Hunter S. Thompson once wrote of Richard Nixon a few years after his fall, "He's tanned, he's rested, he's ready."
The same sort of thing could be said for Newt Gingrich as the sunny skies of Indian Summer give way to the battle ship gray clouds of early winter.
Newt is resurgent. After an amateurish and disastrous campaign kickoff that had him written off as some sort of latter day Harold Stassen he is back with a vengeance. The latest Rueters/Ipsos poll gives him twenty four percent support from the republican faithful. Mitt Romney in the same poll has slipped to twenty-two percent.
No one has ever accused Mr. Gingrich of not knowing which buttons to push when it comes to playing to the masses. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Attack, attack, attack. Confront the press in debates, rather than the issues. Declare them evilly stupid and biased. Slash into what has become Obamacare, despite past public statements that seem to endorse vast portions of it. Take Freddie Mac's money, and after the checks have cleared condemn the management and then the president for accepting contributions that are paltry compared to the consulting fees personally raked in.
It seems like madness and perhaps it is. The hard right of the party is desperately searching for someone, anyone, who can wrest the nomination from the suspected liberal and cult member, Mitt Romney. The true believers have watched Perry make George W. Bush seem an orator the likes of William Jennings Bryan. Cain has been reduced to the Sandusky defense on public TV. "All of my accusers are lying." Yes, and please ignore the court sealed payouts.
All the others in this race are babbling buffoons and hopeless libertarians. They are so far out of touch with the vast majority of America that one wonders how many windmills they see each dawn on the plain before them.
The hidden figures in this poll don't bode well for the Newt. Thirty-seven percent of all Americans believe he lobbied for Freddy Mac. And, the most damning, of the republicans polled forty-two percent believe Mitt Romney will win the nomination. Only nineteen percent think Gingrich will. Banzai charges are impressive, but almost always fail. Mr. Gingrich has personal and political baggage that will doom his campaign
The right edge of the republican party is going to lose this nomination process because they just don't understand that huge numbers of people, not on the street, think they are as crazy and dangerous as a pack of rabid pit bulls.
If I was to wager I would put my money on Romney. Barring some unforeseen disaster, he is too slick and, to the chagrin of the baying right, too far to the center. It may drive them into conniption fits, but he is the exact sort of candidate who can really challenge Barak Obama.
They are the only ones who don't seem to recognize that.