Deep thought

When you look at the aggregated candidate polls over at Real Clear Politics, it looks like each NotRomney gets about a month and a half in the sun*. In the fig below, I use Perry (deep blue) to illustrate my point. Romney is the purple line that hovers around 22-25%.

The message is simple enough. Republicans want a champion and not some good-enough milquetoast. The Republican base has cornered the market on stupid people who are easy to manipulate, so loopy carnival acts who dial the batshit up to eleven have a built-in advantage. The problem, of course, is that a circus has to keep moving. It is now more or less mathematically proven that someone who gets the base hot and bothered cannot survive more than a month in the spotlight.

Gingrich is not materially different from Trump, Bachmann, Perry or Herman Cain. He is another clown with a slightly different brand. The only meaningful question is whether the thing that trips Newt up will be his past, his faulty brain-mouth filter or the crickets and spiders that live in empty storefronts where his campaign organization ought to be.

And no, there will be no Huntsmanmania when Newt! throws an axle some time in late Hannukah (Or Fred Kargermentum, in case you were wondering). Huntsman already played enough contrarian cards to enjoy the Amish treatment for the rest of his short political career. If I were Rick Santorum, though, I might start to wonder whether my turn on the hotseat might not line up in a convenient way with Iowa or South Carolina.

(*) Peak width at half maximum. That violates some assumptions but works well enough for simplicity’s sake.

106 replies
  1. 1
    forked tongue says:

    If I were Rick Santorum, though, I might start to wonder whether my turn on the hotseat might not coincide in a convenient way with Iowa or South Carolina.

    Jeebus doesn’t love us enough to make Frothy a playa.

  2. 2
    Nutella says:

    And you know Pawlenty is just kicking himself for dropping out. He’s fully qualified to be not-Romney, too.

  3. 3
    evinfuilt says:

    Ever feel like you should start a PAC for not-Romney, think of all the benefits to oneself.

  4. 4
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Is it actually illegal in any way to “fundraise” in this fashion? I mean, if I take in $400,000 in “anti-abortion donations”, pay myself $390,000 as a salary, and donate $10,000 – what American law have I broken?

  5. 5
    Scott says:

    What forked said. Santorum as a prime contender for the nomination would be both awesome and hilarious.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    Newt, somehow, already has the respect of the media. he’ll do fine. it will take weeks before anyone in DC notices that every other sentence he speaks is either a blatant lie or a self-serving distortion.

  7. 7
    Nate Dawg says:

    Huntsman should have defected to the “Democrat party” and waited unti 2016…maybe he could have been a VP if he toned down some of his views a little bit.

    He lacks the killer instinct to succeed in his own party anywhere outside Mormonland….tough break, but we won’t be seeing him again.

  8. 8
    Michael says:

    Aren’t the Iowa caucuses only 40 days away? Is my math wrong?

    Newt might have a peak last just long enough to win Iowa…which could then be enough to sustain him through the rest of the process. Also, like Cleek, I think his establishment cred might grant him an extra week or two, which would put him as the presumptive front-runner right now.

    Can’t say I mind.

  9. 9
    Anne Laurie says:

    Your crooooel slighting of Gary Johnson is making the libertarians cry. Buddy Roemer, too also (I don’t say “Buddy Roemer supporters” because he doesn’t seem to have any outside of his family, poor man.) And some Paulite is currently producing a high-quality chart designed to prove, with mathematics, that Dr. Ron’s base is due to expand beyond its loyal core practically any day now…

  10. 10
    Culture of Truth says:

    It’s pretty clear they’re going to nominate Romney. There was always a strong possibility, but there’s been no clear conservative choice since they’re all morons, crazy, or both. They nominated Ford, Dole, McCain, and now Mittens.

  11. 11
    General Stuck says:

    How fast can a wingnut wing?

    Word has it, Gringrench is shacking up with the fat lady, teaching her to sing his song. And will prove once again, real republicans put their peckers on the line for what they believe in. A baby jeevus blessing, and he’s good to go.

  12. 12
    David in NY says:

    crickets and spiders that live in empty storefronts where his campaign organization ought to be.

