On C-SPAN 3, he’s finishing up a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in DC that’s dynamite stuff.
Among the items he tossed to the crowd was that he’d offer John Bolton the job as Secretary of State. But ONLY if Bolton would be willing to rebuild the State Department as an agency which promotes American values rather than apologizing for us.
Gingrich has lots of warts, as everybody is certainly finding out now that he’s getting the typical treatment afforded to GOP frontrunners not named Mitt Romney.
But the one reason he’s doing well is that he’s perfectly willing to take shots at the other side and smile while he’s doing it. He’s got a confidence and a swagger that comes from having had the stew beaten out of him by the Left and the media over the years and yet he’s still standing. Gingrich isn’t afraid of the establishment media and he doesn’t disguise his contempt for them.
Republican voters are looking for swagger. And for all the touting of Mitt Romney the Establishment continues to practice, swagger and confidence simply don’t seem to spring forth from him. Romney had trouble with Bret Baier, for crying out loud.
Compare that with Gingrich’s handling of Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi bragged that she had dirt on him, and rather than offer a defense of his record on ethics he seized on the opportunity she afforded him by calling her attempt at blackmail (or whatever term one might use to describe it) an early Christmas present, and threatened to have her brought up on ethics charges in a Republican-dominated House of Representatives. Which approach do you think the GOP electorate is looking for in dealing with the most hated Democrat on Capitol Hill?
Gingrich will fight. He’s showing that. Is he wrong a lot on policy? Sure. He’s tried on lots of bad ideas. Was his record as Speaker of the House dotted with some loopy initiatives? Sure. Though he’s also the last guy to systematically balance the federal budget. Is he a Washington insider? Sure. Though the in-crowd in DC hates this guy more than anybody else in the race. Is he a doctrinaire conservative? Not like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum are, but Gingrich seems to be better at articulating conservatism than any of those are.
Most of all, though, this is a guy who has been through the wars and knows how they can be won. And has confidence in that experience. That’s attractive.
Does it mean Newt won’t implode? Nope. He still might. Perry seems to be stirring a little in the polls, and if Gingrich’s historical lack of discipline or the current sandpaper treatment he’s now getting shrinks his supprt the way previous non-Romneys have seen happen it’s entirely possible Perry could make a resurgence.
But for right now, Gingrich is sounding the right notes and he’s beginning to look like a real potential nominee.