Gingrich snags Union Leader endorsement in NH

posted at 10:45 am on November 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Most people assume that Mitt Romney has New Hampshire in the bag, but at least one influential voice in the Granite State disagrees.  The Union Leader, New Hampshire’s only state-wide publication and major influence on Republican politics, has endorsed Newt Gingrich instead of Romneydespite the efforts of Romney to win the nod:

America is at a crucial crossroads. It is not going to be enough to merely replace Barack Obama next year. We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing.

He did so with the Contract with America. He did it in bringing in the first Republican House in 40 years and by forging balanced budgets and even a surplus despite the political challenge of dealing with a Democratic President. A lot of candidates say they’re going to improve Washington. Newt Gingrich has actually done that, and in this race he offers the best shot of doing it again. …

We don’t have to agree with them on every issue. We would rather back someone with whom we may sometimes disagree than one who tells us what he thinks we want to hear.

Newt Gingrich is by no means the perfect candidate. But Republican primary voters too often make the mistake of preferring an unattainable ideal to the best candidate who is actually running. In this incredibly important election, that candidate is Newt Gingrich. He has the experience, the leadership qualities and the vision to lead this country in these trying times. He is worthy of your support on January 10.

Had Romney won the endorsement, it would have amounted to a dog-bites-man story, given the amount of time and effort Romney has put into New Hampshire.  According to NBC, Romney spent a considerable amount of energy in winning this endorsement, too.  It apparently didn’t impress publisher Joseph McQuaid:

The Union Leader’s Gingrich endorsement comes after significant courting by Mitt Romney, who has been campaigning in the state for several years. This is the second time that the Union Leader has chosen not to endorse Romney. In 2008, it notably backed John McCain who eventually went on to win the New Hampshire primary following a major comeback from a near-dead campaign the summer and fall before the primary. The paper’s editorial team also took several significant swipes at Romney in the process, undoubtedly hurting his chances in New Hampshire.

McQuaid appears to reference Romney in this paragraph of his endorsement of Gingrich:

Readers of the Union Leader and Sunday News know that we don’t back candidates based on popularity polls or big-shot backers. We look for conservatives of courage and conviction who are independent-minded, grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people, and best equipped for the job.

How influential is this endorsement?  It hasn’t exactly been a perfect predictive indicator of who will win the primary.  Reagan won in 1980, but no one remembers the Pete DuPont victory in New Hampshire in 1988, because George H. W. Bush beat him without it; in fact, DuPont didn’t even come in second or third in New Hampshire that year.  Likewise, Steve Forbes got the endorsement in 2000 but came in third behind John McCain and George W. Bush.  However, in 1992, the Union-Leader endorsement lifted Pat Buchanan’s campaign into a near-victory in the primary over the incumbent elder Bush, and Buchanan won the 1996 primary outright with the Union-Leader’s boost.

The counterintuitive nature of the endorsement, coupled with the failed effort by Romney, is what makes this newsworthy.  Romney has a substantial lead in New Hampshire in most polling, so the electoral impact of the Union-Leader’s choice may be limited — or it may convince primary voters to take a second look at Gingrich.  If Romney has to start sweating out his prospects in New Hampshire, he will have less time to work on other early primary states, and his inability to close the deal with the Union Leader might have some voters in other states rethinking his inevitability, too.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Ron Paul is not a “Principled” Conservative(Classical Liberal).

He’s a principled Anarcho-Capitalist and Coward who has never, ever, been responsible for governing and passing legislation in our system of government.

jp on November 27, 2011 at 1:30 PM

FWIW. . . .Links to New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board meeting video interviews:

Newt Gingrich, 11/21/2011 59:54

Rick Santorum, 11/08/2011, 1 hour 4 minutes

Rick Perry, 10/28/2011, 1 hour 9 minutes

Mitt Romney, 10/03/2011, 1 hour, 11 minutes

Transcript for each at links.

heroyalwhyness on November 27, 2011 at 1:31 PM

A lot of gnashing of teeth over at NRO. :-)

Punchenko on November 27, 2011 at 1:39 PM

It seems you’re picking and choosing the history that best suits your narrative. In any case, if you want principled, there’s always Ron Paul.
MeatHeadinCA on November 27, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Principled in and of itself is not a virtue. The problem with Paul is that some of his rigid principles leads to terrible policy. His foreign policy is extremely naïve(e.g. get out their lands and they will leave us alone) and his rigid principles on Federalism lealds to foolish policy decisions(e.g. states get to decide if parents can kill their children ).

