Gingrich’s best shot at winning the GOP nomination

Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is off to a worse start than Spiderman on Broadway.

Even before announcing his candidacy last Wednesday, Gingrich faced an uphill battle. Since Republicans forced him to step down as Speaker of the House in 1998, the architect of the GOP’s Contract with America has been working to bolster his conservative credentials and to soften his image. But he nevertheless found himself unable to reclaim the mainstream political support that he had in the ’90s. Gallup’s new poll of possible 2012 GOP contenders, for instance, shows him bringing up third place at 11 percent — just 3 points ahead of dark horse candidate Michele Bachman. Couple that with his healthcare slip-up on Meet the Press, and Gingrich might as well change his campaign slogan to “Who?”

There’s no doubt that he supports the individual health insurance mandate that 78 percent of Republicans oppose, according to Harris Interactive. In a 1993 Meet the Press appearance, he said, “I am for people, individuals — exactly like automobile insurance — individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance.” That sounds like support to me. Then in an interview on that same show last Sunday, he watched the clip I just quoted and reaffirmed his support for what he himself called “a variation on” Obamacare’s mandate.

But once he remembered that he’s running as a Republican, he started backtracking. On Monday, he posted a video to his website claiming to be “completely opposed to the Obamacare mandate.” And on Tuesday, he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren: “I do not support a mandate. I do not support Obamacare.” He then went on to explain that he’d supported the individual mandate in 1993 — but just in opposition to the universal healthcare plan that the Clinton White House had been peddling to Congress.

Now The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein points out that some other prominent Republicans including George W. Bush and Mitch Daniels have backed variations on the individual mandate. But that was before it existed. There’s nothing wrong with having a stupid idea that never gets acted on. Basic Instinct 2 sounded good in theory. But once Congress rams through a law that two federal judges have found unconstitutional, Republicans are allowed to take exception to one of their own potential candidates defending it.

Gingrich exacerbated his problem with the GOP base when he blasted Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan on Sunday and told an Iowa crowd on Thursday that he’d be open to naturalizing at least some illegal immigrants. But his biggest obstacle isn’t his moderation or even his flip-flopping; it’s that he peaked at the same time as Alanis Morissette. That, in a race that some Republicans are touting as a chance for “real change” in Washington, is a major liability. His best shot at winning the GOP nomination right now is to hope that Romney sleeps with his housekeeper.

Dorian Davis is a former MTV HITS star turned Libertarian writer. He’s been published in Business Week, NY Daily News, XY & more. He’s an NYU graduate and National Journalism Center alum. He teaches journalism at Marymount Manhattan College.

  • tommiec

    To the author of this article:

    Don’t you think it’s time to delete this article forever?…

    Doesn’t it embarrass you that it’s still up?…



    This so obvoius, TEAM OBAMA is digging into Gov. Christie, Gov Pawlenty,…and everyone around just to ‘play safe’ for the incoming 2012 presidential battle.

    However, even all that ‘investigative process on the opposition’ is just a routinary task for they feel secured against any candidate that the GOP may throw at them…any candidate exept one; Gov Sarah Palin.

    They have nothing of substance nor legitimate at all to battle her, they did throw everything and anything at her in the prasidential battle 2008…there is nothing left for the’ lefties’ go against her,… only insults, insults and more insults…attaks on her family ,…inuendos on personal life …etc,etc….in others words, THE ALINSKY TACTICS….but to that!…the american public is already immune.

    So the only thing left is more insults and increase their FRAUD as they did on 2008 to alocate Obama as ‘president’.

    And is so happens that TEAM OBAMA KNOWS THIS ….as result they are counting – and also praying if you will – that Sarah Palin does not accept to go into the presidential race for they know that they don’t stand a chance with the weak front man presidential player better know as Barack Obama.

    He is only a poropagandist , a voice , a face for a group of Chicago corrupted politicians deep in anti-constitutionalism, a band of individuals that can be called – and known as – “THE PRESIDENTIAL CONSORTIOUM” (the real political commanders in Washington)

    A band with a destructive agenda of sabotage and decimation against our american system.

    WE THE PEOPLE know this and ‘THE PRESIDENTIAL CONSORTIOUM’ knows that WE THE PEOPLE knows this…and so they are now afraid,…actually terrorized.

    And who are this ‘PRESIDENTIAL CONSORTIOUM?…care for some names?…very well;

    SOROS, PODESTA,SCHUMMER,JARRETT,STERN,VAN JONES,KERRY,FRANK,JOHNSON,O’NEAL,….just to mention some…and don’t think,… not even for a nano-second that any of them are just gone, just because they are not resonating loudly for now….oh no-no-no,they are operating ‘under the radar scope’ along with others …here inside american grounds and outside the american territory.

    Conspiracy theory?….far from it…we are living it.

    Observe, investigate, analyze, be aware.

    Input anyone?Opinions welcome.

    Daniel Cabrera

    • tommiec

      Daniel, OK, you ask for imput, here goes: What planet are you from?…

  • shrinkthestate

    Newt’s chances fall below Cain, Bachmann.

    Find out the market-based chances for the 2012 Presidential Election.


  • marypeterson21

    Let me tell you one thing that the best health insurance plans has completely different set of meaning for different type of people. For those who are rich, the plan which can earn them more is best. However, those who are in the middle class have different ideas. They think that insurance plan is the best for which they will have to pay minimum premium. However, the poor person does not even know that what is health insurance? If you are one of them search online for “Penny Health Insurance” and get smart about insurance.