Open thread: The “second look at Gingrich” debate

posted at 7:31 pm on November 9, 2011 by Allahpundit

8 p.m. ET on CNBC, the first of four — count ‘em, four — debates in just 13 days. (The next is Saturday night.) Here’s the scene on InTrade as I write this. Dude?

A half-hour ago Newt’s odds were actually slightly better than Perry’s. And why not? He’s led Perry in five of the last six national polls and now leads him even in his supposed-to-be stronghold of South Carolina. Nate Silver posted a point-by-point pros-and-cons on Gingrich this morning, but it’s really not more complicated than this: (a) Apart from Romney, he’s the only credible candidate who consistently sounds like he knows what he’s talking about, and (b) he’s not Romney. Sounds good right now, unless you think a cutting joke about Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan is apt to win over undecideds in a debate against Obama.

And yet, like a near-majority of Republicans, I still can’t help but think Romney will prevail in the end. Why? Because, as Jay Cost says, he’s the luckiest man alive:

I am sympathetic to the concern among grassroots conservatives that the GOP elites have political beliefs that differ from the rank-and-file. That being said, I do not think this accounts for Romney’s dominance. Instead, I think he will be the nominee largely because of good fortune: the number of potential, top-level challengers was unusually small this year, and the ones who could really have given him a run for his money have all dropped out or flamed out. Romney’s moderation and flip-flopping were potential weakness for 2012, but there is nobody of sufficient stature out there to challenge him over them…

We can tweak the requirements on the margins here and there — separating out the “presidential timber” was admittedly subjective — but we’d still only have Romney and Perry as the declared, high-profile candidates. The other Republicans running this time around are quite far from having the sort of resume that usually qualifies one for the nomination.

This explains why Romney is at the top of the heap. It is not because of some advantage the heirs of Rockefeller retain over the conservative grassroots. Instead, it’s just dumb luck. Romney’s position here is akin to being dealt a 5 and a 7, but drawing a straight on the river in a game of Texas Hold ‘em. He lucked out because relatively few Republicans were in that top tier with him, he lucked out again when five of his six competitors chose not to run, then he lucked out one more time when Perry turned out to be a dud. It’s not the inherent moderation of the party elite that explains his advantage, it’s just a perfect storm.

Cost is using executive experience as a prerequisite here, which is a solid rule of thumb normally but might not exclude Gingrich because of the place he inhabits in the conservative imagination. For one thing, he does have executive experience of a sort — he ran the House for a few years in the mid-90s. Beyond that, precisely because he does know what he’s talking about and enjoys the gravitas of being a party elder statesman, the usual fears of a congressman being in over his/her head as president aren’t there. Still hard to see him beating Romney, especially if he doesn’t win either Iowa or New Hampshire, but check those InTrade odds in three hours. As for me, I’m rooting for a brokered convention.

Tonight’s topic is the economy, incidentally, and since they’re in Michigan, there’s bound to be plenty of squirming about the GM bailout. While we wait, here’s Laura Ingraham making the case for Newt to Ann Coulter.

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National Review: Bialek May Be in Financial Difficulties

Sharon Bialek’s fiance — who said he is her primary source of financial support — is unemployed and preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to Lake County court documents reviewed Tuesday by the Tribune. And in Cook County, lawsuits show she has been targeted by creditors who claimed she owed them thousands in unpaid rent, personal loans and credit card bills.

In a round of TV interviews, Bialek, 50, said she had no financial reasons for coming forward and had not been promised a job in exchange for accusing Cain of groping her in a parked car 14 years ago. She sought to downplay past financial problems

tetriskid on November 9, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Unfortunately, being disrespectful to Pelosi by resorting to name-calling, does not help Cain’s denial of the harrasment allegations.

SheetAnchor on November 9, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Then it’s a good thing I wasn’t on that stage. Because “princess” is not the word I would have used. And I don’t think what Cain said was at all out of line. I have heard that freakin’ sea hag say some pretty outrageous and insulting things about people on my side. So scroo her.

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:16 PM

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Why can’t we have better choices?