RonDelDon on November 27, 2011 at 1:49 PM

According to Ace today (linking to a swing states poll), Romney is even with Obama, 45-45, while Newt is at 46-44. Rasmussen has Romney nationally at 38-44 vs. Obama, while Newt is at 40-46 — the same spread. In the swing states, Newt is just a couple of points behind Romney is most polls. He is clearly going to give Romney a run for his money. Anyone see a Romney-Newt ticket? I think Newt would be happy with the VP slot.

Rational Thought on November 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Anyone see a Romney-Newt ticket? I think Newt would be happy with the VP slot.

Rational Thought on November 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

I prefer Rubio as anyone’s VP. Prime him for Presidency.

RonDelDon on November 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Romney-Newt ticket?

Rational Thought on November 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

LOL! That would be hilarious! It would be like the Republican Party deciding to go down with the ship, full speed ahead.

FloatingRock on November 27, 2011 at 2:06 PM

This is great for the primary process! Romney isn’t going to be able to sit back and cruise through this.

csdeven on November 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM

LOL! That would be hilarious! It would be like the Republican Party deciding to go down with the ship, full speed ahead.

FloatingRock on November 27, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Why?

Vince on November 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I would rather have Kelly Ayotte and John Sununu’s endorsement than the local paper…

g2825m on November 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Why?

Vince on November 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Ignore him. He would reject Reagan.

csdeven on November 27, 2011 at 2:15 PM

But David Frum will leave the party if Pete Huntsman is not eleceted…!

/

Seven Percent Solution on November 27, 2011 at 2:19 PM

But David Frum will leave the party if Pete Huntsman is not eleceted…!

/

Seven Percent Solution on November 27, 2011 at 2:19 PM

No, no, no….it’s Chandrakanta Huntsman.

csdeven on November 27, 2011 at 2:32 PM

B-b-but I thought they were drafting Sarah. I’m so confused.

John the Libertarian on November 27, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Most people assume that Mitt Romney has New Hampshire in the bag, but at least one influential voice in the Granite State disagrees.

Yeah sure…considering their track record, I am not sure it makes much difference.

Terrye on November 27, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Why?

Vince on November 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Because the only thing worse than Romney/Newt would be Newt/Romney.

FloatingRock on November 27, 2011 at 2:49 PM

This is what is known as ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’.

FloatingRock on November 27, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Oh yea… Newt is the man who’s going to force Congress to balance the budget in face of economic collapse and union coordinated riots. /s

elfman on November 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I would rather have Kelly Ayotte and John Sununu’s endorsement than the local paper…

g2825m on November 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Ayotte’s, yes.

Who cares about Sununu?

Del Dolemonte on November 27, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Oh yea… Newt is the man who’s going to force Congress to balance the budget in face of economic collapse and union coordinated riots. /s

elfman on November 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Which candidate would do so, in your opinion?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 27, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Here is my ringing endorsement of NEWT.

He’s not Obama.

Thank you.

PappyD61 on November 27, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Newt is poison.

With the nom, as VP, doesn’t matter. Some silly people are just turning a blind eye to the man’s history. Truly desperate.

Moesart on November 27, 2011 at 4:14 PM

2012 Obama message……

Don’t turn back the clock!!

Failed policies of the past.

Womanizer, Womanizer!

Trump might not even have to run to throw the election to the DOTUS.

