Newton Leroy Gingrich, the thrice married former Speaker of the US House, apparently swept to victory among interested voters in the Palmetto State Saturday. Gingrich gobbled up 41% of the reported vote.
Since Thursday of this campaign, we have learned several things, all of them fodder for the ruminator.
- Rick Perry was not viable as a national candidate. This is, to my thinking, not a reason to decide Mr. Perry is finished in state politics or done with national politics. He has been humbled but the man is not used to losing.
- Mitt Romney actually lost in Iowa but someone in that super-slick state forgot to keep ballots from eight counties. We cannot find them. I would suggest searching a nearby corn field where the lost ballots are doubtless consoling the now defunct ethanol subsidy.
- Mitt Romney actually lost in South Carolina, where they do apparently keep ballots. In two days, Mr. Romney has gone from the Inevitable Candidate to the Unenviable Loser. We can actually say Mr. Romney has spent eleventy billion dollars through his Super PAC attacking Mr. Gingrich, only to see Mr. Gingrich shoot past him with the voters. Mr. Romney is starting to look like Wile E. Coyote, with his Acme destruction gadgets, trying to catch the Roadrunner. All of his death devices come back to land on him after he falls off the electoral cliff.
The Big Conclusion from these facts, after minutes of analysis, is this. Republican voters want a real, honest to goodness Tory politician. They will not countenance another John McCain, God bless his courageous, curmudgeonly soul. No, they want a down to earth, down in the dirt, man in the arena, who will not answer questions about his own taxes with words like "maybe, historically, April, I guess, if someone keeps bringing it up, shucks, they did not tell me this would come up, I have a lot of money in the Cayman Island banks…"
GOP voters want a Tory so bad they will turn off their evangelical filters to vote for a thrice married, open marriage advocating, over weight, groovy kind of guy like Newt. Newt has more baggage than Burlington Northern. There is some evidence he may be toxic to wives. Still, Republicans so far prefer him or the arch-Tory Rick Santorum to centrist Mitt.
These things we know.
Opinions here are mine alone.