Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GOP now flirting with Gingrich?

In the New Republic, contributing editor John McWhorter says Newt Gingrich speaks well, but asks: Is he smart? Part of McWhorter's answer:

"Gingrich may be a master of academic exercises -his ability to make bookish references and formulate long sentences demonstrate as much — but that does not mean he knows what he is talking about. . . . Take a close look at what he's saying, and you'll find that he's using artfully constructed rhetoric to cloak ideas that are simply wrong."

McWhorter says "the Republican Party should not mistake his communication skills with evidence of real knowledge, or even of good reasoning. "

He may be too late in that warning. Gingrich is rising in the polls on the strength of his performance in the debates alongside other candidates - with some of the frontrunners making high-profile gaffes. That would be Rick "oops" Perry and Herman "Libya?Libya?" Cain.

In a McClatchy-Marist Poll released this week, a surprising Gingrich was the strongest GOP candidate when matched head to head with President Obama. The former U.S. House speaker is just 2 percentage points behind Obama, 47 percent to 45 percent, survey results released Tuesday indicated.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, presumed by many to be the eventual Republican nominee, was 4 percentage points behind Obama, 48 percent to 44 percent. Obama was favored 49 percent to 39 percent over Cain and outpolled Texas Gov. Perry, 51 percent to 40 percent.

The Republicans are in a bind in their search for a more ideologically pure candidate than flip-flopper, wherever-the-wind-blows candidate Mitt Romney. For a while, they've been flirting with Cain, the former Godfather's pizza chief who wowed them with his 9-9-9 tax plan. But his gaffes and past sexual harassment charges that are making headlines now have cooled their ardor.

Now it seems it may be Newt's turn. The latest polls now indicate Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich all have a chance to win the Iowa caucus in January.

But already Gingrich is finding the spotlight hot. Bloomberg News reported today on his ties to Freddie Mac. Bloomberg said Gingrich was paid "between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees" by Freddie Mac. Gingrich was asked about $300,000 from the mortgage company during the recent GOP presidential debate in Michigan. Since he stopped working for them in 2008, Gingrich has been a frequent critic of Freddie Mac, whose housing loan practices have been implicated in the housing debacle in the U.S.

And a group identifying itself as Iowans for Christian Leadership in Government circulated a flier about Gingrich's extramarital affairs. Politico reported on an e-mail that was making the rounds citing some of Gingrich's quotes about topics such as illegal immigration and Medicare.

Gingrich's "baggage has baggage," says the headline on a column this week by Joan Walsh of Salon.

Read more about it all at:

This GOP flirtation could be short lived.

Fannie Flono


Anonymous said...

Observer: Gingrich is in the lead this week. Attack! What a shock.

Oscar Harward said...

While I do not profess to be an intellect, I would bet on Newt Gingrich in any open debate with John McWhorter on USA History or, perhaps, World History.

As For Freddie Mac, “Speaker Gingrich’s consulting firm, The Gingrich Group, was retained in 2006 by Freddie Mac. To be clear, Speaker Gingrich did no lobbying of any kind, nor did his firm. This was expressly written into the Gingrich Group contracts. Instead, the Gingrich Group was hired to offer strategic advice to Freddie Mac on a number of issues,” the campaign stated

Topher said...

Time to demonize Newt i see.

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Anonymous said...

All people/politicians have baggage. Obama had his baggage with Rev. Wright, Ayers, and Acorn. Its become a rite-of-passage for candidates on the rise. Eventually though, the media will exhaust covering Newts already well-documented baggage and have to come back to covering the issues that differentiate Newts agenda from Obamas. Thats when Newts campaign really picks up steam!

Jack said...

This is rich. An Obama supporter complaining about a candidate's speech not having substance. You are interested in ties to Fannie and Freddie but no mention of Barney Frank or Obama's incestuous ties to them. I'd entertain your concerns if you or any of the yahoos at this rag applied them evenly. You guys are fastly dragging the reputation of The Observer down to that of the Weekly World News. No wonder you are losing readership and revenue.

One Discerner said...

All newspapers are losing readership and revenue. It's not because readers leave them when they become annoyed because the paper wrote the true. The GOP's field of candidates are a sorry lot. To avoid criticism, get better candidates. Somehow, the GOP is not very good in this category. It's probably because of too much tea partying.

Ghoul said...

Not all papers are losing readership. The NY Times saw their subscription base grow. The WSJ has grown its base for 11 straight years.

There is a reason that The Observer has lost 75% of its subscription base in the last 12 years, and ad revenue is down 80%. Its owner McClatchy News Group has seen its stock price fall from $79.60 on April 17th, 2006 to $1.25 today. A 98% drop! But dear God, don't change a thing, keep on playing that piano while the Titantic sinks!

I sincerely hope Fannie gets paid with a stock option.