PappyD61 on November 27, 2011 at 4:32 PM

2012 Obama message……
PappyD61 on November 27, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Right. But what will Newt’s message be? This is the point we’re missing. Obama will prepare a singularly destructive and slanderous message, no matter who the GOP candidate is. But which candidate on the Right has the goods and nerve and skills to deliver an effective message of his own? Who will challenge and flip the Obama and MSM message? Who will be on offense, who on defense?

rrpjr on November 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Which candidate would do so, in your opinion?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 27, 2011 at 3:45 PM

As best I can tell, Paul, Bachmann, and maybe Cain would be the most likely to force a balanced budget. Their ideologies and candidacies are all coupled with radical economic reform. I don’t know which of their presidencies would survive. Paul has little support in Congress, Bachmann is a lightning rod for hate and Cain gaffs under pressure.

It looks as if all are out of the race so I think the next best choice is Obama. After the economy crashes under Obama, more Obamanomics is a hard sell.

elfman on November 27, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Which candidate would do so, in your opinion?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 27, 2011 at 3:45 PM

As best I can tell, Paul, Bachmann, and maybe Cain would be the most likely to force a balanced budget. Their ideologies and candidacies are all coupled with radical economic reform. I don’t know which of their presidencies would survive. Paul has little support in Congress, Bachmann is a lightning rod for hate and Cain gaffs under pressure.

It looks as if all are out of the race so I think the next best choice is Obama. After the economy crashes under Obama, more Obamanomics is a hard sell.

elfman on November 27, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Thanks for your response.
In my opinion Newt is the only one with a sufficiently deep understanding of the workings of the government plus the right attitude to get the job done. Paul, Cain, and Bachmann have the desire but lack the ability, although Paul has good knowledge on the subject. I’m not sure about Perry. It seems strange to me that you dismiss Newt’s precise experience on this point, including what he was able to achieve with a hostile president.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Don’t turn back the clock!!

PappyD61 on November 27, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I think many would like to go back to the ’90s and forget the last twelve years.

Punchenko on November 27, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Right. But what will Newt’s message be? This is the point we’re missing. Obama will prepare a singularly destructive and slanderous message, no matter who the GOP candidate is. But which candidate on the Right has the goods and nerve and skills to deliver an effective message of his own? Who will challenge and flip the Obama and MSM message? Who will be on offense, who on defense?

rrpjr on November 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM

This is why Newt is rising, I think. Will Romney launch an effective offense against Obama’s slander, ridicule, and class warfare? Of course not. Never. It will never happen. He’s too weak, too scared, too soft. Newt will fight, and he’ll have Barry — and the Obamamedia — on defense over and over. Obama, the democrats, and their media enablers will seek to DESTROY whomever the GOP candidate is. Which candidate is likely to stand up to that, call it the gutter politics that it is? If the GOP candidate makes a tiny dent in Obama’s “favorability” rating by pointing out what a vicious, divisive liar he is, 2012 will be a landslide Republican victory. Is Romney gonna do that? I don’t think so. I’ll vote for Romney if he’s the nominee, but I do not believe for one minute that he wins the “electability” argument. Far from it.

Rational Thought on November 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Thanks for your response.
In my opinion Newt is the only one with a sufficiently deep understanding of the workings of the government plus the right attitude to get the job done. Paul, Cain, and Bachmann have the desire but lack the ability, although Paul has good knowledge on the subject. I’m not sure about Perry. It seems strange to me that you dismiss Newt’s precise experience on this point, including what he was able to achieve with a hostile president.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Nominate Newt, and hand Obama a second term.

Snake307 on November 27, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Nominate Romney, and hand Obama a second term.

purgatory on November 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Nominate Romney or Newt, and hand Obama a second term.

FloatingRock on November 27, 2011 at 7:33 PM

AGREED.

purgatory on November 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM

It seems strange to me that you dismiss Newt’s precise experience on this point, including what he was able to achieve with a hostile president.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

I don’t dismiss Newt. I just don’t trust him. This video is long, but worth watching if you’re not familiar with his progressive leanings and proclivity to compromise to further his career.