    Ah. I was wondering about that. Hasn’t changed, eh?

    This was five months ago:

    Mr. Gingrich’s campaign manager, Rob Johnson, his longtime spokesman, Rick Tyler, and advisers in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina stepped down together after a period of deep internal disagreements about the direction of the campaign.

    Any sign he’s taken care of this little matter?

  13. 13
    feebog says:

    Wander over to Red State sometime and read of their primary threads. Most of the Hard Core, even if they support Perry or Cain, still like Newt. They see him as the intellectual at the debates, and especially like the fact that he is rude to the moderators. The realists understand that his serial philandering is going to be a serious problem, but no one seems concerned about the other skeletons lurking.

  14. 14
    gbear says:

    @Nutella: Agree about Pawlenty kicking himself, but I don’t think he’s enough of a not-Romney to rate a spike in attention. He’s a bit more consistent in his bible-thumping, Norquist-worshipping conservatism, but he’s easily as uninspiring as Romney.

    That, plus that bridge thingy…

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    Liveblogs during the clown show debate on Saturday said Santorum made occasional sense. Is it too early for him to be seeing a bump in poll numbers after that? That would be excellent fun, if Santorum became the next NotMitt after Newt!’s time in the sun is done.

  16. 16
    daveNYC says:

    I think it will be the lack of a campaign infrastructure that will doom Newt. He’s a clown, but nowhere near as clowny as Bachman or Cain.

  17. 17
    Carnacki says:

    @Nutella: I loved that soon after he endorsed Romney he told an interviewer he dropped out too soon. Personally I’m ready for Ric Flair to declare his candidacy. WOOOOoooo!

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:

    I still think None of the Above is an underrated candidate. No debate gaffes, no embarrassing revelations, perfect conformity with the small-government fantasies of the base, etc.

    NotA 2012!

  19. 19
    EIGRP says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: You’ve broken the law of not taking $500,000 from rubes and then only donating $1,000.

    Eric

  20. 20
    Mark K says:

    All that MSNBC talks about all night/every night is Republican candidates. Every front page of yahoo, CNN, etc. pretty much the same thing. And after how many debates already and how many more? The saturation in unreal!

    Do you think for one second it would be the same if they were Democrats?

  21. 21
    gbear says:

    I can’t wait until we get to the republican convention with four or five candidates all at 20-25%. It’ll be fun.

  22. 22
    General Stuck says:

    The republican primary is being decided by the lizard cortex of the right wing mind. It will go with lowdown mean and crazy, if that is their only choice besides winning.

  23. 23
    dmsilev says:

    @Violet:

    Liveblogs during the clown show debate on Saturday said Santorum made occasional sense. Is it too early for him to be seeing a bump in poll numbers after that?

    I’m afraid you’ve got that backwards. Making sense in a debate is a *negative* to this crop of voters. Santorum was advocating *nuance* in regards to our Pakistan policy. Horrors.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    Cain had the advantage that at least he was likeable. Newt is another Giuliani: the more he campiagns, the less voters like him. So going on vacation to greece was a perfectly reasonable strategy.

    He is also not well-liked by Iowa type fundagelicals.

    Wasn’t it newt who claimed that quoting his recent statements was unfair. I think that was when he was flip-flopping on Libya.

    He has a huge mass of previous statements to disown.

  25. 25
    Citizen_X says:

    OT, sorta, but it seems World Nut Daily has unmasked a sekrit Mooslin jihadist by the name of…Grover Norquist! Apparently, it has something to do with his support of teh Gheys.

    I only Inform, I do not Explain. That is not possible in this case.

  26. 26
    cleek says:

    @Mark K:

    Do you think for one second it would be the same if they were Democrats?

    no. in 2010 they were running, literally, a dozen stories at a time about the tea party, every day, for weeks on msnbc.com. i counted. they would have 10, 12, 15 different stories at a time with the word “tea party” in the headline on the front page.

  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    Also, too, it’s hilarious that the supposed front-running inevitable nominee has barely managed to crack 25% support.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @dmsilev:
    Ah, well, you’re probably right. I didn’t watch the clown car crash, just checked a few liveblogs.

