Newt Gingrich has moved up lately—by default—in the Republican field, as other candidates have risen and fallen.
As other candidates fall…
Since the Republican debate season began, Newt Gingrich never once directly attacked another candidate. Even today he saves most attacks for the man now holding office as President. Lately he has started to attack the mainstream media. His favorite targets: debate moderators who, as he sees it, seek not to moderate but to attack all Republicans.
In last night’s debate in Michigan, Newt Gingrich gave a prize example. Maria Bartiromo of CNBC objected when Gingrich said that the media have been misreporting the economy. Bartiromo demanded an example, and Gingrich gave her one:
I have yet to hear a single reporter ask a single Occupy Wall Street person a single rational question about the economy that would lead them to say, for example — “Who’s going to pay for the park you’re occupying if there are no businesses making a profit?”
The late Ayn Rand couldn’t have put that better, though in Atlas Shrugged, she did come close:
Who pays for it? Blank-out.
The other candidates do not handle themselves nearly as well. Rick Perry infamously promised to eliminate three federal Cabinet departments—and then could name only two. Herman Cain has allowed highly dubious charges of sexual harassment (and even felonious assault!) to dog him for eleven days.
…Newt Gingrich rises
Newt Gingrich now benefits from the patience he has shown to the other candidates. A New Jersey resident told CNAV that he expects Newt Gingrich to get the Republican nomination.
He’ll be the last man standing who isn’t Mitt Romney.
Dorothy Rabinowitz, in The Wall Street Journal, gave more details two days ago. First she described Gingrich’s performance at the Iowa Faith and Freedom forum in October. Then she described the weaknesses of some of the other candidates:
- Michele Bachmann is fading fast, and she knows it.
- Rick Santorum focused his campaign too narrowly. Family values are fine, but they are not the only values that a President must have.
- Ron Paul has defined himself, and let others define him, as the anti-war candidate. Most Republicans still remember that America has enemies who started the war that America is now in. And now Paul has said worse: that if he does not win, he will not support the eventual nominee.
Newt Gingrich has not made mistakes of this kind. His success at avoiding such mistakes is probably due to his phenomenal grasp of history and economics. But he also could do one thing better than almost any other rival: make peace with those same rivals. Even in a recent one-on-one debate with Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich never once attacked Cain directly. Each man has said that he might name the other as his Vice-Presidential running mate.
And what about Mitt Romney? The mainstream media have made much of Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) endorsing Romney. But in New Jersey’s recent legislative elections, Christie couldn’t even change the makeup of the legislature. “All coat and no tails,” said New Jersey Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski of Christie. So Christie might not do Romney any favors by endorsing him.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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