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|Newt Gingrich: Affairs make me seem 'normal'|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|January 25, 2012 16:29|
Newt Gingrich's victory in South Carolina surprised many in the media, myself included, because we assumed that the GOP electorate would not be able to look beyond the former Speaker of the House's ethical probes, his forced banishment from House of Representatives and the fact that he's had more than one marriage end because of an affair.
Boy, was I wrong. Not only did Newt storm ahead in one of evangelical America's strongholds, he's leading the polls in the next primary contest, a decidedly less religiously-driven Florida.
How has Gingrich managed to make the GOP's voters forget (or choose to ignore) his sordid past?
In a recent interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, Gingrich says his appeal is all about redemption.
“I have not hidden from the facts in my life,” Gingrich told a CBN reporter. “I've confessed my weaknesses. In that sense, it may make me more normal than someone wandering around seeming perfect.”
I suppose that's a jab at former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, the current GOP front-runner. Romney's only had one wife and, as our Art Director Bo Shell would say, has “perfect Don Draper hair.”
Gingrich's words on morality and the “threat” that allowing gay couples to marry poses to the American way of life should be dismissed as nonsense. There's nothing gay marriages would ruin that people like Newt have not already tarnished.
“There's a war against religion,” Gingrich told CBN. “I'm prepared to fight back for the first time in our lifetime.”
My theory is that it's not about Newt, it's about Romney.
Many, many GOP voters are not happy with Romney's status as the "presumed nominee." Some diehards call him a “RINO” - Republican in Name Only - for some of the more “liberal” policies put into place when he was governor of Massachusetts. Many in the GOP's core are not happy with having the selection forced on them. Voting for any candidate other than Romney is a way to voice that dissent.
Enough of these voters are so anti-Romney that Gingrich actually stands a good chance of winning more primaries leading up to the GOP convention. As long as Romney remains the party's front-runner, those outside the establishment are going to continue propping up candidates like Gingrich.
The GOP's primary voters may be able to look beyond Gingrich's sketchy past, but middle America will surely not.
Top photo: Newt Gingrich (via Facebook)
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