I’ll take “Advice Newt Gingrich Really Isn’t Qualified To Give” for $1,000, Alex. In fairness to him, he’s careful to qualify this with praise about how “formidable” she is, and the polls since last week do suggest that she’s paid a price from days’ worth of smears and the “blood libel” controversy. Gallup has her favorable rating down to 38 percent, the lowest since she became a national figure two years ago, which isn’t surprising given the mind-boggling spread of disinformation about her non-role in the shootings. Choosing one’s words carefully is indeed a good thing, but you know what’s an even better thing? Not having people like Clarence “Supercop” Dupnik and his media enablers hint-hinting at viewers who are only half paying attention to the story that you might have kinda sorta beamed a “kill” order into Jared Loughner’s brain.
Incidentally, is there a subtle political angle to Newt’s criticism here? I don’t mean trying to score a point on a potential presidential rival — that’s a given — but rather Gingrich trying to position himself within the field more broadly. I remember writing in one of my endless boring 2012 posts a few weeks ago that if the “true conservative” side of the primaries gets saturated with people like Palin, Huckabee, and Pence, Newt might decide that he’ll have better luck recasting himself as the old pro who knows what it’s like to supervise a caucus and get things done in D.C., etc. That would threaten Romney, Daniels, et al. on the “managerial” side of the primaries. There’s an element of that here, offering Palin (who’s only spent two years in national politics) a little hard-learned wisdom from a seasoned vet. Even though this particular seasoned vet often seems to have unlearned this particular bit of wisdom.