February 1st, 2012

After Florida

There’s plenty of post-Florida-primary musing around the MSM and the blogosphere today. This piece by Byron York has a lot to recommend it, especially this observation:

Gingrich did not learn the lesson of Romney’s first wave of attacks against him. At that time, Gingrich reacted angrily and publicly, complaining constantly and accusing Romney of lying. Voters in New Hampshire who were once open to Gingrich’s candidacy turned away from him, saying his hot-tempered response to the ads — rather than the ads themselves — just turned them off…In Florida, Romney’s answer was a second, even bigger, wave of attacks. And Gingrich reacted in the same complaining, self-defeating way he did the first time, only more so…

Every time Gingrich, provoked by a Romney ad, made an angry speech, as he did in Mount Dora, the answer he gave showed voters exactly where Angry Newt was. Romney, in the persona he presents to voters, doesn’t have that subtext of anger.

I’m an issues person, and I spend a lot of time here talking about just that: issues. But I can’t help but notice that in all campaigns, spectators aren’t exactly the Jack Webbs of the voting process: just the issues, Mister, just the issues. There’s a lot of emotional reaction involved too, including the evaluation of the affective qualities of the candidates themselves. That may sound irrational (and some of it is) but it’s really not. Temperament matters, especially in a president.

I think a big part of Gingrich’s problem is temperament, and the problem is real. As far as Newt’s supporters are concerned, his anger is one of his strengths and not a problem at all. When it’s directed at the media it seems to work for him, although that may be getting a bit old. When it’s directed at Mitt Romney it has been working less effectively, especially when it features attacks that are from the left and/or hyperbole.

Gingrich is already a “hot” candidate rather than a cool one, and he runs the risk of seeming intemperate and out-of-control when he goes off like that. I submit that his decision to go angry in Florida was not just a tactical one; it was dictated by his personality itself. Voters in Florida decided that was not the sort of man they wanted facing Obama, or in the Oval Office.

Remember back in the fall of 2008, when the financial crisis happened and Obama seemed so cool and collected while John McCain seemed like an impulsive hothead running around in circles? Remember that McCain had been ahead up to the time of the meltdown (the financial one, and his own) and then he fell behind? There were many reasons it happened—one was that McCain was not perceived as being knowledgeable about the economy, as he himself had previously admitted. But the other (and I submit that it was a major factor) was that people felt uneasy about his temperament and soothed by Obama’s.

Romney is much more like Obama in that regard: he has a calm demeanor. Some say too calm; he needs more pizazz. His problem (at least, one of them) is that he’s considered fake and inauthentic. So a little righteous anger does nothing to hurt him; it actually reassures people that he’s human.

[ADDENDUM: Rusty Shackleford says much the same thing, just in a different way. We disagree on one thing, though: he thinks it’s stupid to judge candidates on things like personality rather than issues. As I wrote above, I don’t think it’s all that stupid at all.]

41 Responses to “After Florida”

  1. Kurt Says:

    The problem with a Newt Gingrich candidacy can be summed up with reference to another campaign of many years ago where conservatives were badly defeated. The trouble is that for all his failures and flaws as a president and a leader, Barack Obama can still come off to a certain segment of the population as at least as likeable as the 1964 (so mostly pre-Vietnam) Lyndon Johnson. But Newt Gingrich lacks the charm of Barry Goldwater–who would be caricatured as angry nonetheless.

  2. gcotharn Says:

    Agree with the points of this post.

    A minor quibble – irrelevant to the points of this post, yet which has been a burr in my saddle:

    in 2008, when the financial crisis hit, it was not the case that Barack was cool and reassuring. Rather, it was the case that Barack’s campaign promoted the meme, and that media ran with the meme.

    In the face of breaking financial events, Barack knew of nothing which he could do, and therefore did nothing (which was wise). Barack’s campaign was merely trying to make “nothing” look good (which was good campaign strategy). Media jumped in, so forcefully, that media succeeded in making “nothing” look brilliant.

    It was an instance of media blatantly acting in the service of their desire for a Democratic Party candidate to win. Since, the meme has become one of those media promoted legends (such as Bush lied, or women make 70% of men’s income) which everyone knows is true, yet which is untrue.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    gcotharn: note that I wrote that Obama seemed cool and collected. I agree with you, and felt at the time, that he was just clueless and passive.

