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Magellanic Penguin
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich
Whether it's a slow news day or not, I'd say this qualifies as very, very important. And I'm not just saying that because it's pretty darn funny.
At least one penguin at the St. Louis Zoo appears to be a feisty opponent of Newt Gingrich.

The Republican presidential candidate is sporting a small bandage on his finger after getting nipped by a small penguin during his tour of the zoo on Friday. Gingrich was in St. Louis to speak during the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting.

We've long passed the point where Newt Gingrich was, and it pains me to even reference it in the past tense, a "credible candidate" for the Republican nomination. But Newt presses on, largely unmolested by Mitt or by Ron Paul (also still running; never all that credible). What started out as book tour has in the last few months degenerated into the Newt L. Gingrich "Zoos Across America" tour. Is it because zoos are a cheap date, when you are a celebrity? Is it because zoos are one of the few places left in America where Newt can feel confident that he is, in fact, the smartest primate in the room? Is Newt conducting a nationwide search for his namesake, someone who can inherit his throne? Or is he merely interviewing potential running mates?

These and other questions are unknowable, and admittedly very stupid. The only things that can truly be gleaned from this incident is that there is at least one penguin in the world that does not like Newt Gingrich. I hold that penguin in very high regard.

Other notes to Newt: no, you are not allowed to describe being bitten by a penguin as "a Lincoln-Douglas debate." No, it is unlikely that being bitten by a penguin will turn you into a penguin, although I admit you are a large part of the way there already. And yes, "Obamacare" covers penguin bites, because he knew this was going to happen.

Still, I think Newt might be able to use Penguin-gate to reenergize his campaign. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I want Mitt Romney to respond to it. "Why's he visiting zoos?" Romney would say. "The way I've always done it is to have zoo animals strapped to the top of cars and driven to me. What kind of lower class rube drives to the animals? How vulgar!" And then Newt and Mitt can take turns getting bitten by various birds and arguing over whether which animal bites remind them most of death panels or the plot to take away your guns or, um, whatever they've been going on about lately. I don't know. I just wanted to write a simple little story about Newt Gingrich being bitten by a penguin.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 04:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia.

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