Newt As “Moldering Lemon”

Great post by Amy Davidson at The New Yorker, “Super Tuesday:  Four Shades of Resentment”:

“Gingrich…was a soft package of sour narcissism, like a moldering lemon with a sunken white fuzzy spot where his head should be. … He turned an isolated win in a losing campaign into an occasion to recite an enemies list.  ‘I hope the analysts in Washington and New York, who spent June and July explaining our campaign was dead, will watch this,’ he said.

“It took several minutes for Gingrich’s railing about wrongs other Republicans had done to him (‘the Reagan negative ad, that is a total lie, O.K.?’) to be joined by his contempt for Obama (‘shallow,’ ‘deliciously incoherent,’ ‘debating him would be just one of those moments where you could almost sell tickets for charity’).”

And more in that vein for all four candidates if you head to  The speeches were all uniformly awful.  Big audience, big wasted opportunity for free media.

And President Obama Wins Super Tuesday

Mitt gave a stumbling speech tonight, sounding exhausted and as wooden and passionless as a Cigar Store Indian Native American.  He seemed out of sync with his energetic, chanting crowd.

At one point, when he was trying to say he was going to get President Obama out of the White House, he almost said “out of the out house.”

Santorum rambled, but he rambled with passion and energy.  He went on and on, while I worried about his mom, in her 90’s, standing there without a chair.

Newt whined and complained and reinforced his image as a petulant baby.  He falsely said he’s been able to stay in the race because of all the folks giving small amounts at  He’s been able to stay in the race because of one guy, Sheldon Adelson, giving millions.  He railed against the establishment.  If you live in a mansion in McLean, drive a Cadillac Escalade and a BMW, have an office on K Street, get paid tens of millions of dollars to lobby Congress, and take cruises to the Greek Islands, when you look in the mirror every morning in your marble bathroom with the chandelier, you are looking at the establishment.

A good night for President Obama.

Super Tuesday Predictions

The latest from Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight:

Mitt has a 64% chance of winning Ohio, with a 36% chance for Santorum.

Santorum has a 58% chance of winning Tennessee, with a 38% chance for Mitt.

Santorum has a 93% chance of winning Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping down the plain…).  Oklahoma actually is under a wind advisory today.

Is Sandra Fluke This Year’s Joe the Plumber?

Frank Bruni has an interesting column in today’s NYT, “Poorly Told Political Fortunes.”  Some morsels:

“For starters most of us grossly miscalculated the ardor, the stubbornness, the spleens of a great many conservative voters, who thrilled to Newt Gingrich despite his leaden baggage, swooned for Rick Santorum in all his frigid sanctimony and would not be wooed by Romney, no matter how may dozens of roses he promised.

“To the extent that Santorum and Gingrich have been kept afloat by a crucial baseline of financing, they owe thanks to the dawn of super PACs, a development that was thought to be dangerous to Obama but might, in a roundabout way, wind up helping him.

“Meantime, the culture wars have resumed — usually something Republicans relish.

“But the surreal focus this time is on birth control as opposed to abortion, and conservatives keep overplaying their hands.  Rush Limbaugh fished tired epithets from a misogynistic toilet; advertisers proceeded to flush him.

“[Sandra] Fluke could be the Joe the Plumber of 2012, drafted by political circumstance into a pitched debate about the rightful role of government and given a symbolic currency she couldn’t have foreseen.”

My own prediction is that the GOP Silly Season officially ends tonight, that Mitt will be recognized as the eventual nominee however long the others choose to pretend they’re real contenders, and that Mitt won’t lose that status at any point between now and the convention.  I see tonight as Solidifying Tuesday.

RIP, 2012 Republican Primary.  You were an appalling embarrassment.

Michigan GOP Punishes Santorum

Thirty delegates were at stake in the Michigan Republican primary.  Twenty-eight were decided based on congressional districts.  Since Mitt and Rick split the districts, they split those delegates and won fourteen each.

Before the primary, Michigan said the remaining two “at large” delegates would be divided proportionately, so the actual results would give Mitt and Rick one each.

Rick has been running around calling Michigan a tie, because he believed he and Mitt each got fifteen delegates.

Not so fast.  Now the Michigan GOP is awarding the two “at large” delegates to Mitt, an ex post facto change in the rules.  Rick is accusing them of “political thuggery.”

They are depriving Rick of using the “tie” argument to bolster support heading into Super Tuesday.

Did the state party do this to punish Rick for his encouraging Democrats to turn out and vote in the primary?  If they did, it’s absurd, since they’re the ones who established an open primary.

Did the state party do this because of Mitt’s muscle?

Whatever the reason, changing the rules after the fact is a tacky thing to do.  Shame on the Michigan GOP.