    But it is true nevertheless that he has a basically cool and calm exterior, and that has helped him electorally.

  4. effess Says:

    Gingrich’s problem is that his combination of being very smart and very arrogant lead to a he can finesse any argument or issue. A little less arrogance (a.k.a., more genuine* humility, plus a few dollops of more common sense would have helped him, considerably — it’s a little late for that now — *one can’t fake humility.

  5. effess Says:

    Didn’t re-read my comment above.

    Gingrich’s problem is that his combination of being very smart and very arrogant lead to his believing that he can finesse any argument or issue. A little less arrogance (a.k.a., more genuine* humility, plus a few dollops of more common sense would have helped him, considerably — it’s a little late for that now — *Also, one can’t fake humility.

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    effess: it was always too late. One can’t change one’s basic personality. This goes for all of them: Gingrich, Romney, whomever. The best a person can do is tweak it a little.

  7. effess Says:

    I agree. Unfortunately, when writing “it’s a little late for that now” it’s more difficult to convey sarcasm, than in speaking the comment. And, after three-plus years of arrogance, this will be a problem that President Obama will encounter — should he try for the “common touch”.

  8. foxmarks Says:

    Jerks like Newt. Moms like Mitt.

    Of course, those are broad and not all-inclusive statements.

    This meme about Newt “attacking from the left” has shut down any large-scale discussion of Romney’s business record. We have discussed it here… But Mitt never made the elegant defense of capitalism some were calling for a couple weeks ago. He has only puffed that he will not apologize for his success. (No matter how many bankruptcies were left in his wake…)

    Barry will not give Mitt a pass on what we’re calling vulture capitalism. Gingrich’s mistakes have allowed Romney to remain soft where he needs more armor.

    Maybe this is a weakness in temperament? Romney can’t be passionate on anything requiring detail. A good manager/consultant does not get attached to the particulars of a deal. He does O.K. on stump-speech platitudes. He stumbles when pressed for specifics. It presents more like annoyance than anger, “why doesn’t Santorum understand MassCare?”

  9. Curtis Says:

    If you asked a potential Obama voter, who’s smarter than Obama, Gingrich or Romney, they’ll likely sputter (sputter? maybe spatter, what does it matter?) that neither is smarter, but, but, in their heads, their shiny pointy little heads, that first thought would have been Gingrich. They won’t admit it, much like they won’t admit they hope Israel will nuke Iran back to the stone age, but, but, they do, they do. (I’m over writing here, having drank (drunk) way too much coffee.)

    So, with Gingrich, the IQ assumption would have been removed with, at least, the moderate crowd.

    But Romney, if he does his homework, should be able to remove the IQ assumption as well. C’mon, how hard can it be to beat Obama in a real debate? I’m sure I could do it. I’d love to do it. Every question I was asked I would answer with how Obama has done it wrong.

    For instance:

    Well I’ll tell you how I wouldn’t do it, Mr Williams. I wouldn’t flout bankruptcy law and reward unions for bankrupting a great American company. I wouldn’t completely disrespect the Constitution and make non-recess appointments. I would instruct my attorney general to comply with the discovery requests of a congressional investigation. I wouldn’t have returned the bust of Winston Churchill to England and given, instead, copies of my speeches. Doesn’t that sound a little egotistical? I think we should treat our allies as friends and rogue nations as hostile to our interests.

    If it was a character assault, same thing. For instance, “Curtis, didn’t you once endorse pro-choice? Answer? Well, I did but changed my mind to the opposite view kind of like Obama completely changed his mind on the Patriot Act, Camp Gitmo or the Iraqi surge. Just like Obama, I’ve changed my mind on a lot of things, but the difference is my change of mind was inspired by more life experience and a sincere amount of thought on the matter rather than an attempt to take credit for something I never endorsed and don’t deserve the credit for.

    Curtis, what is your plan for reigning in entitlement spending?

    Well, I think people should be put to work in real jobs, not in government jobs or jobs in academia like the job Obama had as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School where he taught students the radical socialist philosophy of Saul Alinsky or the job Michelle Obama had as ‘vice president of community relations’ at the University Of Chicago Hospital for a whopping $316,962. Have you seen the photo of Obama teaching Saul Alinsky. America? I think you will find it interesting and you can go to:


    Medved had a notable thought that in the primary, people prefer fire, but in the general, people prefer water (I’m paraphrasing hugely here). So, if that’s true, that gives Romney a better chance in the general.

