Yesterday, Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner tweeted: “The theoretically electable candidate isn't very electable & the theoretically conservative one isn't very conservative.”
That’s a good and quite amusing description of Romney and Gingrich.
I had actually written off Newt long ago, which shows you how much I know. If Newt can get this far, without an organization, without money, without the blessing of the Republican National Committee, and with all his backroom betrayals, ex-wives, global warming commercials with Nancy Pelosi, weasely little eyes, high-pitched voice and irritating smugness... well, imagine where he'd be now with only half of all that baggage.
As for the other guy, I think you can stick Mittens in a cedar chest for the summer, he’s done. If he can’t win with all that cash and half of Washington on his campaign payroll, plus the endorsement of the RNC and even National Review -- to me, it says he’d be a great Republican candidate if only there were any actual Republicans who liked him. Too bad for Mitt that Democrats can't vote in the Republican Primaries. Though you should never actually say that to a Democrat, he'll take it as a challenge.
No doubt, Mitt's problems with the conservative base are a plus in the eyes of the RNC, who in the past have been known to let their dislike of conservatives show. In years divisible by four, the RNC likes to ask, “Can we not run a Republican and just say we did?” They’d really rather run a Democrat, only Joe Lieberman won't return their calls and Zell Miller is too conservative. If the RNC issued currency, Arlen Specter would be on the dollar bill. Maybe Larry Craig would be on the $3 bill.
But the RNC appears to harbor no love for Newt, who is just not satisfied with keeping Republican snouts in the trough, but occasionally says or does something alarming -- like, e.g., he's been known to disagree with liberals on... something, I forget what.
Which is to say, Newt doesn’t mind agreeing with liberals either. I figure he’ll treat conservatives the way he’s treated his ex-wives, vowing love and respect until death do us part. But then he'll get caught flying Air Force One to that shack outside LaGrange, hooking up with the sleaziest mascara-dripping liberal he can find, and wearing cowboy chaps. And when caught, he'll explain to you convincingly how your own dirty mind is playing tricks with you. You'll be ashamed of yourself. Look at CNN's John King. When King played the open-marriage gambit on Newt, the explosion of righteous indignation from the unrighteous ex-Speaker of the House went way past 8.9 on the Richter scale, past 9.9, past even 10.9, all the way up to Jimmy Swaggart-point-nine. Newt had everyone in the auditorium, including John King, hating John King for asking the question.
The greatest debate never staged would be Newt vs. Newt. It would be like watching the Tasmanian Devil chase his own tail. If anyone can talk his way into the White House, it’s Newt. Of course, it’s two-to-one that he’ll talk himself out of the White House instead.
But Newt does the one thing mainstream Republicans can never bring themselves to do: he looks liberals square in the eye and fights. That goes a long way with conservatives who too often get the feeling that their own champions are too embarrassed to be seen with them. The only times GW Bush ever squared off against someone like that, it was against his own base.