Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

    “I’m the comeback grandparent.”

    “I’m the comeback grandparent.”

    I’ve said it before, it’s not enough to be a “not” candidate.  Not being Barack Obama is not enough, and not being Mitt Romney is not enough.  Any candidate who is to win the nomination and the general election is going to have to inspire, not merely be the default candidate.

    The polls show strength for Newt Gingrich, although polls are somewhat inconsistent as to the breadth of that strength.  But there also is plenty of anecdotal evidence of an energy growing around Newt’s campaign.

    At a town hall in Naples, Florida, yesterday, the crowd was overflowing.  As reported by a national news media reporter who follows the Gingrich campaign, the event had to be moved to a larger room which could accomodate 450 people, and even that larger room was not enough as monitors had to be set up outside for the overflow crowd.  (Image here.)

    The crowd was enthusiastic, as reflected in this television report:

    While we often speak of the youth vote, it’s the not youth vote which turns out in big numbers, and in Florida Newt may have hit on a winning theme:

    After three years of youth and inexperience resulting in the Obama economic stagnation and national decline, I think the nation may be in the mood for a comeback grandparent.


    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.


    So, with 26 states taking ObamaCare to the Supreme Court over the mandate, Newt sides with the opposition in favor of a mandate?

    So, how much of a “not Romney” or “not Obama” is Newt?

      William A. Jacobson in reply to mdw9661. | November 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

      Not quite. He and Heritage Foundation and other conservatives at one time considered a mandate, but then moved away from it long ago. Romney stands by it on the state level.

        mdw9661 in reply to William A. Jacobson. | November 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

        If you recall, Romney reminded Newt of his interest in the mandate in a recent debate and Newt sheepishly acknowledged it.

        Heritage moved off the mandate years ago, but Newt supported his position for a mandate for those earning over $50,000 during his May 15, 2011, appearance on Meet The Press:

        MR. GREGORY: What you advocate there is precisely what President Obama did with his healthcare legislation, is it not?

        REP. GINGRICH: No, it’s not precisely what he did. In, in the first place, Obama basically is trying to replace the entire insurance system, creating state exchanges, building a Washington-based model, creating a federal system. I believe all of us–and this is going to be a big debate–I believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. I think the idea that…

        MR. GREGORY: You agree with Mitt Romney on this point.
        Advertise | AdChoices

        REP. GINGRICH: Well, I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay–help pay for health care. And, and I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond…

        MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

        REP. GINGRICH: …or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable.

        MR. GREGORY: But that is the individual mandate, is it not?

        REP. GINGRICH: It’s a variation on it.

          William A. Jacobson in reply to mdw9661. | November 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm

          Listen to the debate carefully, Newt was cut off in the middle of his answer. As to Newt’s position on a mandate, the “variation” would be that people accept responsibily to pay their own bills if they choose not to have insurance and could have afforded insurance. Why should taxpayers pick up the bill for people who could have afforded insurance coverage? Is that so wrong? That’s a far cry from the Obamacare or Romneycare mandates..

            mdw9661 in reply to William A. Jacobson. | November 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm

            Good grief, professor. Next you’re going to have me play the Beatles song backwards to hear that “the Walrus is dead”

            mdw9661 in reply to William A. Jacobson. | November 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

            “accept responsibility” is that mandatory?

            mdw9661 in reply to William A. Jacobson. | November 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

            “Newt Gingrich has had a tough time during this presidential campaign discussing the individual mandate. Republicans—especially tea partiers—tend to consider the individual mandate (which compels people to obtain health insurance) the worst part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. For them, it is a symbol of Obama’s big-government, anti-freedom, socialistic ways. And Gingrich has been tap-dancing around this issue for months. Last May, he said he supported “some requirement” to “have insurance,” but quickly afterward issued a campaign video declaring he was “completely opposed to the Obamacare mandate on individuals.” In a recent debate, he acknowledged that he had endorsed the individual mandate in the early 1990s, but claimed he had done so only as a tactical maneuver in opposition to Hillary Clinton​’s health care proposal at the time. The clear implication: that was then, now I don’t. But yesterday, I reported that his for-profit health policy outfit, the Center for Health Transformation, has for years pushed a health care plan that would, according to the group’s website, “require that anyone who earms more than $50,000 a year must purchase health insurance or post a bond.” In other words, an individual mandate.”


