Matt Lewis

Newt’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza selected former Speaker Newt Gingrich as the “winner” of his “worst week in Washington” feature on Friday.

As far as national press coverage is concerned, Gingrich has certainly had better weeks.  But don’t be so quick to write-off his 2012 GOP primary chances just yet.  There won’t be a national primary election, but rather, a series of state elections.  And a closer inspection of local headlines shows many of Gingrich’s recent press clippings aren’t all that bad.

Consider, for example…

Portsmouth Herald (NH):  In Portsmouth, Gingrich speaks on unions, Obama’s Libya policies

Francesca Marconi Fernald, owner of Geno’s, said Gingrich was approachable and easy to talk to about everything from small business to international issues.

“He listens to what you’re saying and he looks you in the eye when he talks to you,” she said.

Business matriarch and former Portsmouth city councilor and deputy mayor Evelyn Marconi was pleased to see Gingrich.

“I was impressed with him and I always have been,” she said.

Foster’s Daily Democrat (NH): Gingrich lays out framework for presidential bid

NH Journal (NH): Newt wants to bring a ‘new generation of solutions’ to campaign trail

Salem News (MA): Gingrich visits Salem, sounding every bit the candidate

“He won’t need any on the job training when he becomes president,” Evangelidis said.

The speech even may have produced at least one convert in a state that is about as Democratic as they come.

“From someone who usually but not always votes Democrat, I’ve never agreed with a Republican more than I have tonight,” said one man who stepped up to the microphone during the brief question and answer period at the end of the speech.

San Antonio Express-News (TX): Gingrich calls for return to religious roots

On Sunday, the audience gave him a standing ovation as he spoke of the nation’s biggest threat: the growth of secular thought and an indifference to standing against militant Islam.

The Iowa Republican (IA): Gingrich Is Well Positioned, But Needs A Ground Game To Win Iowa

… flaws and all, Gingrich remains the one of the only true policy visionaries the Republican Party has to offer.  As one of the candidates with the best grasp of policy, Gingrich might be the best vessel Republicans have to directly challenge President Obama on any issue, foreign or domestic.

Iowa Press (IA): Interview with Former Speaker Newt Gingrich

Times-Georgian (GA): Gingrich fondly recalls his time in Carrollton

Raleigh News and Observer (NC): Wake GOP welcomes Gingrich

… It’s tempting for national reporters, columnists and bloggers to mistakenly assume that likely voters around the nation are obsessing over the same national narratives we are.  The truth, of course, is that most folks still aren’t paying much attention…