  10. Oldflyer Says:

    Most of us hate the primary season, which leads to interminable campaigns. But, they do serve a purpose. Newt seemed to disguise his inherent temperament for awhile, but under continued pressure, that facade crumbled.

    I have remarked on other forums, that I want cool, collected and competent in the Oval office. There are plenty of “big idea” people who can be hired at a reasonable price.

    Laughed at your description of McCain, Neo. From Navy days I know people who served with McCain. According to first hand accounts, he has always been a hot-head. The media loved his “Mavericktivity”, and his tendency to attack Republican colleagues, so they covered for him to an extent; but, once he was pitted against Obama the cover slipped.

  11. M J R Says:

    “Some say too calm; he [Romney] needs more pizazz.”

    If I want pizzazz, I’ll hire an entertainer. I want someone who knows what the h#ll he’s doing, and grounded in values with at least a passing resemblance to my own. Romney’ll do for 2012.

  12. expat Says:

    “cool, collected, and competent”
    The last item is what you attack Obama on. I hope Mitt can cream him.

  13. Beverly Says:

    A bit of a tangent, but not entirely — this is an interesting op-ed about “the Rise of the Praetorian Class,” and what it might mean for our nation:


  14. Kurt Says:

    Curtis–I’m puzzled by your assertion that many average voters would think Gingrich is smarter. I’d think they would think he is more of a blowhard.

    I would imagine that if anyone really stopped to think about it, they would have to acknowledge that Romney is easily the smartest of the three by his skills in multiple areas. Now admittedly, the average person doesn’t know how difficult it is to get a job at Bain in the first place, but to not just get a job there but to be as successful there as Romney was takes a lot more than just connections and good luck.

    And although the press and many gullible voters gave Obama credit for being smart because he went to Columbia and Harvard Law School, he’s got no advantage over Romney in that regard, either, since Romney has degrees from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.

  15. Beverly Says:

    Re Romney: will he run tough attack ads against Hussein? All he has to do is tell the truth. Over and over again.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Kurt: which Romney got simultaneously.

    Here’s a very illuminating article about Romney’s days at Harvard. For those looking for someone more ideological, they will probably be disappointed. For those (like me) who are looking for a smart, problem-solving, flexible mind, they will be impressed.

    Also, compare this to Obama [emphasis mine]:

    Today, Mr. Romney does not speak much about his business school degree. But he remains quite attached to the star study group he put together all those years ago, faithfully attending dinners the men hold every five years.

    Clustered around a small table, reviewing cases with them, Mr. Romney was in his comfort zone, observed Stephen M. Waters, another member of the group, and he does not miss a chance to return to that setting. Mr. Romney even showed up the year he was put in charge of cleaning up the troubled 2002 Olympic games, stopping by for an hour before flying to Athens for a meeting of the International Olympic Committee.

    “It was like a case in the old days,” Mr. Brownstein recalled. Mr. Romney analyzed it the same way, telling the graying group five things that had to be fixed and how he was going to do it.

  17. goldby621 Says:

    Foxmarks, what was that sarcastic little comment about Romney?

    “He has only puffed that he will not apologize for his success. (No matter how many bankruptcies were left in his wake…)”

    Hmm. “how many bankruptcies were left in his wake…” Do you have a clue what venture capitalists, do, and in particular Romney at Bain? They come in — sometimes they are asked by ownership; sometimes they identify a business that they believe they can turn around and approach the owners. THIS IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM CORPORATE RAIDERS, whom Newt and others wishing to disparage him would believe are one and the same. (Foxmarks, sounds like you are in that latter group).
    In either case (being hired or called in, or buying part or all of a company with the intention of returning it to prosperity and then selling the business, hopefully making a profit upon sale. Not much different than other forms of capitalism where people are in business to sell a product or services with the goal of making a profit. That is, by investing what is needed to manufacture that product and market it and get it to hands of consumer, or with services, investing in getting the education to perform said services, as well as the marketing and whatever else is needed to get connect the service provider and the consumer. In laying out the money early on — whether it be to create and market a product or learn enough to offer a competitive service and set up marketing, etc. — this is investment. The business people are making a bet that they will be successful and, if so, they will be able to not only recoup their investment, but also a profit. This is called RISK. In capitalism, higher risk generally is rewarded with higher profits.
    Now as just said — they are making a bet that they will succeed. Which means they might not succeed. Nevertheless they try because that is their business. And there are times when they must walk away because there is no way to save the company — a company which was sinking in the first place. In such cases, not only do they not make a profit, but they lose all the time and money they invested.

