Obama’s Election Team Needs A Bit Of Newt Attitude

Disclaimer: The author of this column is in NO WAY advocating for the Presidency of Newt Gingrich. He is a delusional narcissist of epic proportions, whose previous House “leadership” provided ample 1990s evidence that he shouldn’t be trusted to make decisions about where to order takeout (Tiffany to-go boxes anyone?) let alone guide the nation. And yet….

“But for those tempted to once again predict the speedy collapse of his campaign, consider yourselves forewarned. I’ve known this guy long enough to realize that the only three species destined to survive a nuclear holocaust will be cockroaches, Cher and Newton Leroy Gingrich.”

– Joe Scarborough, Politico, 1/27/2012

In a 2012 Republican Presidential campaign that will be forever remembered for its absurdity, it is still easy to pinpoint the most amusing candidate. This year’s election is deadly serious, with so many elements of our social, political and economic fabric at stake. The nation’s middle class has been besieged from all sides for the better part of 35 years. Whichever party assumes control of the legislative and executive branches of government this fall will determine whether America backslides toward the one percent-friendly policies of George W. Bush, or continues the incremental change momentum the POTUS has painstakingly secured.

In a different field of Republican contenders, I might feel considerable anxiety. Obama is vulnerable on a number of fronts: some real (health care reform), some imagined (see accusations of “European-style socialism”). There is a long way to go, and many national mood shifts to expect, before the polls open in November. And yet, given the uncanny ability of GOP hopefuls to stick their feet in sewage or exhibit double-take ignorance, this appears to be the President’s contest to lose.

This state of affairs affords me the latitude to sit back and admire the utter chutzpah of Newt Gingrich. It is clear by now that even amongst members of his own party, few believed Mr. Gingrich to be a viable contender when he announced his candidacy in May of last year. However Newt has demonstrated for over 25 years that he is Washington’s answer to the Playskool Weeble, and here were are in 2012 waiting with bated breath. The suspense has been  heightened by Mitt Romney’s failure to create a personality or a cognitive weigh station that might prevent him from blurting out his indifference toward the poor. Still let’s not take anything away from Gingrich.

Because really in another context, Newt Gingrich’s immunity to poll numbers, conventional wisdom and the agenda of his own party would be quite admirable. Newt possesses the kind of single-minded determination Democrats could only dream of last summer. While enduring the tragic debt ceiling debate and the added caveat of “Yes, we can…but only if John Boehner says so,” many liberals may have yearned for a little of that Gingrich magic, the ability to barrel through roadblocks like so many pieces of balsa wood.

I have lost count of how many times Newty has come back from the dead, and though his smug delusions of grandeur are often tough to swallow, I would argue that it is his complete indifference to popular support that has gotten him this far. With an overflowing reservoir of self-regard, he simply doesn’t need anyone’s love.

Whatever one’s opinion of Gingrich, I wouldn’t have minded a little more indifference toward Gallup from the Obama team subsequent to the 2008 inauguration. A eye toward the play in Poughkeepsie has, on occasion, led to much dithering and inertia.   Like him or not (most of us not), you don’t run that risk with Newt.

Late-January’s State of the Union address signaled the possibility of a messaging pivot from the White House. But the President’s inner circle needs to do a lot more than just issue confident statements. After a bruising three years, and an achingly slow vindication of policy, they need to display some real swagger. At the risk of inviting mountains of hate mail, may I suggest an internal mantra for the re-election team? WWND. What Would Newt Do?

10 Replies to “Obama’s Election Team Needs A Bit Of Newt Attitude”

  1. I almost didn’t comment. But what the hell? Did Barack Obama win the presidency? Then STFU and stop trying to tell him what to do. I have never seen anything like this in my long life. The man has more accomplishments than any president since LBJ. He has kicked the Repubs butt consistently for 3 years. Yet there are people who STILL insist THEY know more than he and his administration. Just STFU.

  2. Seriously! He is doing fine. There is no nominee yet. So fing sick of the second guessing. Stop! Enough already! I trust the man with my family’s safety! I trust him more than any POTUS in my long life. He has NEVER once disappointed me. Ever. I understand every decision he has made, and why he has made it. Grow the f up America and get behind this man. That includes TRUST!~

  3. Do not dismiss the author’s article off hand. According to Obama’s own words, he and the Democrats were shellacked in November 2010.False optimism is as bad as continuous pessimism.

  4. While I’m not as angry as enoughisenough (that’s tough to write!) I share the overall sentiment. Obama is not vulnerable on health care – it WORKS and millions are finally getting coverage. He’s not vulnerable on much at all.

    I think we have forgotten the pounding that Obama took from Cain who has EXACTLY the same anger toward Obama that Newt does. McCain was a vastly stronger candidate than Newt since he was a war hero, had a pretty decent record of bipartisan cooperation (before he was forced over to the Dark Side) and had the same scathing, dismissive tongue Newt has.

    The thing that holds Obama in balance is his stability and maturity. I know people who think that cool under fire is a losing strategy – it’s not. He has indeed, as enough says, a massive list of accomplishments and a great message to go with them: “We are on your side. These are things we do to put the hand under your elbow in hard times. Things to help make your life more stable and your future more predictable. That’s what government SHOULD do for you.” He can bring compassion where all the GOP bring dismissal and disdain. He can bring maturity where they whine. He can bring accomplishment where they show only obstruction. He can be inclusive where they support only the rich.

    I worry FAR more about Congress and those races than I do about the president. We are not paying enough attention to those critical seats. If we want the president to be able to build on his successes, then we HAVE to take back both houses.

    I suspect, Becky, you think Obama caved in the Lame Duck agreement and then in the debt ceiling one. I’d suggest that it would be very helpful if you did some background reading in these Politicus archives and thepeoplesview.net to get some serious analysis of how absolutely brilliant Obama has been at negotiating with the GOP. It’s not that one doesn’t worry – the American public is limitless in its capacity to be hornswoggled – but this is a president of amazing and almost bottomless strength and resolve. And that, ultimately, just shines for the American people.

    I think we will see a major victory for this president especially when he’s up against the nominee – even if, God forbid, it’s Newt.

  5. i am reasonably positive, barring some unothadox event that BHO will be re-elected… however we have more Senate seats exposed this cycle, and of course we need to flip the house.. what scares me is the recent success the GOP has had limiting poll acess, the less than transparent voting machine accountability, and finally the availability of unlimited funds,will tilt a number a number of races..

  6. Thanks Sarah!! I have heard great things about your own work and am just starting to delve in. Very kind of you to welcome the “new girl.”

  7. I expected some hate mail on this (as my post intimated). Please rest assured that I have full confidence in my President’s leadership and I agree with other commentators that Obama’s cool and calm demeanor has made him a stable and admirable President. He has done much good. When I suggest he is “vulnerable” on health care, I mean to say that in my opinion, Obama has lost the messaging war on that issue to the Republicans when it comes to the general public, who fail to understand it’s import. He also struggled with the debt ceiling debate. No POTUS is perfect and I want a handy re-election, so I was offering (a slightly tongue-in-cheek) suggestion that he adopt more brash messaging for the campaign.

    All of this said, I agree with everyone here who finds no credible threats within the field of GOP candidates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.