I disagree with mistermix on this one:
Listening to this, I’m struck by one thing: if Newt is the candidate, he’s going to drive the discussion into all the nooks and crannies of noise and diversion that have occupied Fox News viewers since Obama’s victory. In other words, Newt is the candidate of the 2009 media cycle, where the Tea Party dominated media coverage. If Romney is the candidate, a big part of the discussion will be how he managed to pay 15% tax on the millions he made. He’s the candidate of the 2011 media cycle, dominated by Occupy Wall Street and issues of jobs and equity.
Newt is like a kid with ADHD who’s off his Ritalin when it comes to distraction, and Republicans win when they make the election about distractions rather than the issues. The question isn’t whether Gingrich is the best imaginable candidate, just whether he’s the best of this bunch, and after watching that speech, I can’t say that Romney is any better.
Newt’s favorability/unfavorability split is 27/59. That’s a killer. (Romney is 39/44, by contrast.) The non-Republican portion of the electorate dislikes Gingrich too much to vote for him in a general.
The stories about the open marriage, leaving his wife after he was diagnosed with MS, etc., true or not (and they’re mostly verifiably true anyway), are “part of a the culture” as Cokie would say. Yes, voters get sick of sex scandals and, yes, Republican voters blame it all on the librul media, but all those suburban “soccer moms” Chuck Todd is always yakking about, I just don’t see them voting for Newt.
If Newt is the candidate, the conversation won’t be about fiat money or income inequality, it will be about Newt and how a major party ever put someone like him up as their nominee. And I would assume that if Newt is the nominee (I don’t think he will be), there will be some at least semi-serious third-party candidacy.