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Like I said earlier, if Newt gets the nomination, there won’t be any debates.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:12 PM

I’ve heard that before, but there’s no way the debates are canceled. Even politically indifferent people realize the presidential debates are like the Super Bowl of politics, and a lot tune in, just like I’ll watch a Final Four game although I don’t follow college basketball

If there were no presidential debates, the resulting furor would paint 0bama as such a coward that the blowback would severely damage him

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM

no more 999 cain…gettin real old now at the debates…

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM

The CNBC “Highlight” reel did not have one (1) Newt answer…

Seven Percent Solution on November 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Cain now apologizing for “Princess Nancy” comment. Hey man at least own it, it was funny.

nswider on November 9, 2011 at 9:59 PM

She’s probably ticked he demoted her from Queen Nancy.

conservative pilgrim on November 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM

TXUS on November 9, 2011 at 10:12 PM

I see what you did there. From your first cigarette to your last dying day.

IrishEi on November 9, 2011 at 10:18 PM

How is it that so many anti-capitalists work for CNBC?

faraway on November 9, 2011 at 10:19 PM

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM

That and Newt says he will follow Obama all over the country until he debates him.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:19 PM

How does a debate answer wipe out two complete terms as the governor of Texas?

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:04 PM

I’d hate to see it happen, but it’s difficult to see how it can go away.

Many people, myself included, and I’m willing to bet you as well, are watching these debates with a eye toward how well each candidate can perform live against the President, and not just substantively.

Saltysam on November 9, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Like I said earlier, if Newt gets the nomination, there won’t be any debates.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Newt said in Iowa this weekend that he’ll stalk Obama down until he debates him seven times. That wherever Obama appears, he’ll be in the same town within 4 hours.

John the Libertarian on November 9, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Newt is not a conservative though.

The Ron Paul-Reagan-Goldwater platform

Spathi on November 9, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Why can’t we have better choices?

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Actually we’ve had some good ones, and still have a couple. We had at least one drop out. The problem with the good ones we do have is, that unlike the dim candidate, ours not only have to work on policy issues and messaging, but they also have to dodge a multitude of arrows from the dnc and their willing allies in the lsm.

We’re kind of like the 82nd airborne in WW2. We have to expect to be surrounded. But it does make the battle tougher.

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:22 PM

tetriskid on November 9, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Unfortunately, this information does not mean that her allegations of Cain’s behavior are untrue. Cain needs to request the hotel records be made public, since she stated that he upgraded her hotel room. Further, he needs to take the lie detector test he said he would take; or challenge his accusers to take the test. He also needs to ask the NRA to release all of their documents pertaining to the investigations into the harrassment allegations at the NRA. In addition, he should direct his lawyer to file a slander suit, if these allegations are not true. In short, his blanket denial, given that he could seek supporting evidence to refute these allegations, is not sufficient.

SheetAnchor on November 9, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Oops. You beat me to your own answer. Classic!

John the Libertarian on November 9, 2011 at 10:23 PM

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM

That and Newt says he will follow Obama all over the country until he debates him.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Potential hilarity ensues

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:23 PM

no more 999 cain…gettin real old now at the debates…

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Yeah, he’s making it into a gimmick. Hard to take the plan seriously.

conservative pilgrim on November 9, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Saltysam on November 9, 2011 at 10:19 PM

I hate to give up on anyone. Except Romney.

John the Libertarian on November 9, 2011 at 10:22 PM

I read that, it’s the perfect answer.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:24 PM

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:16 PM

She is not running for President; he is. Given the allegations, this lends a modicum of credibility to the allegations, and thus should have been avoided. It makes no sense to exacerbate the situation.

SheetAnchor on November 9, 2011 at 10:25 PM

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Hate to say it but I am not a big Romney fan and everyone else has been labeled “unelectable”. It’s 2008 all over again.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Mort Zuckerman, were you not listening to Ron Paul when he was talking about a worldwide sovereign debt crisis? Were you not listening for the last four years?

