The New Newt
WASHINGTON — Mention the name of the man of the hour around here and people all seem to have the same reaction. They shake their heads. Some seem amused, some angry, some frightened. Despite living most of his adult life here, Newt Gingrich does not have many friends among his neighbors.Some, mostly Republicans, hate him because of his bully-boy antics when he was speaker of the House. Many, in both parties, think he’s nuts. Only six members of that House endorsed his run for the Republican nomination for president when his surge in the polls began after a couple of good debate performances. Not one of the Republicans in the Senate has endorsed him. By comparison, more than 40 House members and eight senators have endorsed Mitt Romney. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said he could not think of a man less suited to be president than his onetime House colleague. Newt does not play well with others.“They all remember,” according to Politico.com, “the bombast, the reckless personal life, the arrogance and lack of discipline that bordered on dangerous.”Newt-trembling has become the most bipartisan movement in the capital in months, even years.Here’s conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg of the Los Angeles Times:“‘How do we stop Newt?’“I’ve now been asked that question by a lot of conservatives … in staff meetings, at the chiropodist, even at the McDonald’s drive-thru.“The other night while having drinks with some prominent conservatives, I said I thought there was a significant chance that Gingrich will not only win the nomination but that he might be the next president. Going by their expressions, I might as well have said I put a slow-acting poison in their cocktails.”
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