Newt Gingrich, the GOP's femme fatale

This time, Davids Plouffe and Axelrod will have to create a George Bush. They will have to run the most negative campaign in modern history. So, somewhere in their political lair tonight, Axelrod and Plouffe are lighting candles, praying for the success of Newt.

Gingrich may be very good with ideas, but he is less so with that other thing you find often in politics: people. Without a care, he runs roughshod over them. The same Gingrich who left one wife in her sickbed with cancer, then abandoned another struggling against multiple sclerosis, has now thrown his entire party under the bus in pursuit of his own ambition. In his first campaign outing on Meet the Press, he abandoned the discipline he said a president must display. Paul Ryan and all the other Republicans who supported the Ryan budget outline, Gingrich explained, were offering “right-wing social engineering.” Newt Gingrich accusing someone of extremism is like Joe Biden saying they talk too much. Republicans will be haunted by Democratic ads that turn Gingrich’s words against them in 2012. And should he win the nomination, the campaign against the former speaker is a layup: Democrats will say Gingrich’s indiscretions pale when compared to the thoughtless cruelty he has displayed throughout his public and private life. Voters will be asked to wonder, “If that is how he discards those he is close to or loves, how would he treat you?”

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