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Opening Arguments

In it to lose it

Over the years, I've interviewed a number of political candidates who could only be described as delusional. They were running in races they had zero chance of winning yet insisted they were committed to working hard and being the first one ever to defy the odds. And these haven't just been third-party windmill tilters. There were also the Democrats and Republicans running in districts in which their parties seldom or never won and pretending that they have a legitmate shot.

And I must say that I understood what those people were doing on their fools' errands better than I understand what Newt Gingrich is doing:

Newt Gingrich acknowledged on Sunday that his campaign was in fairly massive debt. But the former House Speaker continued to stress that he would remain in the race for purposes of driving the party, and its platform, in certain ideological direction.

[. . .]

Acknowledging that Romney would likely end up as the nominee, Gingrich pledged to help him once he reached the necessary number of delegates. In what capacity he would serve is unclear. The former Speaker said he would talk to RNC officials about how best to serve the party, post-primary. He added that there would be no lingering animus between him and the former Massachusetts Governor, despite the heated campaigning between the two.

Get that? He is conceding that he will not win, and yet he is staying in the race anyway, for the purpose of  "driving the party platform," which I think is just his way of saying, "I dread not being noticed." But acknowledging that his mission is futile will discourage people from voting for him, which will drive his number of delegates down, which will make it less likely he will be deemed important enought to contribute to the platform. I know that even being in the presidential race requires an ego verging on narcissism, but, lord, he abuses the privilege.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:48pm

Anyone who has been engaged in the Republican Primary, especially those of us who want  "anybody but Mitt", have understood the long odds faced by underfinanced and understaffed candidates.  Some of us, like me, hoped that Sarah Palin would run because she was the only pre-vetted conservative in the race.  When the days and the candidates wended down to a precious few, I selected Newt as the only conservative remaining with any leadership experience, vision, and accomplishements.  Sadly, negative politics and the religious right finished doing him in.

So now we are down to two and I have concluded that Santorum is a liar and a fake - so that leaves Mitt.  When the dust clears, Saint Ricky will be out of money and in debt.  Only Uncle Ron Paul will live within his budget.  I am puzzled as to why you are picking on Newt when the other guys are hanging on past their time without any apparant viability as well.

What have we learned?  To paraphrase James Carville, "It's the money, Stupid!"  But Newt is right about one thing.  At this point, not even Mittens has enough committed delegates to win the nomination.


Harl Delos
Tue, 04/10/2012 - 12:49am

Gadfly:  At this point, not even Mittens has enough committed delegates to win the nomination.

That'll change rapidly.  We're starting to get lots of TV ads here in Pennsylvania, and Santorum's support is dropping like a rock.

Winning the nomination, however, may not be worth much.  Many state GOP organizations are in dire straits, and while Karl Rove can buy lots of ads, there are lots of things that need hands and feet, such as driving voters to the polls, etc. 

It's not the end of the world if Mitt loses, but unnecessarily losing House and Senate races is a big deal.  I guess when outfits like Club For Growth drove out so many moderates, they wiped out the backbone of the party.

This would be a good opportunity for the libertarians to move in and take over the GOP, like the religious right did three to four decades ago.  If they can get the traditional Republicans to return to the party, they might be able to make some progress towards their goals.