You Fight The Battle You Face, Not The One You Wish You Could Fight. My Case For Newt’s Ability To Beat Obama
As the GOP primary field formed over the last two years, I’ve been interested to various degrees in a number of candidates.
Way back I thought Mark Sanford would be an interesting choice. Alas, he thought screwing around on his wife with a chick from Argentina would be an interesting choice. What followed were flirtations of varying intensity with Haley Barbour, Mike Pence, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Tim Pawlenty, Chris Christie, and Rick Perry. There were probably some other as I’ve been rather promiscuous in search of “the one”.
In the end, I’ve settled on Newt Gingrich.
It’s been a long journey and the final choice I’ve come to represents a compromise on my ideal choice to fight the battle against Barack Obama.
Originally I wanted a bland conservative who was plausible to most voters as a reasonable option to be President. I wanted the election to be a referendum on Obama with the GOP offering a solid, if not spectacular alternative. A Sanford/Pawlenty/Daniels type would have kept the focus where it belonged…on Obama.
Some will argue that Romney is in this mold. I don’t think so. His wealth and more importantly his lack of basic political skills makes him to easy for Democrats (Obama, pundits and “reporters’) to caricature. He simply hasn’t shown the ability to take a bunch and drive the narrative.
Failing that I figured we’d have a battle of ideas. If we can’t make it about Obama, then we damn well needed a big time personality to make the most pro-conservative case possible. I saw Christie and Perry as the best options for this kind of fight. Sadly, Christie didn’t run and Perry was simply incapable of carrying the fight to anyone, let alone Obama.
Again, some will say that Romney could do this. His lack of conservative accomplishments, his record of bashing long held conservative beliefs and his lousy political skills (he can’t sell capitalism to GOP primary voters!), make the idea of Romney The Ideological Warrior a joke.
That leaves us with the fight we have…going toe-to-toe with Obama in a long, hard, slog. It’s going to be hard to unseat a sitting President under the best of conditions and this election isn’t going to be that. What Newt brings to the table is what a heavyweight fighter always brings to the ring…a puncher’s chance. No, Newt isn’t going to win the election with a big line at a debate but over the course of a 6-8 month fight, Newt will land plenty of big blows on Obama on policy, record and rhetorical grounds. That combination will generate something that was missing for the GOP last time… real excitement in the base. The question is will he be able to pick up enough swing voters along the way? I think (hope) there are enough that are fed up with the bill of goods Obama sold them last time that Newt can make Obama too unattractive to support again while seeming to be a reasonable option himself.
Gingrich will take a lot of shots in return but unlike Romney, he’s shown over and over again an ability to get back up and start swinging again. Yes, Newt’s been knocked out before and fought some losing fights but if he’s going to go down to Obama, he’s going to bloody him on the way out. He just might be able to knock Obama out before he falls himself.
I just don’t see on what grounds Romney has any policy or political advantage over Obama.
It’s not an ideal way to fight this battle but I think Newt’s way is the best chance we have.