    For Republicans, crazy is obviously a winner. But sounding authoritative while crazy is even better. If Santorum can sound authoritative, he might have a shot at being the next NotRomney.

  29. 29
    Redshift says:

    @Mark K:

    Do you think for one second it would be the same if they were Democrats?

    Yeah, actually — the Democratic primaries four years ago got lots of coverage. And since a common complaint on our side is that the political media never reports on how insane modern conservatives are, the wingnut-of-the-month club is a great thing all around.

  30. 30
    catclub says:

    @dmsilev: Feel free to make money in the Iowa Electronic markets. Romney is at 75% so you can make 4 to one on the rest of the field.

    I suspect Romney gets the nom.

  31. 31
    Poopyman says:

    @gbear:

    I can’t wait until we get to the republican convention with four or five candidates all at 20-25%.

    I predict 4 candidates tied at 30%, because that’s the way Republicans roll.

    Also too:

    Huntsman already played enough contrarian cards to enjoy the Amish treatment for the rest of his short political career.

    They held him down and shaved him?

  32. 32
    BGinCHI says:

    The important tell on all this Not-Mittery is that each GOP contender that rises to the top does so without having done anything.

    They are either failing upwards or mundaning upwards.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    gelfling545 says:

    The answer, of course, is for Romney to legally change his name to Notromney. Then everybody will be for him except the 20% who prefer Romney.

  35. 35
    Redshift says:

    @cleek:

    Newt, somehow, already has the respect of the media.

    Newt has a lot of that weird McCain tongue-bath thing. Despite sneering at them when they’re moderating debates, he’s actually generally friendly with the Beltway media, and I’ve heard from friends who do TV tech work that he’s very pleasant in person; he actually acknowledges that the crew are people and talks to them, rather than acting like they’re furniture.

    So while he’s a grifter who doesn’t have a real campaign operation, he does have some advantages that the other not-Romneys don’t.

  36. 36
    John O says:

    I believe Newt will be a serious contender given his beltway cred. He’ll outlast the others in Doug’s chart.

    The race for non-Romney has been fascinating, and more than a little creepy.

    Newt as President would be a real wrist-slasher. I hate that guy, but any moron they pick, and do they have a choice, is going to be a contender with the economy in the crapper.

  37. 37
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Violet:

    Liveblogs during the clown show debate on Saturday said Santorum made occasional sense. Is it too early for him to be seeing a bump in poll numbers after that?

    That occasional sense would have an inverse effect on his poll numbers. The base prefers the batshit crazy, clearly. Indeed it gave me some pause with regard to my experience of reality when he and one L both made some sense. I was relieved when commentators noted the same odd fold of reality.

  38. 38
    Turgidson says:

    @feebog:

    Wander over to Red State sometime

    Hell no.

  39. 39
    eemom says:

    @gelfling545:

    He’d do it, too.

    Hell, I bet he’d have a sex change operation if he thought he could do better as a female candidate.

    Query: is there ANYTHING Romney wouldn’t do to be president?

  40. 40
    Redshift says:

    @Michael:

    Aren’t the Iowa caucuses only 40 days away? Is my math wrong?

    By my count, it’s 50 days. Seven weeks — cutting it a bit close, but still plenty of time for a month-and-a-half bump to come and go (especially since Newt is well into the upward half of the curve.)

  41. 41
    Martin says:

    Hmm. Narrow that down to 28 days and we might see zombie Reagan make a run at it yet.

  42. 42
    Gex says:

    @cleek: If they haven’t noticed by now, they are never going to. They’ve had almost two decades to figure that out, a couple more weeks won’t help.

  43. 43
    BGinCHI says:

    @eemom:

    Query: is there ANYTHING Romney wouldn’t do to be president?

    Take a position and stick to it?

    Tell the truth?

  44. 44
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @daveNYC:

    I think it will be the lack of a campaign infrastructure that will doom Newt. He’s a clown, but nowhere near as clowny as Bachman or Cain.

    I think the Daily Show put it best; Newt is a dick. Kind of a weird mix blessing because being a conservative intellectual dick is a plus with the base, it makes it hard for people to work for Newt, so that campaign staff issue of his,..