    Corporate raiders, on the other hand, are a completely different animal and more often leave degrees of wreckage in their wake — legally. They generally target companies that a) might be more valuable broken up and sold off because the parts are the parts are more valuable than the whole. Or, they identify companies which look like they could have a lot more value if they were run differently. Usually in such cases the raider stealthily purchases shares until they are in a position to take over. They usually first arrange for seats on the board, but even without, the goal is a takeover — friendly or not. They are betting, too. But raiders often identify companies that are very underpriced selling for cents on the dollar. Very cheap. They are reducing risk by reducing cost of investment, and they may do so even further, by first breaking up the company and selling off non-integral business. They are going for profit — not just the successful turnaround of a going concern.


    Foxmarks, PLEASE, along with all you others who so quickly drop lines usually with the intention of casting aspersions on Romney for operating his business successfully, when you don’t even know what he did, save for sound bites from rivals and/or MSM —PLEASE, take the time to educate yourselfs. At the very least, know the facts

    And I hope that most of you know the difference between negative campaigning, and barraging the airwaves and interviews with bald-faced lies and/or deliberately misleading commentary. I would hope the serious voter would believe it to be important to know the facts, rather than make decisions based on bias and or duplicity.

    But I can only hope.
    (And this wasn’t intended to be a personal attack on foxmarks. His “throwaway line” steeped in sarcasm, is not what Romney’s about. Find fault with the man for his shortcomings, fine. But while Newt would love the spreading of misinformation in the blogosphere, is that really how you want to help him become President?

    Also, it would be nice not to take everyone’s word with their instant judgment or preconceived notions about candidates — if you are serious about putting up the best nominee to run against Obama and hopefully get him out of office.

  18. br549 Says:

    I don’t see how Obama can win again. I just don’t. But McCain was chosen over Romney, and Obama won the presidency. It’s a cinch the dems want Romney to run again.

  19. Curtis Says:

    Kurt, I guess it’s only my opinion on moderate voters thinking Gingrich is the smartest. Maybe it would be more accurate to say he’s considered the most intellectual. And maybe not.

    It does depend on how much people know (and their predilections) about all three. I know the books and the academic background of Newt, things which most moderates who don’t participate that much in politics, would know.

    So, I’d have to concede your point. Given their medium is likely predominately the main stream media, they would get Newt the blowhard theme. And, unfortunately, the penguid appearance of Newt doesn’t dispel the meme.

    Chalk one up over me for applying my experience to others. I have to admit experiencing a continually bewildered feeling just considering how many people will vote Obama no matter what. And it’s not a case of non-exposure to other groups or ideas (not working in the legal field, huh boy!).

    Call it wish fulfillment.

  20. Parker Says:

    Curtis said, “If you asked a potential Obama voter, who’s smarter than Obama, Gingrich or Romney, they’ll likely sputter (sputter? maybe spatter, what does it matter?) that neither is smarter, but, but, in their heads, their shiny pointy little heads, that first thought would have been Gingrich.”

    If you asked a potential Obama voter to find Greece on a map they would ask you what is Greece? If you asked them to find Portugal they would most likely point to to Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon. Asking a potential Obama the following questions will 90% of the time produce incorrect answers:

    1.) The United States of America was founded as a democracy?

    a.) True
    b.) False

    2.) The sun revolves around the earth from east to west?

    a.) True
    b.) False

    3.) The Bill of Rights authorizes the government to control the ability of citizens to own assault weapons?

    a.) True
    b.) False

    I give you 100 to 1 odds that 90% of potential Obama voters will answer a, a, and a.

    Want to make a bet? 😉

  21. rickl Says:


    In polls during the last several weeks, the number of people who view him favorably has plunged, especially among independent voters who will likely decide the general election later this year.

    In a Washington Post/ABC News poll last week, 49 percent of the respondents nationwide held an unfavorable view of Mr. Romney, while only 31 percent had a favorable one. That is a reversal from last September, when more people held a favorable view of Mr. Romney than an unfavorable one.

