When Fiction Presages Reality: Musings on Gingrich

Newt is looking a bit toasty to me (not that that is a surprising position to take).

Andrew Sullivan notes a striking similarity between an SNL bit from a week or so ago and the more recent pronouncements of the former Speaker of the House:

Newt Gingrich: ‘Any Ad Which Quotes What I Said On Sunday Is A Falsehood’

Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin: ‘I just hope the lamestream media won’t twist my words by repeatin’ em verbatim’.

It is enough to make one’s head hurt, especially with Gingrich saying things like:

Gingrich said he should have been better prepared for the “”adversarial nature” of “Meet the Press.”

“I didn’t go in there quite hostile enough, because it didn’t occur to me going in that you’d have a series of setups,” Gingrich said. “This wasn’t me randomly saying things. These were very deliberate efforts to pick fights.”

Because, of course, Gingrich has limited exposure to the media.*  And, really, that David Gregory is a crafty one.

Seriously:  when one find oneself saying things said on SNL first (rather than that chain of events going in the other direction) that is not a good sign.  To pull out an old PoliBlogism:  Gingrich is toast (burnt toast, in fact):

(At some point, I need to make an OTB version of that graphic…).

In all seriousness, however, to be pulling the media card this soon in the campaign is inauspicious.  Further, the fact that he seems to already have ignited the ire of much of his own party doesn’t bode well, either.

Gingrich was always, in my opinion, a long-shot.  However, I thought he would persist for a while.  At this point, I am not so sure he even makes to the ballot in New Hampshire.

Really, what is his constituency in the GOP electorate?  It’s not the Tea Party faction.  It’s not the social conservatives.  It’s not the ones who want a Serious Candidate (indeed, they are are pining for Daniels).  So, really, he was doomed from the started.

More on this topic:


*HuffPo reports that Newt has been on MTP 34 times prior to this appearance.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. B. Minich says:

    The Return of the Toast-O-Meter! Huzzah!

    A little earlier then expected, I must say.

  2. ponce says:

    I think Gingrich did this on purpose.

    His rhetoric forced him into this run for the presidency to maintain his “credibility” with the right but I think he’d much rather sit back and enjoy the upper class lifestyle that he’s finally clawed his way into after so many years of financial difficulty.

  3. Pete says:

    For once, I agree with you.

  4. Newt hasn’t had many friends on the right since he left the Speakership. He shows up on TV as a pundit and people let him talk but I don’t know any conservative activist who really wanted him to run for President.

    All it took was one flub by Gingrich to doom him. I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly

  5. michael reynolds says:

    Mitch Daniels is tiny. We don’t elect tiny people to the presidency. I realize it’s superficial, and I have no beef with short people, but seriously, he’s the Mayor of Munchkin Land.

    Someone else is coming. Not sure who, but someone. There’s a power vacuum in the GOP and someone will obey the laws of physics and fill that vacuum.

  6. TG Chicago says:

    Steve Benen details the “setups” and the “deliberate efforts to pick fights” that Gingrich bravely faced on Sunday.

    Short version: they were not remotely tough questions. The Medicare question from David Gregory was this nasty zinger:

    “The Medicare trust fund, in stories that have come out over the weekend, is now going to be depleted by 2024, five years earlier than predicted. Do you think that Republicans ought to buck the public opposition and really move forward to completely change Medicare, turn it into a voucher program where you give seniors some premium support so that they can go out and buy private insurance?”

    Gingrich was completely unprepared for such a lambasting!

  7. ponce says:

    Someone else is coming.

    There no reason why the Republicans can’t bump along for the next 8-12 years with the same cast of unelectable perpetual candidates.

    In fact, that scenario would be more in keeping with the laws of physics.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    The reason GOP candidates aren’t prepared is that they only talk to Fox which serves up nothing but softballs.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    I just can’t see the party “bumping along” indefinitely. Bluntly put, the Republican Party is a hugely powerful tool to raise money and seriously affect policy ( same for the Democratic Party). And if it continues to be run by a bunch of idiots, it will eventually be seized by strong and serious, although not necessarily good, people. Remember when Ross Perot created his independent party? Two elections later organized people swept in and took over the party, and used up its treasury for their own purposes in the next election, and then left the corpse to rot in the field.

  10. ponce says:

    And if it continues to be run by a bunch of idiots, it will eventually be seized by strong and serious, although not necessarily good, people.

    Republicans like Ronald Reagan, who can make selfishness seem noble, don’t come along all that often.

    They don’t call them “Golden Ages” for nothing, they are rare birds indeed.

  11. RWB says:

    Getting sandbagged by a reporter speaks well for newtie’s ability to think on his feet in negotiations with our adverseries like china.