JohnGalt23 on November 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM

When they asked economic questions, it was a good debate. Unfortunately, they asked too many gotchya questions. They also gave Cain and Romney a lot more time than the other candidates.

1. Ron Paul did good. I just wish he would pay attention to Newt and learn how to improve his messaging. RP was expected to do well and he did, so no big surprise. I doubt if he picked up any new support because he was his usual abrasive self. I don’t know if he is talking down to the audience or just giving that impression.

1. Newt Gingrich did good. I would say they tied as best of the night.

3. Romney – Did OK but often resorted to generalizations.

4. Bachmann – I was surprised at the depth of some of her answers. She also took a different tack than the others and offered new information.

5. Santorum – Really got short changed on time which was a shame because he has some well thought out positions.

6. Hunstman – When he wasn’t being a jerk, he had some good solutions and experience to back them up. He attacked Romney and Gingrich and looked like a jerk.

8. Cain – I was stunned at how poorly Cain did. Several times he gave answers that had nothing to do with the questions. On one question, it was obvious he had no idea and tried to bluff it.

8. Perry – I will do away with 3 agencies – Education, Commerce, and uh, uh, uh. He also gave answers that didn’t match the questions. He and Cain both blew the stock market question.

If people are objective, Gingrich will move into 2nd place. If people go with emotion, they may still be for Cain because he was “unfairly” targeted.

I’m sure none of the media will see the debate as I did. CNBC immediately started showing the faux pas as soon as the debate was over making the candidates look like dopes.

huckleberryfriend on November 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM

SheetAnchor on November 9, 2011 at 10:25 PM

If he has to walk on egg shells with every female political opponent he has because of this he’s done anyway. All they have to do is crank out all their Debbie W-S types and he’s muted. May as well scuttle the flagship and surrender.

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:30 PM

9-9-9 is not getting old as was mentioned.
The debates are getting old.

Having all of these gotcha debates just might backfire. Backfire on the dems, that is. These GOP candidates (who are sharp to begin with) are getting fine tuned for the big one. Whoever goes up against Obama is going to be super prepared. I’m excited for THAT debate!

balkanmom on November 9, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Hate to say it but I am not a big Romney fan and everyone else has been labeled “unelectable”. It’s 2008 all over again.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Stay the course. Don’t give up hope. It’s still a year away.

And with that, I have to hit the hay. Gotta get up before the rooster crows. Enjoyed the debate and the banter with all of you.

Chin up, Perry people. Maybe he’ll recover. I’ll still take him over Broke Inssein Obaka.

Til next time.

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:35 PM

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Good night, sweet dreams.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:36 PM

predator on November 9, 2011 at 10:30 PM

You are probably correct.

SheetAnchor on November 9, 2011 at 10:37 PM

I want to see Cain go full speed ahead. I’m sure he is boning up on things, as Palin had to do. Let’s see if he improves, and then the primaries will tell the story. Let him stand or fall on the issues.

And Steve Forbes is a big backer of 9-9-9.

Forbes is no dummy. If Forbes backs it up, I’m not going to write it off as a gimmick.

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Perry just somehow has to sort out his “dumb” appearance in debates. See a hypnotist, whatever. I don’t like the idea of dumping a successful governor over this. But, my Lord, his mental lapses in debates – I don’t know how you get around that and win the general election.

Perry is at the tipping point now, and he has to figure out how to do better.

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:41 PM

The CNBC “Highlight” reel did not have one (1) Newt answer…

Seven Percent Solution on November 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM

I think they fear he’ll expose their distortion and reporting of history. Because when Newt speaks he always has a way of re-educating the indoctrinated with a fact based history lesson.

redridinghood on November 9, 2011 at 10:42 PM

Perry still has time to recover, but he needs to practice debating and articulating his policy positions in some detail. In political circles, it’s called the “murder board,” where you and your campaign aides stage, practice, and rehearse the debate. If he cannot effectively debate with 7 others, he cannot reasonably be expected to debate effectively with only one opponent, Obama. He needs to rehearse before it’s too late to recover.

SheetAnchor on November 9, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Forbes is no dummy. If Forbes backs it up, I’m not going to write it off as a gimmick.