            Dancing on the head of a pin?

            William A. Jacobson in reply to mdw9661. | November 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm

            You can keep repeating yourself, but it doesn’t change the difference between (1) what a Newt affiliated think tank says might work is not necessarily his position as to what he would advocate as president, and (2) his concept of individual responsibility is not the same as a mandate wherein the government uses its police powers to punish people. Now it’s time for you to call me names again. I’ve made full disclosure on who I support, how about you explain who you support since every time there is a Newt post you try to dominate the comments. Enlighten us.

          Milhouse in reply to mdw9661. | November 27, 2011 at 2:06 am

          “Or post a bond” is not a mandate. It’s just a guarantee that you’ll pay your bills. Accepting responsibility for your own bills is of course not a mandate! How can you make that comparison with a straight face?

          “require that anyone who earms more than $50,000 a year must purchase health insurance or post a bond.” In other words, an individual mandate.”

          Just because some idiot journalist says “in other words” doesn’t make it so. Where’s the mandated purchase of insurance if you have the option of not doing so?

        mdw9661 in reply to William A. Jacobson. | November 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

        As CNN host Anderson Cooper noted the time had expired, the crowd began to boo. Romney was given a few more seconds to respond, but former House Speaker Newt Gingrich added his voice to the criticism of Romney’s health care plan.

        “Your plan essentially is one more big government bureaucratic high cost system which candidly could not have been done by any other state because no other state had a Medicare program as lavish as yours, and no one got a grant from the Bush administration for this experiment,” Gingrich charged.

        “Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you,” Romney replied.

        “You did not get that from me,” Gingrich insisted. “You got it from the Heritage Foundation.”

        “And you never supported it?” Romney asked.

        “I absolutely did — with the Heritage Foundation — against Hillarycare,” Gingrich admitted.

        “OK, that’s what I’m saying. We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation,” Romney concluded.


        In that 11th Circuit appeal, which is almost certainly headed to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department cited Heritage as an authority in support of its position. Heritage responded with an amicus brief explaining that its view had changed:

        If citations to policy papers were subject to the same rules as legal citations, then the Heritage position quoted by the Department of Justice would have a red flag indicating it had been reversed. . . . Heritage has stopped supporting any insurance mandate.

        Heritage policy experts never supported an unqualified mandate like that in the PPACA [ObamaCare]. Their prior support for a qualified mandate was limited to catastrophic coverage (true insurance that is precisely what the PPACA forbids), coupled with tax relief for all families and other reforms that are conspicuously absent from the PPACA. Since then, a growing body of research has provided a strong basis to conclude that any government insurance mandate is not only unnecessary, but is a bad policy option. Moreover, Heritage’s legal scholars have been consistent in explaining that the type of mandate in the PPACA is unconstitutional.

    He ultimately resigned his congressional seat in November of 1998, after the GOP lost five House seats and he faced a leadership challenge.

    “His tenure as speaker was turbulent, to put it mildly,” said Jack Pitney, a professor at Claremont McKenna College who grew acquainted with Gingrich in the 1980s. “You’re not going to get a huge number of endorsements from people who actually served under him. Their memories are very mixed.”

    Gingrich became Speaker in 1994 after Republicans won 54 seats in the House and took control of the lower chamber for the first time in 40 years. But his tenure only lasted four years.

    His leadership style and personality helped lead to the coup that ultimately resulted in his resignation. Some lawmakers have expressed concern that those traits could hurt him going forward.

    “He’s a guy of 1,000 ideas, and the attention span of a one-year-old,” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told The Hill in April, before saying he would not endorse Gingrich. “His discipline and his attention to any individual thing is not his strong suit.”

    Former Rep. Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.), one of the members of the Republican leadership who tried to push Gingrich out, said the former speaker was better at coming up with ideas than implementing them.