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    @eemom: Actually there is something he won’t do.
    Drop his mormonism. If he were mainline evangelical, he would be at 80% with the GOP primary voters.

    Maybe he is holding a ‘profound conversion experience’
    in abeyance. Kind of like the demi-bottle of champagne that exotic trekkers break out when things seem to be at their worst.

  46. 46

    I remember when Pat Paulsen running for President was an actual joke. Not jokes running for President.

  47. 47
    Michael says:

    @Redshift: Yeah you’re totally right. Total brain freeze there.

  48. 48
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Nate Dawg:

    He lacks the killer instinct to succeed in his own party anywhere outside Mormonland….tough break, but we won’t be seeing him again

    Either that, or he’s angling for the SecState position if the Republicans win the presidency.

  49. 49
    Svensker says:

    @Citizen_X:

    OT, sorta, but it seems World Nut Daily has unmasked a sekrit Mooslin jihadist by the name of…Grover Norquist!

    He’s married to a Muslin, so the Geller wing hates him.

  50. 50
    Culture of Truth says:

    I think Mitt might tell the truth if it would help him win.

  51. 51
    Redshift says:

    @Michael: I had to check it twice, because I just got an email from some liberal organization declaring that it’s only eight weeks to the Iowa caucuses!

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @dmsilev:

    I still think None of the Above is an underrated candidate.

    I prefer a proud Greek-American contender, Noneofthese Candidates. She pronounces it “No-nee-OFF-te-say Can-DID-a-teez.” Get used to it: she’s in the race for the long haul.

  53. 53
    Redshift says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I think Mitt might tell the truth if it would help him win.

    I agree. I doubt he’d hold a consistent position to win, though, because I don’t think he knows how any more. Perhaps with careful management, where his staff didn’t tell him consistency was important, but just kept telling him that his position this week is the same as last week, but I’m not convinced that even that could keep him from randomly pandering and going off the plan.

  54. 54
    EconWatcher says:

    I still think Perry could come back as the most viable Not Romney, ntowithstanding his debate buffoonery.

    I’m not sure the establishment has the power to cram Mitt down the throat of the base. And if it can’t, it’s just about got to be Perry. Who else could it be?

    Many, including Dougj, believe that the debates eliminated Perry. But isn’t it just as possible that Mormonism, perceived moderation, and HCR have eliminated Romney? How else do you intepret his stickiness at around 25%?

    It seems like no one who’s now in can win this thing. But somebody has to. In such circumstances, Perry still has a serious chance, in my opinion.

  55. 55
    Calouste says:

    @gbear:

    I can’t wait until we get to the republican convention with four or five candidates all at 20-25%. It’ll be fun.

    Ain’t gonna happen. One of the not-Romneys is going to win Iowa, and the voters of all the other not-Romneys (bar Paul) will line up behind that candidate. That’s what you can see in Tim’s graph with the Perry and Cain peaks. Who that candidate will be, we don’t know. As pointed out above, Newt’s current wave is not going to last until January 4th, so the only ones that haven’t had their turn yet are Paul, Santorum and Huntsman.

  56. 56

    Huntsmanmania

    I think “Huntsmania” would have worked just fine. Though it does sort of sound like a place where dingos live.

  57. 57
    danimal says:

    I just want to see the headline: “Santorum explodes onto GOP Campaign” just once.

  58. 58
    Calouste says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Nah, I think Mitt is physically incapable of speaking the truth, even if it would help him and even if he could recognize something as the truth, which is highly doubtful. Kind of like recruiters and real estate agents.

  59. 59
    eemom says:

    @Svensker:

    a muslin, really? Is that some kind of clothing fetish? :)

    But seriously. I love the topic of Norquist’s Palestinian wife, because it evokes the hilarious memory of Jane Hamsher feebly trying to defend herself for her association with him. (“See? SEE? He likes Palestinians, so he can’t be PURE evil!”)

  60. 60
    Turgidson says:

    the only ones that haven’t had their turn yet are Paul, Santorum and Huntsman.