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:38 PM

I’m a huge Forbes fan. But I thought he was backing Perry’s 20 percent flat tax. In fact, I assumed he might have even helped write it?

John the Libertarian on November 9, 2011 at 10:45 PM

I’m a huge Forbes fan. But I thought he was backing Perry’s 20 percent flat tax. In fact, I assumed he might have even helped write it?

John the Libertarian on November 9, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Let me clarify – you are right – Forbes backed Perry’s plan. But when 9-9-9 came out, Forbes initially praised it too, but says it needs some tweaks.

If Forbes says it’s fixable, then we can work with it.

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:50 PM

When the campaign began, we had what I had thought would the War between the Greats.

Sadly, it’s turning into the War between the Grates.

TXUS on November 9, 2011 at 10:55 PM

I’ve narrowed it down to Gingrich and Paul. They’re the only two that come across as having any kind of real, substantive knowledge of economics. I enjoy Paul’s isolationist foreign policy, but Newt comes across as much more articulate and I think would shred Obama in a debate. Overall it’s a wash; all the others (except Romney) are simply disasters waiting to happen. And I’ll sit out before voting for a leftist like Romney.

Nelsen on November 9, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Drudge just lowered the boom on Perry. See the headline…

SheetAnchor on November 9, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Newt wipes floor with Obama at any debate!
Media declares Newt the enemy.
Will people vote for salamander in the general?

Rea1ityCheck on November 9, 2011 at 11:05 PM

GovernorPerry Really glad I wore my boots 2nite because I stepped in it out there. I did still name 2 agencies to eliminate. Obama has never done that!
4 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite
Shows real class when one can make a joke about ones self. Go Perry

Bullhead on November 9, 2011 at 11:23 PM

I missed the Gingrich thread, unfortunately.

But not for lack of support and enthusiasm for Newt. He’s doing great and sure is making these debates far more interesting than they would be should he not be a participant in them.

Gingrich will make a wonderful President. Wonderful.

Lourdes on November 9, 2011 at 11:49 PM

His answer on Freddie Mac is already being reported as a lie. I didn’t believe it when I heard it myself. No way he survives a general election with his past baggage. It’s Romney. Done and done.

echosyst on November 10, 2011 at 12:59 AM

I’m sold on Gingrich.

He can get the country moving again, kick the Democrats in the stones, and make Obama look like the dummy who got a hold of the car keys too soon. Also, my prayers are with Rick Perry, his family, and his supporters tonight.

Punchenko on November 10, 2011 at 1:56 AM

I think it’s time for a Newt money bomb.

HellCat on November 10, 2011 at 2:53 AM

Time for a Newt-tron money bomb!

Gedge on November 10, 2011 at 4:31 AM

Newt.org made a post on the AP Freddie Mac smear which can be found here:

http://www.newt.org/news/truth-about-newt%E2%80%99s-relationship-freddie-mac

Punchenko on November 10, 2011 at 6:20 AM

I got the impression that the moderators were trying to avoid Newt. I think they didn’t want to give him a chance to show how smart he is. They tried to dump on him for his a $300K consulting fee his organization–not him personally, as I understand it–for advice, which Newt said Freddie Mac rejected to its peril.

I think someone at NRO criticized it as crony capitalism. I don’t know. If the advice were good but unheeded, what’s $300K, when Freddie and Fannie have drained taxpayers of $142 billion and counting.

But let me ask this–Daschle supposedly had a huge hand in counseling Dems on Obamacare. I’m assuming he didn’t work for free. What was he–or his law firm–paid? And look what that got us.

BuckeyeSam on November 10, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Newt/Newt 2012!

fossten on November 10, 2011 at 7:41 AM

Mitt’s slam on Newt was disgusting “I’ve been married to the same wife, … and I have been a member of the same church…”

stenwin77 on November 10, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Newt 2012. Game set match. Obama debating him will make Perry look like a college debating professor. It won’t be pretty for Barry, especially if Newt brings up Barry’s original political party and what the country has been through the last 3 years with Comrade Obamalinsky……….

adamsmith on November 10, 2011 at 8:49 AM

If Forbes says it’s fixable, then we can work with it.

cane_loader on November 9, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Screw Forbes, do the analysis yourself. Wait you can’t because there isn’t enough information from Cain and his 999 summary to do so.