Also, I remember when Clinton’s affair was exposed. Newt was quiet for weeks. Then he denounced it and said the he would speak publicly about it “every day” until Clinton resigned or something. A few weeks later, it was discovered that he was having an affair and he had to resign from Congress. I think his judgment and honesty are questionable, not his experience or abilities.

elfman on November 27, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Ethically-challenged Former Lobbyist Serial Adulterer 2012!

benny shakar on November 27, 2011 at 8:22 PM

This video is long, but worth watching if you’re not familiar with his progressive leanings and proclivity to compromise to further his career.
elfman on November 27, 2011 at 7:54 PM

What’s happening, I think, is that people are incorporating these realizations into their thinking. I’ve not heard anybody supporting Newt not admit or accept his imperfections. As realists, we understand this is universally the case, i.e., all politicians are compromised. Which type of imperfection will you tolerate, or not tolerate? No question Gingrich has played the insider game. But he has also done so skillfully and to conservative advantage as well to his own advantage. He’s also taken great risks for conservatism. I will not accept he’s a “Progressive” or even has “progressive proclivities.” I think he’s been a successful Washington politician who has made compromises.

We face a seditious Leftist with grand plans for America’s “transformation” i.e., ruin — a visionary subversive. Who among the remaining candidates is equipped to understand, translate to the public, and challenge this complex threat with the force and efficacy required? Who is an equal visionary who can be expected not only to engage Obama directly, but to neutralize the enormous popular cultural advantage of the Left by directly engaging the media — the real “secret” of Obama’s success?

Romney? He doesn’t even know what a Leftist is. He’s painfully deferential to, if not outright scared of, the media. He’ll try to run on the economy but lacks the necessary balls and even shamelessness (yes, we need someone who isn’t afflicted with Republican doubt and guilt) to bluff past his Bain experience, as Ginrich will when confronted with his own “baggage.” We’ve already seen Romney unravel under the kind of attack he can expect more overwhelmingly in 2012. He’s unimaginative, risk-averse, reactive not proactive, and as a fighter is rigid and brittle as opposed to nimble and rugged like Gingrich.

Bachmann? Perry? Cain? Forget it. They’re not prepared to operate at this level. The evidence is in. None of them could identify a Leftist either.

Gingrich will engage Obama and the Left in ways they can’t even imagine; they’ll be in fits trying to respond. The point is — THEY will be the ones responding.

Did anyone else feel the frustration watching McCain pull punch after punch against Obama, as he counted on the media to do his own dirty work? McCain was either incapable or unwilling to see and build a narrative about the approaching horror show of a Leftist presidency.

This will not be the case with Gingrich. He will give better than he gets, and he’ll give first. He will take the fight to the Left.

rrpjr on November 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Noticed HA didn’t post that Sherrif Joe A. endorsed Perry today-

Bullhead on November 27, 2011 at 9:37 PM

This will not be the case with Gingrich. He will give better than he gets, and he’ll give first. He will take the fight to the Left.

rrpjr on November 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Nicely done.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 27, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Noticed HA didn’t post that Sherrif Joe A. endorsed Perry today-

Bullhead on November 27, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Check the headlines archive.

csdeven on November 27, 2011 at 10:26 PM

FloatingRock on November 27, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Nominate (insert any other candidate but Romney here) and hand Obama a second term. You may be willing to sink this ship, but my support is with Romney as our best hope.

scotash on November 28, 2011 at 2:34 AM

It only takes a single word to cause the lil LIEberals to lose their minds today.

Newt. ;o)

DannoJyd on November 28, 2011 at 6:06 AM

This will not be the case with Gingrich. He will give better than he gets, and he’ll give first. He will take the fight to the Left.

rrpjr on November 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM

That’s the point many of us are making. He will give words, and in actions, he’ll deliver just about the same as Obama. He isn’t a Conservative, and if he was a Democrat, he’d probably be a Senator now. He’s a liar, a cheat, and he will say anything to get elected.

For Amnesty, against Amnesty. That is just in one freaking week. In front of moderate pundits, he’s for Amnesty. In front of Conservative Crowds, he’s against it. Do you really expect people to turn out and vote FOR him?

That is the point. Any Body But Obama will turn out exactly the same as 2004′s Any Body But Bush. The Democrats will turn out FOR Obama, for a myriad of reasons, all of which he supposedly cares about.