    Independents, in particular, now have a less favorable opinion of Mr. Romney, with favorable opinions dropping from a high in the mid-40s in late November to a low of 23 percent last week, according to the Post/ABC News poll.

  22. NeoConScum Says:

    Newtie’s pouting and high chair pounding responses to Mitt’s provocations are just more ‘Tells’ for his utter unsuitability for the presidency. A Punk. A Bore. A Baby. A Narcissist. BAAAAAaaaaaaaa…!

    Buu-Byeeeeee, Newt.

  23. Curtis Says:

    There once was a man, a flawed man (and who, really, isn’t, damn it) who had an idea and had that idea largely alone and become the center of a great change that changed America for the better.

    That man was Newt Gingrich.

    Write hyperbolic rants on bathroom walls but save this column for facts and more than catcalls.

  24. Curtis Says:

    Here,\neoconscum, is a more appropriate laying to rest of NG.


  25. Curtis Says:

    Newt has declared himself the peoples choice who don’t know him yet but he gracefully will allow repentence.

    Remember A the G whose greatness was that he fought with his soldiers, was wounded, died from his wounds, and changed the world.

    Here is what some of us ask? What blood has Romney put in the game? Is he another general-from-the-back-lines?

  26. goldby621 Says:

    Curtis re: Newt:

    “There once was a man, a flawed man….”

    That’s where you should have stopped. Because his “flaws” were not simply flaws. They were failures. Very public failures. There were some successes, followed by major flaws to the extent that his own associates revoked their respect and trust. And do so to this day. There’s a reason.

    Since that long ago time, Newt has had more than a decade to completely reinvent himself from his trying to appear humble with scripted apology for his failings and a hardly believable remorse. One which he quickly dismisses as he describes he converted to Catholicism and, in doing so, he turned to G-d to ask for forgiveness. Poof! So now he’s forgiven (or so goes his narrative.). And let’s not forget new wife (who was mistress he had while married to 2nd wife, with whom he had same relation while married to 1st wife. And while he was foaming at the mouth to impeach Clinton for his extramarital activities. That’s integrity. And don’t forget he’s a new grandpa. And he absolutely decried negative campaigning pledging only a positive campaign no matter what. That went out the window fast…the minute someone suggested he had any baggage and improprieties in his history as Speaker (something which he continually uses to tout his experience). And that positive, smiling, happy intent did not just change — it went into overload vicious, vengeful, misinformation — for what purpose? To appease his own piqued ego, while toppling in an instant the phony “new” Newt he had spent a decade creating and but a moment destroying.

    And that is the whole problem with Newt: He may be very bright. He may have a dozen ideas a minute. He does have excellent recall re: facts and figures and history — much of it unfamiliar to viewers, and would be voters which is why it takes a bit of time to figure out that the authoritarian reciter of fact is very often not so accurate, and it’s likely that this is for decidedly deliberate reasons as not.

    Bottom line: Can you rely on Newt Gingrich? How much? How far? For how long?

    More important: Do you think other voters who vary from your conservative views either a lot or a little, will believe him, rely on him? And how far for how long?

    Honest answers to those questions unfortunately might provide more answers to what we cannot afford to have in a new president if we expect him to not only challenge Obama, appeal to wide swathe of badly needed voters to unseat Obama, and then provide confidence that there is a steady, reasonable, goal-accomplishing hand at the wheel of our American “ship.”

  27. davisbr Says:

    I receive a newsletter from Melissa Clouthier that puts very succinctly what I’m thinking post Florida. I’m going to copy it in it’s entirety here, as it capsulizes my post Florida frustrations …politely and reasonably. There’s a lot of links, a lot of reading; Melissa touches on a lot of things we’ve been discussing.

    Hello fellow apostates,

    Or are you a religious Republican? I have long been a registered Republican, but that may change this election.

    When people I respect, like Ann Coulter, turn and defend government mandated health care in the name of Republicanism, Three Cheers For Romneycare!!! the party has lost it’s way. It’s lost me. Mark Levin gives a grim and thorough debunking of Ann’s post (audio). Philip Klein writes the best response to her arguments.

    Mitt Romney may well be the Republican nominee, but I am not willing to sell my conservative soul and pretend he is anything but a noblesse oblige, further left version of Herbert Walker Bush or Bob Dole.

