So Newt Wins South Carolina, What Then?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Should polls turn out to be right, and Newt wins the South Carolina GOP primary, what then?  

Like the proverbial dog that is surprised to finally catch the firetruck, will Newt have a clue how to transform his apparent speaking/book tour into a real campaign for the Presidency?

Does he really want to?  

Much like Tom Tancredo’s run for Governor, I believe Newt’s running has more to do with his thinking that this feeble bunch of GOP candidates deserve a “Big Name” to save the party from itself.  That Newt and “Tank” are both bomb-throwers with massive egos simply completes the comparison.

While a Newt victory in this one primary does not a stop-Romney campaign make, this would sweep away Romney’s aura of inevitability. Money would certainly start flowing Newt’s way, and Rick Santorum’s campaign would effectively be over.

With Ron Paul able to soldier on as long as he desires, it would be a true three-way race all the way to the convention.  Romney would continue to win most primaries through his superior funding and organization.  But Newt could make strong enough showings to remain credible.  However, only Romney can stop Romney.

If somehow Romney should be the one to implode (i.e. the image of Vulture Capitalist or tax-haven Cayman Islands slush funds stick in the minds of voters), leaving Newt and Ron Paul as the only alternatives, I really don’t see the GOP willing to choose between them.

Romney’s flip-flopping, “anything to get elected” stands on the issues pale in comparison with the baldly, I dare say proudly, hypocritical conduct of Newt’s personal and professional life, and his imperious belief that he can best dictate to others how they should bow to his dominating will.

So no, Newt is not a serious Presidential candidate.  But he may very well derail any chance Mitt Romney has of becoming President.  So for that, I say “Thanks, Newt”.

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Gray in Mountains says:

    ends anything for any of the others. Just makes it more interesting. Watch everyone get really gnuts in FL debates

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    There’s something very very bad in Romney’s tax returns. Something that he thinks will lose him the primary. The GOP voters are responding to Newt’s attacks about Romney not releasing the returns.

    Romney may be between a rock and a hard place. Release them and lose. Don’t release them and lose. And if they truly do have something that bad, then Gingrich is the stronger candidate.

    My guess is Romney has a year or two where he made a hundred million or so – and paid effectively zero taxes. That is quite possible (and legal) for the way he made his money. But not even Republicans will vote for someone who did that.

    • harrydoby says:

      There’s no way Newt will get the GOP nomination.  They would dig up Reagan’s corpse and nominate him before that happened.

      As for Romney’s tax returns, he retired from Bain Capital in 1999, so unless he releases 15 or 20 year’s worth, all they’ll find are his investment income.

      But according to the email I just got from the DNC (democrats.org), here’s what we can expect:

      1.Mitt’s got millions invested in the Cayman Islands

      “Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.” – ABC News

      2.Mitt pays a tax rate lower than most middle-class Americans

      Even though Mitt’s worth as much as $250 million, “Republican candidate Mitt Romney believes his effective tax rate-the share of his income he pays in federal taxes-is around 15%, or, as he put it, “probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything…” – Christian Science Monitor

      3.Under Mitt’s own tax plan, he’d pay half of what he’d pay otherwise

      “Under his plan, Romney in 2013 would see his taxes cut by nearly half of what they would be if you use current law as a baseline.” – Washington Post

      4.Mitt jokes he’s “unemployed,” but he’s still making millions a year off investments

      “In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations.” – New York Times

      5.Mitt made over $300,000 in speaking fees last year-but called it “not that much”

      “He also said he had earned ‘a little bit of income’ from his book, which he donated to charity, and ‘speakers’ fees from time to time, but not very much.’ Romney earned almost $375,000 in speaking fees from Feb. 26, 2010, to Feb. 20, 2011, according to his personal financial disclosure.” – Bloomberg

      Nothing fatal there, and no investigations into tax evasion are likely.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        HuffPo

        some of America’s super-rich have been able to whittle their tax bill down even more, paying a tax rate as low as one percent, according to Bloomberg.