    “I don’t think that the skill set he brings to the table is the skill set of a successful presidency,” Paxon told The Hill in April.

      JayDick in reply to mdw9661. | November 26, 2011 at 11:37 am

      As I recall, the allegations that led to his resignation were not sustained.

      Newt is controversial, no doubt. But, I think he handles the controversy and adversity better than other candidates.

      In any event, the only alternative that seems capable of beating Obama is Romney. Is that who you prefer?

        mdw9661 in reply to JayDick. | November 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm

        “allegations where not sustained” — What is that?

        There was no adjudication process where the allegations went through any type of sustain or unsustainable procedure.

        The article pertains to why Newt is getting no love from those who previously worked with him in Congress while Romney gets a number of endorsements (for the record, I would vote to nomination Newt over Romney for the nomination and ABO in the general).

        Newt handles the controversy by saying what each audience wants to hear. While in Naples FL he touts his being a grandparent at a location known for grandparents. On CNN, known for a more liberal viewership, he touts his amnesty plan, etc.

        He is as much a shape-shifter as Romney.

          holmes tuttle in reply to mdw9661. | November 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

          I wouldn’t call touting being a grandparent in Naples, FL being a shapeshifter.

          He is a grandparent. Naples has a large senior population and lots of grandparents, as does the state of Florida as a whole. They are a key voting bloc both in the primary and in the general.

          Newt was simply identifying with the audience and crowd, something any good politician does. He was also making a joke and playing off one of Bill Clinton’s famous lines when he called himself the Comeback Kid in NH and used that to propel himself to the nomination.

          So, Newt was showing he has a sense of humor and a good memory in tying himself back to Clinton, his old nemesis and tormentor.

          It’s not really a big deal, just a cute throwaway line.

          If Newt is going to win the nomination and win FL he’s going to need strong support among seniors and if he’s going to beat Obama he’s going to need even stronger support among them. Seniors are the most anti-Obama bloc out there. So, telling them he’s one of them, as opposed to the younger Obama, is perfectly normal.

          His immigration plan isn’t amnesty. It’s not 100% in line with Tom Tancredo, but it’s not amnesty. It’s further to the right than either Bush or Obama have gone, further than any GOP nominee has gone. Amnesty is never passing Congress anyway regardless of who the President is so there’s really no need to worry about it. Newt will sign whatever tough border security measures pass Congress.

          He supports the fence, everify, troops on the border. all the tough measures out there. He doesn’t support citizenship or a path to citizenship. He supports requiring every illegal alien to leave the country before they can apply for worker’s permits. He does support some form of legalization for those hear for 25+ years but of the 12M currently here the vast, vast majority don’t fall within that. So, in effect, he supports the deportation/removal of millions of illegals, of the vast majority of them. Far more than Bush or McCain ever supported. Far, far more than Obama supports.

          No, he’s not pure on the issue, but he’s an improvement over the current policy. Also, as I said, given the Congress no real immigration bill will ever pass so this is all a waste of time. The dems will always filibuster any really tough bill. We’d need like 65+ Republicans to make up for the McCain types, and that won’t happen. Likewise, the GOP will always filibuster any amnesty bill. If Obama couldn’t pass immigration with 60+ dems in the Senate, 260+ in the House, and 60% approval ratings, it’ll never pass. So, don’t worry about it. Amnesty or anything close to it will never happen.

          JayDick in reply to mdw9661. | November 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm

          There were official ethics complaints. Upon investigation, only one very minor one was sustained; the others were not.

    Barak Obama is no spring chicken. He’s just a red diaper baby that never learned how to think for himself.

    Newt Gingrinch looks good for 68. When I read his age, I thought it was a typo. He doesn’t come across as “old” at all.

    I don’t know if it would work as campaign strategy, but maybe Gingrinch pat should himself on the back a little in getting Clinton to rein in government spending and help the economy grow. That’s the only way I could see him getting somewhere.

    Right now, the economy is the most critical issue, but none of the candidates seem able to speak directly to it, aside from Cain who got the ball rolling.

    Leave a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting.)

    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode
    Send this to a friend