    And Paul and Huntsman aren’t going to get a “turn”, so that leaves Santorum? The frothy mix man-on-dog guy who lost Pennsylvania by about a trillion votes not all that long ago? I don’t see it. I’d be mildly shocked if his own family planned to vote for him (although, that can be said about Newt too, for sure).

    I find it more believable that either Newt’s boomlet lasts until the votes start coming in or the teatards give Perry another look as Iowa nears and he’s blanketing the early states with ads that none of the other candidates besides Mittens can afford to run. Or, hell, Cain somehow stays relevant. Though that’s a dim prospect.

  61. 61
    Jesse Ewiak says:

    Outside of Romney, Santorum’s the only candidate who occasionally mentions that all those unemployed people aren’t just lazy shiftless good for nothings. Of course, he’s still insane on foreign policy and social conservatism, but if Santorum was born in another country, he’d be an inoffensive supporter of the welfare state in a minor right-wing socially conservative party.

  62. 62
    Not Sure says:

    @forked tongue: Oh yes, please! Let Rick Santorum win the Iowa Caucuses! That would be so awesome! In fact, let Rick, Herman, Michelle, and Mittens split the delegates going into the convention. I’d just loooooooove a good floor fight where they’re forced to keep the crazy cranked to 11 all the way to Labor Day.

  63. 63
    Not Sure says:

    @EIGRP: Thats, what the 283rd Rule of Acquisition, right?

  64. 64
    Not Sure says:

    @Calouste: Unless a different not-Romney wins New Hampshire (or Mittens himself – that’s his turf). That’s entirely possible.

  65. 65
    Tom Q says:

    @Turgidson: I see it much the same.

    I think all who are Surrendering to the Romney Inevitability — whether here, in the GOP establishment or in the press — are applying real-world standards where they carry no weight. Just because Perry made himself a permanent laughingstock to you and everyone you know doesn’t mean the GOP base — who touted W. as a statesman — can’t convince itself otherwise. The issue is solely whether Not-Romney-ism can prevail over the pundit/peer presure to get behind “A Winner”. Based on the evidence of many of last year’s primaries, I think there’s at least a 50% chance Not-Romney-ism is the prevailing force. And that force will in the end find one candidate to rally behind, no matter who he/she is.

  66. 66
    Tom Q says:

    @Not Sure: I think most people assume Romney will romp in NH, to the point a win will not be seen as decisive. If he LOSES there, he’s early toast.

  67. 67
    Calouste says:

    @Not Sure:

    I take it as a given that Romney is going to win New Hampshire. He’s been polling at 40% there throughout. If he doesn’t win there, he’s toast.

  68. 68
    Cat Lady says:

    If Romney’s the nominee, and I’m not convinced he will be, but if he is I think he’s going to pick John Bolton for his VP. He can’t go with the starbursts cuz Romney’s too good looking himself, and he can’t pick any of the current crop of candidates because their use by date will be past. He needs someone who’s an enforcer type – his own Dick Cheney. Mark my words.

  69. 69
    Rick Taylor says:

    I don’t entirely get why Huntsman doesn’t get a turn. He wants to eliminate the tax on capital gains and dividends, he’s talked about the EPA’s reign of terror, that isn’t good enough for them? Couldn’t he at least be better than Romney? Is he really unacceptable because he’s admitted climate change isn’t some liberal conspiracy, and humans and apes really do have a common ancestor?

  70. 70
    BGinCHI says:

    @Cat Lady: Only because Spiro Agnew is dead.

  71. 71

    Making predictions about where crazy/stupid people will land is a pretty iffy exercise. Newt just seems to just wear people out. Michelle does crazy alright, but throws in stupid too often. Cain is match, gasoline, air, stupid. Rick – well he’s Rick. Ron? ahhahaha.

    Perry has managed to pull off a graceful recovery from brain freeze and he has money. That’s not a hell of a resume but look at who you’re dealing with.

    I have entire and complete sympathy (found next to syphillus in dictionary) with the 75% NotMitt. Their “Establishment candidate” is about as attractive as Joe LIEberman would be to Democrats (I don’t propose the Ds would run such an opposing field).

