered convention? Who do you think is in those smoke-filled rooms? It's the establishment, bunky!
Even if you got a good candidate, what then?
Some of those choices might appeal to some Republicans, but consider the hole from which this nominee would start. Ten weeks from the election, the party would have a nominee for which no one had cast a ballot in a primary, who has raised no money, who has built no organization, and who has articulated no platform before getting drafted at the convention. Put that up against the re-election campaign of Barack Obama and his $250-$300 million campaign fund and more from unions and the entertainment industry, and it would be a prescription for political suicide – and not just for the presidency, either. The disarray would impact House and Senate races all around the country and risk not just the opportunity to take back control of the upper chamber, but also put control of the lower chamber up for grabs.He also takes on the late-entrant question.
But the real meat of his post is this: Rick Perry was everyone's dream candidate--see how he turned out. If what you are hoping for now is your other dream candidate? Why do you think it'll be any different?
What Does It Mean?
I think it means more that people who know are scared of Gingrich more than they like Romney. None of these screeds are about Mitt's problems (he's 99% bait, for an animatronic hall-of-presidents super-candidate he sure does seem to stumble around a lot when he's thrown off his game, and he's called Obama a 'nice guy whose in over his head'--which is poison to the base. Oh, and RomneyCare)--or rather how they might not count. No, this is just pure fear of Newt.
What Does It Mean?
The polls say Santorum's vote will go to Newt and there are rumors (denied) that Santorum will drop out before Saturday. That'd make a big difference but if the man is in the debate tonight I'll assume he's holding out for Florida. Maybe Mitt even gave him a secret sweetener? I wouldn't put it past him.
It also seems to hold some water that this fight is driving up everyone's negatives--so there's no GOP observer who wouldn't want to see it stop--soon.
What Do I Think?
I think that this is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal: The State of the Union is Angry.
We were tired when we got home last night, too tired to pay much attention to the substance of President Obama's State of the Union Address. But we dutifully sat through all 65 minutes of it, and they made a strong emotional impression: This guy is angry. And it was a vigorous sort of anger, not the thin-skinned petulance to which this president has accustomed us. The tone was not whiny but combative. Obama reminded us of Newt Gingrich.Obama is coming out swinging. That's certainly tactical on his part--he isn't an angry politician by nature. Gingrich, on the other hand, certainly is:
Here is Gingrich from the stump:
“He is counting on us not having YouTube. That’s how much he thinks we’re stupid, and we’re not stupid,” Gingrich said. “The message we should give Mitt Romney is you know, `We aren’t that stupid and you aren’t that clever’.”This is an angry age and whoever wins ... is going to have it out. I suspect that Obama, taking a measured approach--but signalling to the base that, yes, he is going to fight (similar to the way that our weapons-grade sanctions are close to provoking actual military responses from Iran: we. mean. business.)--is telling us that he doesn't plan to coast for the next few months.
The former speaker conceded the weight of the ads coming from the Romney campaign has hurt his campaign, but sought to remind voters where Romney, who holds stock in Goldman Sachs, gets his money.
“Let’s be really clear, you’re watching ads paid for with the money taken from the people of Florida by companies like Goldman Sachs, recycled back into ads to try to stop you from having a choice in this election,” Gingrich said. “That’s what this is all about.”
I think Newt's supporters desperately, desperately want to beat Obama. I suspect that for a lot of them, seeing him on TV is painful no matter what he's doing. I think they believe the best and maybe only way to do this is to take the fight to him. McCain wasn't willing to call Obama a socialist/communist/Islamist. I don't think Romney believes a word of that either (Romney understands something about universal health care after all--seeing his model go national must be gratifying)--but Romney will say those things.
Just not very convincingly. And not as dirtily as Newt.
I don't think Newt believes them either: he is a historian. He knows what communism and socialism are. But I think his innate, inherent anger is a furnace sufficient to fuel any attack he makes on any target. The voters on the far right are responding emotionally to that--perhaps their own anger reflected in him?
But in the general? When the author of How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Absolutely Must) (Ann Coulter) doesn't back Newt? It's time to take a hard look at that. She might be a rabble rouser too--but trust me: she wants to win.