The Delusions of Newtie

There are definitely visions dancing in Newt Gingrich’s head, but they’re not sugar plums.

Once such vision is a 2012 campaign where GOP nominee Gingrich “would have probably done better” than Mitt against President Obama.

He probably thinks he was a good husband to his first two wives…

Newtie’s Back!

“Moderate Mitt” needs to keep the crazies locked away till November 7, but serial adulterer and hypocrite Newtie, who loathes Mitt, is not cooperating.

Newtie weighed in today on Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s statement that God intends pregnancies from rape.

He thinks the whole brouhaha is “nonsense,” calls President Obama the “radical” on abortion rights, and advises the Obama campaign (and, by extension, all of us who are outraged) to “get over it.”

Newtie implicitly criticized Mitt for criticizing Mourdock.  Newt at least knows a fellow hypocrite when he sees one.  Mitt can’t criticize Mourdock or Missouri’s Todd Akin without criticizing Paul Ryan, who believes the government should treat rape victims as criminals if they choose abortion.

With about a week to go, Mitt definitely doesn’t need Newtie reminding us how extreme the GOP has become.  But all of us need to listen.

Just a Little Pressure

Newtie, writing in Human Events, calls the first presidential debate “the most important single event in Mitt Romney’s political career.

Politico has a long piece* chronicling the pressure on Mittens and the conflicting advice he’s getting, with some telling him to be very aggressive against Obama and others saying he has to defer to the President’s personal popularity.  Some excerpts:

Republicans, fretting about dwindling days for Romney to turn around his campaign, fear that if their nominee doesn’t come away with a decisive first-debate victory, he’ll continue to spiral downward and lose his last, best shot for a comeback.

The fear among donors and strategists:  a break-even or so-so performance would subject Romney to a self-reinforcing cycle of criticism and pessimism in his own party that will send other Republicans fleeing and make it difficult for Romney to project a closing argument against Obama over the drumbeat of why-are-you-losing questions.

It went from being important to being life-sustaining,” said GOP pollster Steve Lombardo, who worked for Romney in 2008.  “Both from a fundraising perspective, to keep the money coming, and just a political perspective, it’s huge.  Romney can’t just do well and hold his own — he has to win and win decisively. …”

But what rankles some Romney donors is that for months, they were told that there were three big moments bound to change the race — the vice presidential pick, the convention and the debates — and the first two haven’t put Romney in the lead.

“I think the first debate is exponentially more important than the rest of them,” said GOP strategist Curt Anderson.  “The rest of them only matter if somebody makes a mistake.  The first one sets the tone.”

What makes some veteran Republicans nervous as well is that a losing or even so-so first debate will trigger and ugly and perhaps unending round of intra-party sniping.

“That’s what really hurts a campaign:  not what the other party is saying about you, but if your own people are taking shots at you,” explained former Reagan hand Frank Donatelli.

Another senior Republican operative said, …”Even in the case that he has [a] good debate, but not a stellar one, it’ll be perceived as a loss and that begets more bad coverage.”

Then, said this operative, down-ballot candidates begin distancing themselves publicly from the top of the ticket because “they think, ‘I’m not going to get any help from the top.’  It’s then every man for himself.”  Emphasis added.

As I read this story my grin got wider and wider.  I just can’t imagine Mitt doing that well and having some stunning, break-out performance.  I think his only hope is a huge, really breath-taking mistake by the Prez. But I think a major, cringe-inducing mistake, either tone deaf or uninformed, by Mitt is actually far more likely.

* “Denver debate do-or-die for Mitt Romney,” Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman


Curtain Falls on Akin Kabuki Theater

When the GOP tried to distance itself from Missouri Senate candidate Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, it was a case of false outrage meeting the false belief that only false rape claims can result in a pregnancy.

Well, as I’m sure Todd Akin himself knew would happen if he hung tough and stayed in the race, the GOP is now embracing Akin instead of pushing him away.

Because the truth is that there’s no daylight between this current crazy incarnation of the GOP and the crazy Akin.  The anomaly was their pretending he wasn’t one of them, a hypocrisy that Mike Huckabee had the honesty to point out about Akin’s August 19 remarks.

But now instead of throwing him under the bus, they’re circling the wagons for Akin.

Newtie campaigned for him on Monday, and today Rick “Frothy” Santorum and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, the Tea Party’s favorite senator, endorsed him.

DeMint’s endorsement is huge because he controls the Senate Conservative Fund, which has millions to spend.  Aside from his own fund, DeMint wants the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) to put back the funding it pulled from Missouri.

This obviously isn’t just about Missouri.  Voting for the GOP in any congressional race or for Mitt tells them that their Taliban views on women are okay.  If they get the votes, they won’t change.  Why would they?

The GOP must be decisively told to lose the crazies or lose elections.

Unleash the Newt!

Newtie’s back — the GOP has tapped him to lead the charge against President Obama on welfare reform.  So it will be Newt v. Clinton.  I think we’ve seen this movie before, and it ended with Newtie resigning his Speakership and leaving Congress.

The thing about Newtie is that once you’ve let the Newt out of his terrarium, it can be hard to catch him and put him back in.  He’s a quick and crafty little lizard.  He’ll say what the GOP wants him to say, but he’ll embellish those talking points with his own brand of outlandishness.  Remember, Newtie’s been out there defending Michele Bachmann for going after poor Huma Abedin as a Muslim Brotherhood mole in our State Department.

I think Mitt’s lost control of his campaign.

Mitt Plays Checkers, Not Chess

John (“Game Change”) Heilemann has a wonderful long article up at New York Magazine, “Hope:  the Sequel.”  Here’s David Axelrod on Mitt:

“Romney is thoroughly tactical.  He makes whatever decision he needs to get through the next battle without respect to the war.  So he ran to the right of everybody on immigration because he had to beat Perry.  He embraced the Ryan budget to get around Gingrich.  And then he ran to the right of Santorum, or tried to, on contraception to fend off him.”