    No, I am NOT jealous of Romney’s wealth or believe that being a capitalist is a bad thing. I am a spirited defender or capitalism. Like my brother said, people know guys like Romney exist, they know he’s necessary, it’s just a stretch that he’s the kind of guy we Republicans should be thrilled to having represent us when the country is suffering and when he says things like, “I don’t care about the very poor.” It is RATIONAL to worry about optics and it is rational to worry about how stories like this will be portrayed.

    It is common sense to worry about Romney’s attachment to conservative principles like actually understanding the stupidity of minimum wage.

    Hells bells, there’s no perfect candidate but do we have to GIVE the Dems cannon fodder? They will have this neutron bomb at their disposal.

    It is rational to be worried about Romney in the general.

    Rational. So rational, in fact, I wonder about his fierce defenders and wonder why they can’t see reason.

    My only conclusion: That a lot of so-called conservatives are nothing of the sort. The Republican party planks are fairly conservative. They’ve abandoned them for madness.

    Also, I have to question the methods of attacking conservatives on the way to trying to build coalitions to get elected. Many seem very sure that all will be forgotten. I’m not so sure.

    I’ve a couple of recent (and rather long-ish) comments at Hot Air in a couple of equally relevant threads that state my personal reaction to the degree of the negativity of the Romney campaign, and to what my current reasoning going forward is for the general election.

    I’d direct Newt supporters into giving that last link a read …things could still change, but I lay out – rationally – why I’m probably not voting the top of the ticket in the general should Romney take the primaries.

    (They’re really both rather long comments to quote here, especially as the Melissa Clouthier article is already stem winder length. )

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    davisbr: I wonder what Clouthier thought of Romneycare when it was first passed, and the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich thought it was pretty good?

    If Mark Levin thinks Romney’s so awful, I wonder why he endorsed him in the 2008 Republican primary (after Romneycare, by the way)?

    ”Let’s face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing, the only one, after all these weeks of voting, who can honestly be said to share most, most of our conservative principles is Romney… If conservatives, people who care about the future of the Republican Party, don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and I mean right now, and become vocal in their support for him, if they don’t coalesce around this one candidate, I’m talking about you folks who continue to vote for Huckabee knowing full well he can’t win, then you will get McCain as the republican nominee and you will likely get Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as president of the United States.” (Mark Levin, 1-minute audio clip from 27 1/2 minutes into show)
    Jan 31, 2008

    Insert Gingrich’s name for Huckabee to update.

    The arguments against continuing Obama’s administration for four more years are even stronger than they were for letting him get elected in the first place, because he’s now a known quantity (not that it wasn’t pretty clear before). As for the rest, we’ve argued it here ad nauseum before.

  29. davisbr Says:

    @neo …we’ve argued it here ad nauseum before

    Indeed we have …and the result’s been both sides being entirely ineffective in moving the other. Telling, eh?

    …and I’m not going to revisit [some of] those (not this morning, at least LOL) in a point-by-point, tit-for-tat fashion (while noting that some issues aren’t germane to the logic of “what happens next”, nor dispositive of “what determines my fall vote”).

    My suspicion is that when the basis of your underlying [political] rationale differs by a certain order of magnitude, that the best you can hope for in said political discussions is a degree of civility.

    …and it don’t get much better than neo’s place for refined argument, neo.

    …sincerely appreciative of that.

  30. davisbr Says:

    …maybe it would add clarification if I rephrased that to “…by a certain order of magnitude of implacability

  31. The Jawa Report Says:

    Newt’s Temperamant Problem & Why Romney Really is More Electable…

    My post from last week on the myth that moderates can’t win and on the electability question caught the eye of a few people so I just wanted to follow up with a couple of thoughts. First, let me point……

  32. Newt's Temperamant Problem & Why Romney Really is More Electable - ScrollPost.com Says:

    […] Neo-neocon makes the same point:I think a big part of Gingrich’s problem is temperament, and the problem is real. As far as Newt’s supporters are concerned, his anger is one of his strengths and not a problem at all. When it’s directed at the media it seems to work for him, although that may be getting a bit old. When it’s directed at Mitt Romney it has been working less effectively, especially when it features attacks that are from the left and/or hyperbole. […]

  33. NeoConScum Says:

    Curtis…Read goldby621…Got it..? Gooooood.

