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I was actually very impressed by Newt Gingrich's performance this past week:

1. Each of the candidates had an opportunity to explain what will happen with the repeal of 'Obamacare', but only Newt had the wit to observe: "If we get your kids jobs, they won't have to be on their parents' health insurance."

2. Instead of excoriating Romney for 'not carrying his share of the load', Gingrich declared simply that he wants everybody's taxes to be as low as Mitt's have apparently been.

3. Rather than demanding that Romney disclose his tax returns, Newt merely noted that it was a choice for Romney to make.

In all these cases, Newt demonstrated to me the ability to analyze a problem and trick out the most advantageous position to take. The first was glaringly obvious - after Romney (and, IIRC, Paul) had fumbled it; the latter two were nuanced choices from among an array of possibilities but ever more clearly the optimal choices for denying Romney an opportunity to return effective fire.

Hats off to the Newtster!

But then came the acceptance speech last night. Gingrich droned on for 20 minutes or more (David Gergen's immediate response was "The man needs an editor!"). And in that presentation was the 'promise' to challenge President Obama to seven 3-hour debates - 'Lincoln-Douglas' he has elsewhere described it. Assuming President Obama would wisely yield back to Gingrich 90 percent of his time, the prospect is for nearly 21 hours of Gingrich's bombast.

Gingrich has already described himself (not very gracefully) as 'Reaganesque' and 'Thatcheresque', but isn't this really 'Castro-esque'?

Is there someone somewhere in America who looks forward to the opportunity to listen to Gingrich talk for all those hours?

Which makes me then wonder: Is the bloom off the rose already this morning?

Originally posted to Clem Yeobright on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 05:32 AM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia.

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