Look add 9% to everything you buy (even on the internet).
(i.e. reduce your gross income by 9%)

Then pay taxes on your gross income + benes of 9%.
Be sure to add not only your take home pay BUT also the amount your employer pays for insurance, etc.

Now you are at 18% flat tax essentially.

Now at this point Cain says prices will be cheaper(never happens in real life) due to his 9% VAT. But, heres the rub, no one can apparently calculate exactly HOW MUCH this corp VAT will increase prices. IF you assume 9%, then your total tax in now 27% (that being very optimistic) since ‘corporations’ don’t pay taxes, they work them into the prices.

Now assuming you are middle income, you are probably paying 32% on 70% of gross, minus any mortgage interest and other deductions.

So which is better 27% of your gross+insurance, or 32% of 70%gross without benes. ?
probably the same.
Reality is 999 will probably be more like 35 or 40% of your gross+benes. But you can’t complain to your CPA because the 9% corp tax is HIDDEN in everything you buy.

My point is, NO ONE IN CAINS CAMP can do even this SIMPLE fact check.

Finally if 9% is good, why isn’t 7% ‘better’ ???

And 999 is supposed to be simple, yet who determines these ‘empowerment zones’? And how much is the deduction? And how will that deduction be done?

This is how I understand 999 from the mans website itself.

We are stuck with what we have, and it can be greatly simplified, yet DC does not want it simplified.

Arguing over revenue generation is stupid anyway, we made $2trillion in taxes, the problem is Obama spent $3.7trillion last year alone. You would really need to at least DOUBLE taxation just to make ends meet. SLASH SPENDING.

orbitalair on November 10, 2011 at 9:05 AM

These are NOT “debates”…they are LSM “hatchet fests”…designed to give Democrats a role in picking Republican candidates!!!

QUESTION: Would the Democrats ever agree to holding “debates” using these same rules…with Republican-written questions???

The entire format is stupid and dysfunctional.

landlines on November 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM

orbitalair on November 10, 2011 at 9:05 AM

You neglected to account for the ABSENCE OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE deductions from your paycheck…as well as the real possibility that your employer might pay you more because he no longer has to pay the “employer’s share” (aka ‘hidden part’) of these taxes on every dollar you earn to the SSA.

Also, there is the real possibility that ALL goods will cost less because the corporate tax is greatly reduced, which enhances the value of every dollar you take home.

And don’t forget to figure in the huge reduction in tax preparation cost.

landlines on November 10, 2011 at 11:09 AM

My employer pay me more?
NEVER, EVER happen.

All goods cost less…
NEVER, EVER happen.

I do my own taxes, long form and all, by hand.
Sure it take me about 4hrs, so that opportunity cost is lost.
I don’t pay $50 for turbo tax, and I certainly don’t pay a cpa.
An engineering degree IS worth something. I’ve forgotten more math than most people ever learn.

My point is:

WHERE ARE THE STUDIES ????

There are none, because Cain cannot be bothered to have some college economics professors do it.

orbitalair on November 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM

The entire format is stupid and dysfunctional.

landlines on November 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM

This! Why in the HELL are we having our debates hosted by these people??

Eren on November 10, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Can’t believe I’m even considering this, but, I’m considering this.

Pablo Snooze on November 10, 2011 at 2:20 PM

In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter who gets the nomination at this point? What matters is whether or not we will all vote in November. If any of you are considering not voting because your preferred candidate is not on the ticket, I suggest you reconsider. Not voting is a vote for Obama, and ANY of the current candidates are better than Obama. Yet there are plenty of you reading this that would take the childish “hold my breath/tantrum” approach and not vote. Please don’t be a child, please vote.

cannonball on November 10, 2011 at 3:53 PM

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