Back in March I wrote a piece on Newt Gingrich’s far fetched dream of being elected to the American presidency, “Newt Gingrich’s Dream, Driven by the Winds of Folly?” In concluding the aforementioned I wrote:”Ultimately Gingrich’s presidential aspirations will be blown by the winds of folly onto the rocks of political reality. His political day has come and gone and it’s not going to come back. It’s just a matter of time before he himself comes to that realization.” Now just a few weeks after formally announcing his candidacy and having a plethora of prior positions and comments come back to haunt him, Gingrich seems to be on the verge of one of the fastest denouements in American political history.
As everyone knows, any serious candidate for the presidency passes through the trial by fire that is NBC’s Meet the Press and Gingrich’s recent appearance on the show seems to have only hastened his political demise. Having to answer questions about his multiple marriages, his prior endorsement of elements of what is presently within Obama’s health care reform and his characterization of Paul Ryan’s economic ideas as radical and right-wing engineering has touched off a mass of defections among donors and a rising chorus of criticism on the right as to his fitness for the office of the presidency. According to political reporter Jon Ward: “The former House Speaker from Georgia’s once biggest advantage over other long shot candidates — an established fundraising network — is withering before his eyes.”The last 48 hours have called into question if Newt can even make it to July 4, because his fundraising is going to dry up,” said one veteran Republican strategist. “No serious finance bundler is now going to step forward in such an organized campaign and take a leadership role.” Within 24 hours of Gingrich’s Meet the Press interview he had lost 13 of 18 co-chairs to an upcoming fund raising event. Thus Gingrich’s hopes of winning the nomination are dwindling as fast as is the funding he needs to propel his campaign forward.
From Rush Limbaugh, who called Gingrich’s comments “inexplicable” and lacking any “rational set of reasons” to a RedState conservative blogger who wrote “It’s time for Newt to disappear into the background. His moment has passed, and this tailspin has been decades in the making.” the chorus of criticism leveled at Newt Gingrich has been nothing less than stunning. Alex Castellanos, a long time conservative political consultant opined that Gingrich’s Meet the Press moment would supply the Obama campaign with more than ample ammunition to make Gingrich’s defeat, should he win the nomination, a “lay-up.” Castellanos went on to say that Gingrich had thrown the entire G.O.P. under the bus in pursuit of his own ambition and that more importantly:” In his first campaign outing on Meet the Press, he abandoned the discipline he said a president must display.” Among the conservative political class Gingrich has no shortage of detractors. Conservative Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) said of Gingrich, “”He’s the last person I’d vote for for president of the United States. His life indicates he does not have a commitment to the character traits necessary to be a great president.” Likewise Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) doubts that Gingrich could win the nomination. Even a rising star like Republican Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) hinted that Gingrich’s time has come and gone. To make matters worse, days after the interview with David Gregory, it was revealed that Gingrich was in hock to Tiffany’s for up to a half of a million dollars for jewelry purchases, so much for the personal rectitude of those who preach fiscal responsibility to the rest of us.
Thus it would appear that Newt Gingrich’s presidential aspirations are now on the verge of being over after having just been launched and after so much posturing and the nurturing of public expectation. For Gingrich, the fateful interview on Meet the Press was the beginning of the end rather than the end of the beginning and could possibly be the opening act in his farewell tour on the American political scene.
Steven J. Gulitti
May 20, 2011
Newt Gingrich’s Dream, Driven by the Winds of Folly?; http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_j_gulitti/2011/03/04/newt_gingrichs_dream_driven_by_the_winds_of_folly_1
Jon Ward: “GOP Donors Deserting Newt Gingrich”; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/18/gop-donors-deserting-newt-gingrich_n_863910.html?ref=email_share
Rush Limbaugh: Limbaugh: Gingrich’s Attack On Paul Ryan And Budget Plan “Inexplicable”; http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/05/16/limbaugh_gingrichs_attack_on_paul_ryan_and_budget_plan_inexplicable.html
Make room for the new guys, Newt.:http://www.redstate.com/tabithahale/2011/05/18/newt-gingrich-flames-out-worst-potus-launch-in-history/
Gingrich owed six figures to Tiffany’s: http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=4EB520A8-BCEF-41B4-9324-F70CFFDA97A0
Tom Coburn: Coburn rips the left and right alike: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=16&articleid=20100828_16_A13_CUTLIN138403
Tom Coburn Jabs Newt Gingrich Over Presidential Aspirations: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/02/tom-coburn-disses-newt-gi_n_830292.html
Richard Burr: Gingrich 2012 News Gets Mixed Hill Response: http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_89/-203762-1.html
Nikki Haley: Nikki Haley offers hints at 2012 endorsement: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/eye-on-2012/haley-offers-hints-at-2012-end.html?wprss=thefix