    Of the NotMitts, Perry has at least run in state wide elections and done pretty well at it. The real problem is trying to utilize reason in regard to something like this…

  72. 72
    Calouste says:

    @Tom Q:

    It’s not like there are major policy differences between the not-Romneys (Paul and Huntsman excluded). They all want to bomb Iran, cut taxes, kill “Obamacare” and abolish a few random government departments, if they can remember their names. So it’s easy for the voters to make the switch, as they have been doing in the polls every 6 weeks.

    With the current Gingrich surge, I wonder what is going to happen when the Baptists find out they have the choice between a Mormon and a Catholic.

  73. 73
    Cat Lady says:

    @BGinCHI:

    He’d pick Dick Cheney, but he’s dead too.

  74. 74
    Tom Q says:

    @Rick Taylor: Umm…he worked for the Dark Satan. In righties’ minds, debate over.

  75. 75

    Proportional delegate allocation is going to cause the GOP some serious heartburn in this NotMitt climate.

  76. 76
    C.J. says:

    No one noticed Santorum’s chart color is brown?

  77. 77
    Mike in NC says:

    @Calouste:

    Romney is going to win New Hampshire. He’s been polling at 40% there throughout.

    Has Willard been caught on camera walking up to customers at Dunkin Donuts shops in Manchester and Nashua, handing out $20 bills? That would help explain those poll numbers.

  78. 78
    Tom Q says:

    @Chuck Butcher: This is what I think the whole “They didn’t like McCain either but they nominated him” crowd is missing. McCain relied heavily on those winner-take-all early primaries, when right-wing support was splintered. He won a strictly tactical, mathematical delegate game, even while failing to grab hearts and minds. Romney at best will be several hundred delegates shy of where McCain was when he clinched the nomination. That’s when all hell can break loose.

  79. 79
    Taylor says:

    @EconWatcher: I agree. I don’t think Perry is finished yet. A lot of angry voters out there.

  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    @eemom:
    Query: is there ANYTHING Romney wouldn’t do to be president?

    He might, just might hesitate at swallowing, but only after the first 2 million vote purchases.

  81. 81
    Sko Hayes says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    I think the Daily Show put it best; Newt is a dick. Kind of a weird mix blessing because being a conservative intellectual dick is a plus with the base, it makes it hard for people to work for Newt, so that campaign staff issue of his,..

    Newt actually has his own page in the Dikipedia (“a wiki of dicks”): http://www.dickipedia.org/dick.....t_Gingrich

  82. 82
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Carnacki:

    Personally I’m ready for Ric Flair to declare his candidacy. WOOOOoooo!

    Secretary of Defense Arn “The Enforcer” Anderson!
    Secretary of State Tully Blanchard!
    Chief of Staff JJ Dillon!

  83. 83
    El Cid says:

    So, I’m reading this article on how John McCain (R-MTP) publicly complained about the current nomination candidates backing torture.

    But what really occurred to me was, wow, this sure is a weird set of paragraphs, indicating a truly bizarre reality.

    “Very disappointed by statements at SC (South Carolina) GOP (Republican) debate supporting waterboarding. Waterboarding is torture,” McCain said on his official Twitter feed.
    __
    Several of the party’s White House hopefuls said Saturday at a debate on foreign policy that they would reverse President Barack Obama’s ban on techniques that meet international definitions of torture.
    __
    They notably backed “waterboarding,” a kind of controlled drowning that McCain, a former prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict, branded as torture when he was the party’s presidential nominee in 2008.
    __
    “I don’t see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique,” said former pizza restaurant chain executive Herman Cain, using a term popular under Republican former president George W. Bush.

    Nearly every point made in these paragraphs looks forward to putting on a suit made of surreal.

    There’s a degree of oddness to news like this which suddenly makes you wonder how it will appear to people doing the equivalent of Googling back issues to see what it was like.

    I promise you.

    Re-read those paragraphs once or twice, and then see if you don’t have to remind yourself that, yes, this is 2011, and this is, indeed, reality.

  84. 84
    Nutella says:

    @Taylor:

    I had thought Perry would be strong but he has a tendency to blurt out sensible positions every once in a while, which is the WRONG thing to do.

