Thingish Things

The Newt Bubble — and Temper — Go ‘Pop’

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Dec• 28•11

So much for staying above the fray.

The constitutionally acerbic Newt Gingrich, who promised to remain positive in the Republican presidential primaries, but who is now falling in the polls like an April barometer, is unleashing his pent up frustrations this week with fury. Mr. Gingrich and his campaign are accusing Mitt Romney of being a “European socialist” and Ron Paul of being racist, anti-Semitic, out of the mainstream “to all decent people,” etc., etc. One gets the feeling that if Mr. Gingrich had a dog, he might have kicked it this week.

This is pure Gingrich. The stuff that drives him — the vitriol he has managed to bottle and leave on a shelf throughout the autumn — has spilled out of its container for all to see. It is the acid that will melt his candidacy alive, just as it melted down his Speakership in Congress a decade and a half ago.

One recalls the Newt Gingrich of the 1990’s tormented to be relegated — and sequestered from the press corps — to the back of Air Force One on a trip home to the U.S. from Israel by then President Bill Clinton. The snub infuriated Mr. Gingrich so much that, by his own admission, it helped lead to the government shut-down that put Republicans across the country out of office in the next election cycle.

Mitt Romney rubbed salt into Mr. Gingrich’s wounds yesterday by comparing the former Georgia congressman’s inability to get on the ballot in Virginia to Lucille Ball in the famous  “I Love Lucy” chocolate-factory episode. Mr. Romney did so at risk of looking mean himself, but with Newt Gingrich in full tantrum, it may prove to be a sound strategy.  When Newt is being Newt, he can say anything

Mr. Gingrich was much-criticized for embarking on a Greek cruise just days after announcing his presidential candidacy.  It might be advisable now, however, for the hot-headed former Speaker to return to ship for the next couple of weeks before he does himself any more damage.  Right now, Mr. Gingrich is an anger-addict out of control. 

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