    Newt’s baggage+more baggage+temperament=??

    Wonder how American women will vote for Newt who’s partnered with his Mistress-Wife? Just one of dozens of flies in the ointment.

  34. Curtis Says:

    Very well put, Mr. Gold. I have to agree. The American Spectator has an article today that mirrors your points.

    What scares me about Romney, though, is that he is not the man to lead us back to pre New Deal constitutional government. But, I’ll take what he does reform and keep working on the grass roots level.

  35. newton Says:

    “And that is the whole problem with Newt: He may be very bright. He may have a dozen ideas a minute.”

    Could there be a possibility that he has a case of undiagnosed ADD? Anybody with an opinion or a suspicion on it?

    His life has been quite erratic, to say the least.

  36. gcotharn Says:

    I have to set the record straight: Newt was not “foaming at the mouth” to impeach Clinton for sex. That is one of those media legends which are not true.

    I have, in past, googled through a search for Newt comments re Clinton and sex. There are none. Newt did not run the House Impeachment process. Newt was busy running the Repub effort in the 1998 midterm election. After the election, Newt was (wrongly? I think so) deemed a failed leader (due to lost seats), and was forced out in early 1999.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    gcotharn: actually, I’ve done a lot of research on that, too (somewhere, I’ve got a draft for a post), and while I sort of agree with you I sort of disagree as well. The summary version of what I found is this: Gingrich was indeed driving the impeachment fight early in the game. However, if you look at his public utterances, he was very careful to focus on the legal issues of obstruction of justice, and lying in the deposition. I am relatively sure he did this because of his own extracurricular activities at the time. But whatever his motive, Gingrich did not go after Clinton for infidelity, but did go after him for his behavior in the legal sense during the episode.

    Gingrich had had expectations that the Clinton scandal, which had been going on for months by the time of the November 1998 election, would cause the Republicans to gain many seats. Instead, they lost seats. He resigned right after those 1998 elections (pressured by his colleagues to do so), and so he was no longer in the House when the actual impeachment proceedings occurred. But that doesn’t mean he was not a leader earlier in the decisions made; he was, and he also had almost certainly planned to be Speaker when it happened. But the 1998 election results, and his colleagues who were sick of him, scotched that.

  38. rickl Says:

    Clinton should have impeached for trading military technology to the Chinese Communists in exchange for campaign contributions, but the Congressional Republicans chose to make it about a stupid sex scandal instead.

    That’s about the point where I stopped taking the Republican Party seriously.

  39. foxmarks Says:

    goldby621: neo and I have gone back-and-forth about Romney’s career. At length. Multiple times. Your presumption of my ignorance may be a product of your own lack of understanding.

    If people who sound like you took the time to distinguish that Romney had two distinct terms with Bain Capital, you would perhaps begin to see the problems with his puffing capitalism. Mitt wants you to focus on his first term, where he led venture capital deals. I want you to also see his second term, where he led LBOs (under their new term, “private equity”). Romney was both a venture capitalist and a corporate raider. He abandoned VC to become a vulture.

    The inconvenient ugly parts of Mitt’s record are as much of “what he’s all about” as Newt’s philandering and his time on the couch with Pelosi. We see better with both eyes uncovered.

    And I wish the chest-thumping simpletons who equate patriotism with capitalism would investigate the last three decades of debt US accumulation, both gov’t and private. Romney capitalized on easy credit that was the result of gov’t policy. Mitt’s money was leverage that he cashed out, not any “amazing” business success.

    Remember, too, the Olympics he “saved” lost over $100M. Romney is groomed to be captain of the Titanic.

  40. neo-neocon Says:

    foxmarks: and of course I must add that in our exchanges on this subject I disagree that “corporate raider” describes Romney’s career at Bain. No one has dug up any deals that are unequivocally of the type you mention that occurred on his watch, and there are only a few that are even somewhat ambiguous. I believe that the record exonerates him. I’m not going to spend more time on this, however, but I refer readers back to conversations that begin here and keep going for quite some time (I have quite a few entries there in reponse to foxmarks, as do others). There’s a bit more in this thread, and quite a bit here.

  41. ConceptJunkie Says:


    I know I missed the party on this discussion, but I wish… _wish_ a Republican would give answers in a debate half as good as what you did.

    Of course, it would help if we actually had real debates instead of this retarded “joint press conference” format.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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