    He said in one debate that people who want to punish the children of illegal immigrants are heartless. True, but anathema to Repub voters.

    He said in the last debate that foreign aid to every country should be justified starting from zero. Perfectly sensible, but he included Israel. It’s anathema to Repub voters to even hint at the tiniest possibility of even slightly lower military aid to Israel.

    These kinds of gaffes will hurt him with his voters where the very amusing ‘oops’ kind won’t.

  85. 85
    barkleyg says:

    “Gingrich is not materially different from Trump, Bachmann, Perry or Herman Cain. He is another clown with a slightly different brand. “

    I Strongly disagree.

    While the others have fully developed
    “Clown Brains(?)”

    , Newt is smart, in that CON MAN sort of way.

    Newt has brains, but they are really only for NEWT so he can screw every one else!

  86. 86
    Turgidson says:

    @Nutella:

    These kinds of gaffes will hurt him with his voters where the very amusing ‘oops’ kind won’t.

    I think both things are hurting him. He came into the race as the template Conservative Alternative to Romney, but quickly divulged that even he, Rick effin’ Perry, is not a pure teatard. Then he started coming off like such an ignoramus that even the Teatards had to wonder if he had enough firing synapses to be president. That’s hard to do – just look at some of the other doofi they support – but he managed it.

    I think that’s a big reason they moved on to Cain en masse. He has no governing record with the inevitable lapses in teatard orthodoxy to explain away, and even when he has no fucking clue wtf is going on or what he’s talking about, he sticks to whatever talking point he can quickly recall and delivers the line without looking, superficially, like a bumbling drunk – as Perry has a persistent tendency to do. It’s a low bar, sure, but Perry has shown about half a dozen times now that it’s too much for him. Even wild-eyed Bachmann is more disciplined and competent-sounding than Perry. Egads.

  87. 87
    MazeDancer says:

    Beyond being crazy, unqualified to lead the Free World, and frequently unlikeable, every Republican seems to also have a “complete impossibility” that the majority of regular voters simply won’t be able to get past.

    Newt’s multiple marriages, cheating, and arguing about divorce with a woman fresh from uterine cancer surgery makes him impossible. Mr. Obama has a beautiful marriage to a smart, gorgeous woman he clearly adores. Wonder who’ll get the most women voting for him?

  88. 88
    Turgidson says:

    @Turgidson:

    Hmm, well I just saw Cain’s wtf moment about Libya and…well, apparently he’s prone to sounding like a drunk doofus too. Oh well.

  89. 89
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Huntsman is purposely alienating conservatives to get a job plumping Friedman/Brooks pro-rich-people “centrists” on CNN, MSNBC, at the Aspen Institute, etc.

    It’s the same perpetual-income mission of Bachmann, Cain, etc. but targeted to the elite “center” instead of Fox News.

    I’m telling you folks: luxury products for the wealthy. If you can’t make one, become one. It’s simply a question of what sort of whore you plan to be.

  90. 90
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Calouste:

    It’s not like there are major policy differences between the not-Romneys (Paul and Huntsman excluded). They all want to bomb Iran, cut taxes, kill “Obamacare” and abolish a few random government departments, if they can remember their names.

    All of this also applies to Mitt Romney

  91. 91
    El Cid says:

    @Turgidson: I just saw Cain’s video on the websites of Spanish and Colombian newspapers.

    This is the degree of entertainment we’re giving the world stage in our Presidential races of goofiness; yes, they may have lost Berlusconi, and Putin’s coming back, and Chavez is a bit quieter with the chemotherapy rounds, but, by God! We’ll show ’em some true blue Republican dumbassedness!

  92. 92
    mclaren says:

    The message is simple enough. Republicans want a champion and not some good-enough milquetoast.

    No, utterly wrong. The message is that Republicans absolutely will not vote for a Mormon. EVER. Period.

    All you people who keep yammering about how Romney will be the Republican nominee for president…get a clue. The Christian fundamentalist evangelical dominionist base of the Republican will never vote for a Mormon. Never. It will never happen.

