Newt Gingrich talks tough.
If nominated, he says he will challenge Barack Obama to seven free-form “Lincoln / Douglas” debates.
Republican crowds go wild when he offers “to be fair” and allow the president the use of a teleprompter.
Newt’s smug and belligerent approach plays well with the base but will it appeal to the broad electorate?
In particular, will white working class men take the bait?
In previous generations, the political values of those voters were influenced by their union membership. Now only a small percentage are represented by the labor movement.
Battered by a low-wage, de-industrialized and de-unionized economy, the white male working class voter helped elect tea party conservatives to the U.S. House in 2010 and could find solace watching Newt attack Obama as elite and aloof.
Many democrats believe that if Gingrich tops the ticket, his image and style as a snob and a fathead could cripple republican efforts to take the white house and congress.
But that could depend on Obama's capacity to make the former house speaker look craggy, condescending and - above all - hypocritical.
Let's hope that if Gingrich lands the nomination, Obama can neutralize his opponent's appeal to the white working class and other pivotal voting blocks.
And, in the process, take real steps to redeem himself with America's neglected workers.