By: Beatrice Nielsen
Newt Gingrich: why is this happening? The Republican Party, as I have discussed previously, has some serious issues with candidates for the 2012 presidential election. But those issues causing Newt Gingrich’s recent meteoric rise? This is a perplexing development in the Republican candidacy process.
Unlike the GOP’s obsessions with Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, the Newt phase is seemingly founded on more stable political ground. His credentials in politics are impressive. The success of the Republican Party in the 1990’s is largely due to Mr. Gingrich’s “Contract with America”, which offered a very specific conservative agenda that included plans for a smaller government, lower taxes, and greater entrepreneurial activity. The Republican Party swept Congress in 1994; Gingrich became Speaker of the House in 1995.
In contrast, Newt Gingrich’s personal life and absence of a conscience are worrisome. In addition to being worrisome in terms of ‘morality’, it is confusing that the resurgence of the moral majority ideal in the GOP is throwing support behind Mr. Gingrich. Eighty-four ethics charges were brought against Mr. Gingrich when he was Speaker of the House, and the House Ethics Committee investigated him and imposed ethics sanctions upon him, marking the first time a Speaker had been deemed ethically irresponsible.
Morality aside, it is perplexing that Newt Gingrich has not rescinded his bid for candidacy before now. This summer, his campaign staff resigned en masse to join Tim Pawlenty’s campaign (which has since been dismantled), leaving most Americans and political pundits to write Gingrich off as being a dark horse for more reasons that those listed previously. But the meltdown of Gingrich’s first-string campaigners did not destroy his drive for the nomination; in fact, his campaign has strengthened.
In keeping with this election season’s volatility, I think that the Newt phase is a desperate attempt by the Republicans to find someone dynamic who is not Mitt Romney. Nearly all of the candidates have had their moments in the sun since announcing their candidacy (except Jon Huntsman, the most qualified of the bunch).
If a party requires that their candidate take a vow of fidelity to retain support, he is probably not the right man for the nomination, much less the presidency.