    So Romney will never be the nominee. Not ever. If they have to nominate a bucket of paint, they will do that rather than nominate Romney.

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @El Cid:

    Herman’s a foreign policy geeeeenius. I’m voting for Herman Munster.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z1

    Libya-stanistanistan.

  94. 94
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @cleek:

    Newt, somehow, already has the respect of the media. he’ll do fine. it will take weeks before anyone in DC notices that every other sentence he speaks is either a blatant lie or a self-serving distortion.

    For years, I’ve made a game (good drinking game!) out of counting the number of times he says “Frankly,” in one speech or debate statement or whatever.

    I think the record was 14 in a 25-minute talk to a state legislative conference a few years ago.

    ETA: and as I mentioned last night, he seems to have added the word “candidly” to the vocabulary. That counts too.

  95. 95
    Chris says:

    @Turgidson:

    Hmm, well I just saw Cain’s wtf moment about Libya and…well, apparently he’s prone to sounding like a drunk doofus too. Oh well.

    In fairness to Cain, his entire party’s stumped on the Arab Spring, and doesn’t yet know if they should be happy and crediting Bush or unhappy and blaming Obama. There’s no party line telling the voters what to think, so the candidates don’t have a shibboleth to fall back on either.

    @AA+ Bonds:

    All of this also applies to Mitt Romney

    Yeah, that occurred to me too when reading that line.

  96. 96
    forked tongue says:

    If Santorum becomes a prime contender, perhaps we will at last have a long overdue national dialogue on anal-sex hygiene.

  97. 97
    burritoboy says:

    AA+ Bonds:

    Huntsman’s dad owns Huntsman Corporation, which is worth somewhere between 5 and 9 billion. He’s probably the wealthiest person ever to seriously run for President – Nelson Rockefeller’s dad was probably worth quite a bit more, but he had six kids, and Nelson wasn’t the first-born son (Jon Huntsman is the eldest son, on the other hand). He makes Mitt and John Kerry look poor. He makes the Bushes and Tafts look like they’re homeless bums. He makes the Kennedys look poor.

    So, no, we’re not really talking about someone who needs a pundit job.

  98. 98

    Newt *called* me tonight! I was so excited! Newt Gingrich, speaking directly to me on my home landline! He was all worked up about the scary black man in the White House.

    But I think ole Newtie is a bit deaf. He didn’t respond at all when I called him a two-bit ratfuck adulterous sonofabitch that wasn’t worth a Gaia-damned shit, and that I hoped it rotted off after all his catting around.

    After a bit, I hung up on him. I think he just wanted to hear himself talk.

  99. 99
    Jeffro says:

    Romney/Perry unity ticket? Wouldn’t be the hardest thing in the world to imagine at this point…

  100. 100
    Calouste says:

    @burritoboy:

    Ross Perot was both more serious in his run and has more money than Huntsman.

  101. 101
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Jeffro:

    I’d have trouble telling them apart. I think they go to the same barber, tailor, and botoxer.

  102. 102
    rikyrah says:

    I love it when Rachel Maddow goes all in on her ‘ NEWT IS NOTHING BUT A GRIFTER’ meme. she’s hilarious when she gets on him like this.

  103. 103
    Nutella says:

    @Turgidson:

    Even wild-eyed Bachmann is more disciplined and competent-sounding than Perry. Egads.

    Yes, she’s a seasoned politician in the sense that she has a remarkable ability to smoothly deliver a word salad filled with buzzwords into any gap in the conversion.

  104. 104
    4jkb4ia says:

    Look! It’s one poll–but Ron Paul is part of a four-way logjam at the top in Iowa. The voters may be getting that desperate, folks.

  105. 105
    burritoboy says:

    Calouste,

    You’re right and I’m wrong – Perot probably is the wealthiest person to ever seriously run for President. Huntsman is number two, however. Interestingly, though, Huntsman is richer than the current Ross Perot (Huntsman made a lot of money in the past few years, while Perot seemingly hasn’t). In inflation adjusted dollars, however, Perot in 1992 and 1996 was wealthier than Huntsman of 2011.

  106. 106

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