We know the lefties are mind numbed morons. The women won’t trust Newt, and they won’t turn out for him. The Christians? You expect them to turn out for a serial adulterer? Conservatives? You really expect the Tea Party to turn out in droves when Newt endorsed the Liberal candidate over the Conservative?

Pro Business folks won’t turn out because Newt is on record too many times as being only slightly more moderate than Obama is towards big Government which always means big regulations.

Newt is the nearly perfect DEMOCRATIC candidate. He’s been on both sides of just about every issue except Abortion. If we could find proof that one of his mistresses had an abortion, then he would be the perfect Democratic Candidate.

Because I see the writing on the wall, I’ve already sworn that I will never vote for him. I’m not joking. When I mention his name at work or around, my friends suddenly look as if something unspeakably foul is on their upper lip.

He’s liable to follow in the footsteps of Gore, and lose his home state. Although I think Virgina may be his home state these days instead of Georgia.

If you nominate Newt, the question isn’t if Obama wins. It’s how many Democratic seats are gained in the win? Because the Republican voters will stay home, and by default the Democrats will win.

Remember all the great fluff pieces we got on McCain four years ago? Remember all the promises of how he’d win against Clinton, and then Obama? Remember how he stupidly picked the wrong campaing issues, the same ones that lost for Republicans in 2006?

I can’t believe that we are so mind bogglingly stupid to fall for the same asinine things from the same pundits all over again. I swear I feel like I’m watching Charlie Brown run at the football shouting “This time I’m going to kick that ball.”

To hell with it. We’re determined to make the same mistakes time and time again. That by the way, is the definition of insanity.

Snake307 on November 28, 2011 at 6:22 AM

So who do you think can win, Snake?

karenhasfreedom on November 28, 2011 at 7:16 AM

but I do not believe for one minute that he wins the “electability” argument. Far from it.

Rational Thought on November 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Romney gets my vote IF he’s the last man standing but, I prefer not to. I am also in MA and cannot recall much of Romney’s stewardship except for him being mostly center-left.

roy_batty on November 28, 2011 at 8:05 AM

If you nominate Newt, the question isn’t if Obama wins. It’s how many Democratic seats are gained in the win? Because the Republican voters will stay home, and by default the Democrats will win.

I think you are dead wrong on that point, too many seats in play. Conservative voters will view it as ‘half a loaf” rather than none and GOTV.

roy_batty on November 28, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Snake307 on November 28, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Wow! Shouldn’t that long diatribe be about Romney instead of Gingrich?

TheRightMan on November 28, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Nest might win Georgia. Maybe.

Why do so meany people have a problem with reality? No conservative is going to beat Obama.

So, if you want to see Newt get a Mondale beating, give Newt the nom. The Dems have their fingers crossed.

Moesart on November 28, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Unfortuntely all politician compromise or stay down at the level of dog catcher or alternate school board member. Going along and playing along is thre inevitable result of a populace who cannot and willnot demand moral character as the first tequirement of a candidate(at any level) on the conservative sites, we hear mostly about economic agreement (don’t touch my money for taxes) or lately its jobs (as if people don’t work under evil dictators) and snarling from the right at the social conservatives (let’s leave those issue like murdering innocent babies out of this election and fight about important things like money)

Frankly, I don’t hear many (other than Sarah) on the right absolutely rejecting Obamacare with its death panels (how else can Soc Sec and medicare be made financially sound-if not by killing off the ones who need all the care?) So let’s not discuss killing babies or old folks, let’s talk about money..

They compromise their principles because we voters insist they tell us the lies that we desire to hear. Truth is that we don’t want to hear that doing that is morally wrong -or -we can’t afford it.

And so we end up with Mr. Pretenciple Romney.

Don L on November 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM

He’s also taken great risks for conservatism. I will not accept he’s a “Progressive” or even has “progressive proclivities.”

Did you see the video? If not, then you’re uninformed. The rest of your post was not about his ideology and character, but his his talents (which is not in question.)

elfman on November 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM

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