Quotes of the day

posted at 11:00 pm on November 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

“Here’s the problem. There are new reports coming out every day about Gingrich’s efforts on behalf of Freddie Mac, the prescription drug entitlement, and other big-government initiatives. Gingrich denies that any of it involved lobbying, but the news will likely not sit well with limited-government conservatives. At least for now, though, it’s not clear what the ultimate effect will be because it takes time for stories to sink in with the voters who will decide Gingrich’s future

“News may travel at the speed of Twitter among political insiders, but it moves much more slowly among voters who have other things to do with their lives. Add the conservative mistrust of much of the media, and you have a process in which allegations, once made, take a long time to be vetted and pass from voter to voter. ‘A lot of people will skip over a headline and think that’s just another sensational story,’ says Iowa Rep. Steve King, an influential figure in caucus politicking. Instead, when there are stories about Gingrich lobbying, for example, voters will talk to their friends, and their friends to their other friends, and so forth. ‘Word of mouth will become more effective in the next few weeks,’ says King.”

***

“Newt’s unmistakeable rise in the polls makes me chuckle. Not because I don’t take him seriously. I do. He’s a formidable opponent — a great debater (as we’ve seen), a big-picture thinker, and a person who’s literally seen everything his opponents can throw at him. If I had a dollar, however, for every time I’ve been told that the conservative movement won’t ever support Mitt because he’s “establishment” and because he’s a ‘flip-flopper,’ I’d be part of the 1 percent. Yet is there a conservative in this race more ‘establishment’ than Newt? The former speaker of the House has collected vast sums of money from from quasi-lobbying activities and has been a fixture in conservative Washington for decades. Newt as an outsider? No way…

“If Newt Gingrich is to be the ‘anti-Mitt,’ then so be it. He’ll be a worthy opponent and (if he won) would be a vast improvement over the current president. But if he is the anti-Mitt, then I think it’s safe to say that the race will have moved well past arguing about who is (or isn’t) a ‘true conservative,’ well beyond the sometimes inane ideological hair-splitting of early debates and controversies, and perhaps into the much more conventional debate over which longtime conservative leader is best equipped to lead a nation in distress.”

***

“Perhaps the day has finally, belatedly, blessedly arrived when the Republican Party has found the transformational, revolutionary figure it’s been pining for. Perhaps the GOP has awoken to the charm that was always there: the constant use of ‘frankly,’ the know-it-all historical references, the grandiosity, the bombast. Perhaps Republicans have found the fresh face they feel they need—in a 68-year-old man who first ran for Congress in the Nixon administration…

“And so, like MacArthur, Newt has returned. I, for one, could not be happier—but then again, I’m a Democrat, so I have to take my political pleasures where I can find them. I seriously doubt Newt will be the GOP nominee. But a guy can dream, can’t he?

***

“The irony is that Gingrich, more than any other candidate, is indebted to the media. Without the debates, he’d be a hopeless also-ran. Last June, his campaign was at death’s door. It was heavily in debt. Most of Gingrich’s advisers had quit. Only his strong performance in the debates saved him from humiliation and defeat.

“Gingrich turns out to be a shrewd analyst of himself and his prospects. He has told friends he’s like Richard Nixon, not particularly likable and hated by the press and the left. He’s hardly a perfect candidate, but against a weak field, he can win the nomination and beat Obama in a tight race. And by the way, he’s the best of the bunch in connecting with the populist yearnings and resentments of average Americans…

“The Republican race, in Gingrich’s view, is a tortoise and hare contest. Who would have thought Gingrich, the flashy talker, would see himself as the tortoise. If so, he’s a cocky tortoise. In the end, we all know who wins.”

***

“The conventional wisdom is that he’s the latest ‘flavor of the week’ before the Republicans finally embrace Romney once and for all.

“But Gingrich is different than Cain/Perry/Bachmann/Trump in some important ways. They were more or less pure outsiders to Washington: two businessmen who have never held elected office, a three-term congresswoman who has had a testy relationship with her party, and a governor who has had a difficult relationship with the establishment in his own state, to say nothing of the party nationally. All of this enabled these four candidates to establish a beachhead in a state like Iowa, where Christian conservatives will make up around three-fifths of caucus-goers, and where only 12 percent of the electorate was moderate or liberal in 2008 (McCain and Romney tied among this small slice of the electorate that year).