        • harrydoby says:

          Which I’m sure will be well below 15% — if simply due to his 10% (or higher) tithing to the LDS Church.

          Of course, that’s a reminder of his religion.   But perhaps there will be a whiff of stashing away a lot of income “off the books” in the Caymans.  That would be reflected in a lower than expected top line on his income — as in how do you support your lifestyle on a paltry few millions, Mr. Romney?

          But the importance of South Carolina’s primary result is that while it probably won’t halt his journey to becoming the eventual nominee (despite the 32 year history of the SC winner getting that crown), is that the exit poll interviews illustrate why he probably can’t win the general election, given the overall dissatisfaction among the GOP voters.

          Given the massive waves of voter dissatisfaction, Romney, with by far the biggest boat among the GOP candidates, will likely ride out the choppy seas.  

          All others (excepting Ron Paul and Gingrich) have or will soon been swamped in their dinghies.

      • nancycronk says:

        They would dig up Reagan’s corpse and nominate him before that happened.

        I would not put this past them at all. Look at who they’ve had in the clown car thus far.

        • BlueCat says:

          Reagan wouldn’t come anywhere close to passing all the litmus tests. Today’s GOTPers think they worship Reagan but it’s their reconstructed fantasy Reagan. Once you start looking at what he actually did, he’d be pronounced some sort of Hollywood, tax rasing moderate.

    • nancycronk says:

      My friend John M asks an important question. We know Mitt Romney sent  thousands of jobs to China through his work at Bain Capital. We also know he has been unwillingly, until now, to disclose his tax returns, and much of his wealth has been funneled into off-shore accounts in the Cayman Islands. John asks if anyone has looked at Mitt Romney’s ties to the communist Chinese government. *****Shudder.******

      “Out there” speculation, I know. But shouldn’t we ask the question?

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    TPM

    Gingrich 37.6%

    Romney 26.2%

    Paul 15%

    Santorum 13.5%

    • nancycronk says:

      I’m usually pretty good at calling these things; these are a surprise.

      Why would religious fundamentalist conservatives, during a populist era, go for a thrice-married, non-Protestant, Washington insider with a well-known, long history of cheating on his wives and plenty of accusations of ethics violations while in office, especially when they could have chosen someone like Rick Santorum? What does this say about the mood of the electorate in the southeastern states?

      Is David right? Did Romney’s tax returns really turn people off? Why did they not go for Santorum? Isn’t he ideologically consistent with southern religious voters? Did Newt’s racist comments turn out white racists? Did women not turn out to vote?

      Can anyone explain this?

      • sxp151 says:

        Not just that cheating on their wives is OK, but that it’s NECESSARY if you love your country enough.

        Not just that black people are lazy, but that it’s appallingly racist for black people to object to being called lazy.

        Not just that you never have to know what you’re talking about, but that screaming your opinion MAKES YOU SMART.

        None of them actually care about family values, except the big one that says “Daddy can do whatever the fuck he wants.”  

      • GalapagoLarry says:

        And that’s all that matters to fundamentalist so-called Christians.

        Amen.

      • harrydoby says:

        I think South Carolina is not particularly relevant this year.  Why?

        With a staggeringly weak field, the Grinch from Georgia (my home state, btw) is basically the Favorite Son candidate.  As the exit polls show, many made up their minds in just the past couple of days.  

        Their commitment to any candidate is inch deep.  

        The rise in Newt’s perceived “electability” is based on his obvious name recognition, but even more on his debate performances, most notably the smack down of John King.  That was probably worth 10 points all by itself.

        Barring a total collapse of the Romney campaign, this is the one primary Newt should savor.  There won’t be any more like it for a long time.

      • ParkHill says:

        Republicanism is an ideology and psychology, not a value-system.

        Specifically, Conservative and Religious extremism is all about authoritarianism and tribalism.

