As Gingrich continues to surge in polls, Republicans on Capitol Hill are grappling with their attitude toward their former leader. Few in Washington have more baggage than Gingrich, and most in Washington know what's in it. The question of whether Gingrich can convince his party that he's evolved may determine whether his support grows or falls back.Ezra Klein:
Gingrich's four-year term was tumultuous, marked by ethical lapses, a botched political strategy and palace intrigue.
There are eight weeks between the New Hampshire primary and Super Tuesday, and almost six months between Super Tuesday and the Republican National Convention. Gingrich might generate sufficient momentum to win a few primaries. But he can’t survive seven months as the frontrunner. The more interesting question is whether he could damage Romney badly enough that the GOP needs to find a new candidate to serve as their nominee.Mark Blumenthal:
In short, while these voters were more enthusiastic about Gingrich, it was also clear that they remain in the process of making a decision and are far from decided. When Hart asked whose vote was still "up for grabs," half raised their hands. At the same time, many indicated they had already narrowed their choices to some degree. Most, for example, said they had already ruled out supporting Herman Cain -- who dropped out of the race two days later -- and others had ruled out Paul or Perry, or even Gingrich or Romney.Please let it be Newt. And for all those voicing dire warnings about how Democrats wanted to face Ronald Reagan: this isn't 1980, and Osama bin Laden is dead.
The GOP’s death wishUm... like I said.
But no one other than Callista Gingrich thinks her husband can prevail in a general election. No. One. The consensus on Gingrich is so overwhelming that conventional wisdom has taken a holiday. That is, no one in Washington thinks he can win, and Washington is where Gingrich is known best. Instead of rallying to support him, former colleagues are going out of their way to politely say, “He can’t lead.”
Nearly two decades ago, Gingrich’s political action committee, with the help of GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, issued a now-famous memo telling Republican candidates which words they should use to describe their opponents. Among them: “anti,” “betray,” “bizarre,” “corrupt,” “destructive,” “disgrace,” “shame,” “lie,” “pathetic,” “radical,” “self-serving,” “selfish,” “shallow,” “shame,” “sick,” “traitors.”
“These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast,” this Gingrich-endorsed memo explained. “Remember that creating a difference helps you. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party.”
When Florida moved its presidential primary to Jan. 31, political leaders thought the state would greatly influence the nomination process. But the state now seems more a pit stop rather than the finish line.See GOP contest may be a marathon, not a sprint.
The House payroll tax bill will add $25.3 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.