Jewish World Review Dec. 28, 2011/ 2 Teves, 5772
Mount Newt Erupts!
By Roger Simon
"I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," Gingrich told CNNs Wolf Blitzer Tuesday evening.
Ron Paul, Newt says, has "not yet disowned" his own newsletter that has contained "racist, anti-Semitic" slurs, "called for the destruction of Israel" and "called for a race war."
Further, according to Gingrich, Ron Paul believes "the United States was responsible for 9/11."
"He's not going to get the nomination; it won't happen," Gingrich says. "The people in the United States are not going to accept somebody who thinks it's irrelevant if Iran gets a nuclear weapon." And in the laughably unlikely event that Ron Paul does get the Republican nomination, Gingrich says he will not vote for him.
And the lava flow doesn't stop at Ron Paul.
Mitt Romney has made the mistake of twitting Gingrich's campaign for comparing its failure to get on the ballot in Virginia to "Pearl Harbor."
"I think it's more like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory," Romney tells reporters with a laugh.
Uh-oh. This somewhat oblique reference to incompetence causes a new eruption from Mount Newt.
Gingrich challenged Romney to a 90-minute debate in Iowa where, Gingrich says, "I want to see him say that to my face." "If you want to attack people," Gingrich says, "at least be man enough to own it."
At least be man enough.
Newt also accuses Romney "of paying for abortions with state money," but that is nothing compared to the "man enough" attack. Gingrich has promised to stay positive, but his being able to do so has severe limits.
Romney is not a real man, Gingrich says, because he attacks people via television rather than in person. (That Gingrich is engaging in precisely the same behavior is neither here nor there.)
A Romney spokesman dismisses the eruption as another sign that Gingrich has "had a really bad week." A Paul spokesman says it is a sign of Gingrich's "frustration from his floundering campaign."
But is Gingrich floundering? From mid-November to mid-December, a series of polls taken in Iowa showed Gingrich in first place. Three recent polls taken in Des Moines show him in third place.
Could this be because the attack ads by Romney and Paul have taken their toll? Could be, but there are so many warring ads on Iowa TV these days, that it is hard to believe anyone is taking them very seriously. Just trying to follow them all puts one at the risk of whiplash.
There are no more debates before the caucuses on Tuesday. (Mitt Romney has declined Gingrich's invitation to prove his manhood.)
Probably, the last major event will be the Sunday publication of the Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, a poll with a record of accuracy in a state that is difficult to poll. (It is difficult to poll because it is difficult to cast an actual ballot in the Iowa caucuses compared to answering a pollster's questions.)
The keys to victory will be passion, organization and electability: The ability to evoke passion from caucus voters, an effective campaign organization that identifies supporters and gets them to the polls, and the perception of who will be most electable next November.
No candidate has all three keys, but two will be good enough, and one may do in a pinch.
The results next Tuesday will probably eliminate only the very bottom of the pack. The top finishers will storm, stroll or limp into New Hampshire for yet another round of bloodletting.
"It's a very confusing field right now," Gingrich says. And he is doing his best to keep it that way.
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© 2009, Creators Syndicate