Conservatives seem to be banking on an overwhelming debate performance by Gingrich. Many conservatives are abandoning their values and party ideology in support of someone they perceive as an attack dog.
Are they correct? Will Newt use his “secular socialist” garbage in a debate?
It would be tough to call, both men are highly intelligent and have demonstrated that they are pretty light on their feet in a debate. I would guess that it would depend on the moderator and the questions that set the tone of the debate, though I think Newt might have a slight edge.
An election is an entirely different kettle of fish, Obama would mop the floor with Newt…
The problem for Gingrich (and boy are we getting ahead of ourselves with this one…) is that Obama is still rather well liked by the population, and independents in particular. They don’t particularly approve of his job as president, but they like him as a person. So Gingrich needs to stay on his up-beat “happy warrior” message without falling into the angry bitter Gingrich that we all know and love.
It’s a debate both sides would walk away believing their candidate won. If it came down to factual arguments Obama would walk all over Newt. Newt however is a performer willing to make shit up on the spot to sound convincing, he can really get people who believe him to get behind him. Obama is not well suited to handle dishonesty, he always operates is if his opponents are working in good faith. During such a debate he’d fail to call Newt a liar when appropriate.
Then again, maybe people are mad enough to elect someone like Gingrich, I won’t say he’s Hitler, Hitler had charisma, but he may reflect enough of the angst of people to get there. Still I doubt the heck out of it, guy is a bridge troll and hey how good is this ad during christmas?, “Don’t be a Gingrich. Keep taxes low for hard working Americans.”
And Newt doesn’t? This is a man who was driven out of congress by HIS OWN PARTY for ethics violations (and they were Republicans, so you know it has to be bad). This is a man whose policies while speaker set the stage for a lot of the troubles we are facing now. This is a man who has supported most of the Obama policies that Newt’s party is now trying to demonize. Obama could just spend the debate quoting Newt and have all the support he needs to win. Even Ron Paul has managed to school Newt on this.
Who are we fooling? The answer depends on who you like more.
Gingrich could get on the stage and rap better than Tupac, then grab an electric guitar and play better than Prince, and he’d still come across as a pompous, overstuffed, eats-cavier-for-breakfast ass. To me, at least. Even his fans have to admit there’s a bit of an image problem for him.
Gingrich looks good now because he’s a professional swimmer splashing around in a special-needs kiddie pool. I imagine there will be a few debates where it will be a draw, and a couple where he scores more “points”. But I predict his puffery will generally be overshadowed by Obama’s coolness. Personality matters.