Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Good Newt, Bad Newt

Rich Galen, who was a staffer for Newt Gingrich in the 90s when he was Speaker of the House, has written a good article for the Daily Beast on the 'good Newt, bad Newt' phenomenon.

Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich, Enjoying The Moment
How does the “Good Newt” contrast with the “Bad Newt”? Where do I start? The Good Newt is focused, funny, and professorial. As a Ph.D. in history and former college professor, he likes nothing more than using a speech as a 45-minute syllogism: he states the problem, walks the audience through a set of facts and examples, then delivers the (now) obvious conclusion.

When he has thought about a subject, it is remarkable to watch. It’s not unlike Walter Isaacson’s description of Steve Jobs as being able to create a “reality-distortion field” that drew people into his view of what an iPod, iPhone, or iPad should look like and convince them that they could achieve his vision.

Gingrich can generate a reality-distortion field that covers 2,000 people in a hall and, like Steve Jobs, convince them that they should share his vision.

Paradoxically, that is also when the Bad Newt can rear his ugly intellect.
Actually, Galen never describes what the 'Bad Newt' consists of.  But I think you can immediately grasp it by looking at the picture on this post.  It's the part of Newt that is just like The Donald.

Any questions?

I'm fast getting the feeling that this candidacy is like the tape recorder in the old Mission Impossible shows:  built to self-destruct after it's had its say.

Update:  This comment by Arianna Huffington about Newt was definitely worth posting:
Now that Herman Cain has "suspended his campaign," the race is down to three people: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich. At this point, the question isn't so much whether Gingrich can beat Romney (he can), but whether Gingrich will beat Gingrich. This task is complicated by the fact that there isn't just one Gingrich. He's a very Walt Whitmanesque candidate -- he celebrates himself, he sings of himself, he is large, and he contains multitudes.

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