        Note the constant appeals to victimization and law and order. Then there is the rhetoric of anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-liberal, anti-homosexual, etc.

        Who cares about Newt’s mistresses & wives, if he’s on the side of all the victimized white people.

      • DanleySteel says:

        Take Bill Clinton. Subtract the good looks, 10 or 20 IQ points, the capacity for compassion, self-reflection, and contrition, and maybe one or two other redeeming qualities… Voila: Newt Gingrich. I bet somewhere along the line Bill noticed some similarities, and every now and then thanks his stars and takes a pause over the thought that, there, but for the grace of God, he could have gone… a thought Newt could say, but which I doubt has ever given him pause.

        The GOP has not recently been one to highly value modesty, compassion, self-reflection, or contrition. Being (self-)righteous, (over-)confident, and (hypocritically) moralistic isn’t something the GOP appears to punish. It’s what makes you electable.

        Also, ditto parkhill on tribalism/authoritarianism/victimization and harrydoby on the John King smackdown. Still, my analysis is the race is Romney’s to lose. A few more of those “corporations are people” lines and we might have ourselves a real ball-game.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          bits, but please, let’s not be recommending Bill for the canon.

          In my book, both of these guys, and maybe a vast majority of the most highly successful modern politicians exhibit a large degree of what I would call a “principled sociopathy.”

          http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

          • DanleySteel says:

            And not imaginative enough by half.

            There are lots of other personality types out there. Jumping to pathological diagnosis is uncharitable and lazy thinking. If you really want to throw around psychiatric terms, rather than just talking about character, why did you skip over “hypomanic” or the Myers Briggs or a million other classifications that are about as likely to be “correct”, and about as excessively bandied about as explanations rather than descriptions?

            Sociopathic is about as useful a characterization of a person or group of people who are not, in fact, diagnosed as sociopathic, as “Hitleresque” is useful to describe people who are not, in fact, Hitler.

            Bill Clinton memorized MLK Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The man had, and still has, an insane work-ethic, and a strange drive even since he was a child to do and say inspiring things. Neither he–nor Newt–deserve characterization as immune to moral reasoning simply because they have not always governed themselves morally. Really that’s letting them off too easy.

      • thiokuutoo says:

        They see Mittens is a member of a cult.

        They realize that The Newt changes religions, this time to Roman Catholic, the way he changes women. But that does not mean he really is a papist.

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    So the exit polls must show a very large lead.

    Florida, here we come…

  5. thiokuutoo says:

    brings up the rear.

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    to Dr. James Dobson.

    Sleep tight, you putz . . . apparently even God thinks you’re irrelevant.  

  7. dwyer says:

    For the republicans to win in 2012, (keep the House, get the Senate and probably the White House), it is essential that the opposition underestimates them.

    The first way to underestimate the repubs is to repeat the talking points from the “elite media.”

    On the other hand, maybe the”eiite media” wants the race to continue because of the ratings it generates and therefore the “elite media” champions Newt…like giving him a “hard ball” question that he can hit out of the park.

    RE: Clinton and Newt.  Sex sells.  If you listen to local talk radio-you realize that boyles/silverman/caplis are always taking about sex…a lot.

    My take:  the country is doomed.

    • harrydoby says:

      Recall a mere month ago, Newt’s suggestion that if he were President, turning America into a dictatorship would be nice:  

      If ever anyone believed Newt really wanted to take a big pay cut by becoming President, this latest outrageous stance should remove any doubt:

      In a half-hour phone call with reporters Saturday, Gingrich said that, as president, he would abolish whole courts to be rid of judges whose decisions he feels are out of step with the country.

      [Former Bush Attorney General Michael] Mukasey, in an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, said some of Gingrich’s proposals were “dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle.”

      Will this help or hurt him in the primaries?  Sadly, it could help.  But if it keeps him in the race against Romney, that probably helps Obama that much more.

      Too bad this year’s GOP race has become such a ridiculous and shameful exercise in demagoguery.

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