“But they could get little traction in a state like New Hampshire, where only 23 percent of the electorate was evangelical in 2008 and 45 percent was moderate or liberal. In addition, their weak ties to the GOP establishment guaranteed that they would face an onslaught of negative press coverage and that their fundraising would remain fairly weak.

“Gingrich is different.”

***

“Gingrich’s accomplishments do demand respect. In baseball parlance, he’s in Cooperstown. While there are many little reasons to be skeptical of Gingrich, he has done one big thing which cannot be underestimated or taken away from him.

“It was he who led the Republican Revolution of 1994, which — for the first time in forty years — gave Republicans control of the House. Prior to Gingrich, many Republicans were content with minority status. Gingrich utterly rejected the notion that Republicans should settle for the scraps, and began meticulously plotting to change things. As such, in the pantheon of conservative American politicians of the last century, Gingrich’s name has to be included in the same breath as luminaries such as Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and Robert Taft…

“This, of course, does not mean you must vote for him for president — but shouldn’t it have earned at least a modicum of respect?”

***

Via Mediaite.

***

Via Breitbart TV.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Marcus on November 22, 2011 at 5:26 AM

A very apt description. Hannity tried to get Romney to say Obama is a socialist. No go, won’t even question his motives. I’m not big on the labeling thing but I could find plenty of reasons to question his motives even if it is as simple as playing to his base or being a big stupid.

Cindy Munford on November 22, 2011 at 7:39 AM

I support Herman Cain and I don’t give a damn about his 10.37 second brain freezes or his lack of insight into Libyan politics. Herman Cain will not endorse amnesty and he will get rid of government agencies, which is more than you could say about the “Progerssive Conservatives” like Mitt and Newt.

Igor R. on November 22, 2011 at 1:45 AM

First of all, Herman Cain is not getting rid of ANYTHING. He can claim he would get rid of agencies, but Congress will ultimately decide that and there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest Herman Cain could do a thing to influence them to do so.

You can poo-poo all the “10.37 second deer in the headlights moments” all you like, but those are just the most blatant examples that Cain is not even remotely interested in educating himself on the issues. If he isn’t willing to do THAT, you really think he has what it takes to be President ? Sorry, not a chance.

deadrody on November 22, 2011 at 7:44 AM

Now, feel free to 1) make a similar list for Obama and compare and contrast, and 2) then make a list of “positives” for Romney that make his markedly better than Newt. Good luck with that.

deadrody on November 22, 2011 at 7:22 AM

Ed does #1 quite well with his OOTD features.
Romney has much, much better national organization than Newt, better fundraising (past & potential), he’s ethically & morally very much cleaner than Newt, & he’s a better debater than Newt.
Lest you gag on my last point, remember, Romney had a target on his back for most of the debates, & he came out unharmed. Newt has yet to be confronted that way, & he’s got too many skeletons to come out without scars.

itsnotaboutme on November 22, 2011 at 7:45 AM

I’d rather put Newt who acts like a pitbull without the lipstick, up against Zero than a guy nicknamed Mittens. We don’t need someone with kid gloves on to go up against the biggest con man ever to become president. Mitt still won’t give a solid answer about agw. Does he want in on the algore gravey train, too?

Kissmygrits on November 22, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Newt the ultimate policy wonk vs. Romny the man whole looks and sounds like a president.

Count to 10 on November 22, 2011 at 8:38 AM

I’m ready for Mr. Cain to retake the lead.

Cindy Munford on November 21, 2011 at 11:33 PM

Mark Block’s employer needs to drop out of the race…as does Rick Perry. I like Perry. I support Perry. He’s not going to be the nominee.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 22, 2011 at 8:42 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on November 22, 2011 at 8:42 AM

As crazy as this season has been so far and as much time is left, I’m okay with people sticking around. It keeps the press occupied.

Cindy Munford on November 22, 2011 at 9:03 AM

I’ve haven’t trusted him since 1994 when his Contract with America meant that they just had to vote on term limits for Congress. They did, and voted no. Snake307 on November 22, 2011 at 12:35 AM

You wanted a guarantee? The Balanced Budge Amendment failed by one vote in the Senate. But they decided to treat the budget as if it had passed. Did a pretty good job.

Cindy Munford on November 22, 2011 at 9:37 AM

I’m sure that historians would love to receive $30K speaking fees.

Calling Victor Davis Hansen.

Kermit on November 22, 2011 at 9:42 AM

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