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Susan Estrich
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Rooting for Newt


Ask any honest Democrat, and they'll tell you what I'm about to tell you: We're rooting for Newt.

The death penalty for marijuana?

Replacing janitors with school kids?

Mining the moon for minerals?

Go, Newt.

It's not that the former Speaker doesn't have the smarts. Quite the contrary. He may be too smart for his own good — at least his own good in politics. His mind races with ideas. His mouth moves even faster.

I've done television with Newt and speeches with Newt, and it's a blast. He's funny and gracious. He's always interesting. He knows facts that would make Sarah Palin's head swim. He understands history. He's pointed and provocative.

It's just that a substantial number of his ideas are, well, different. Nutty. Like the minerals on the moon.

That is fine if you're a professor or a professional speaker. Not fine if you are a politician.

The great columnist Walter Shapiro said in a recent interview that every time he goes to hear Newt speak, he comes away with 15 ideas for a column; whereas, every time he hears Mitt Romney, he forgets the 15 ideas he had coming in. Newt makes great copy.

If I were a Republican activist — sick and tired of the smooth and calculating moderate turned conservative-turning moderate about to be turning conservative again Romney — I'd be walking the precincts for Newt. And I'd be having almost as good a time as I did back in 1980, when I ran phone banks for Ted Kennedy in our fight against Jimmy Carter. I'm not sure who the Republicans were rooting for back then, but I know this: They were hoping the fight would never end, and in many respects, it didn't.

And that is exactly what we Democrats are rooting for with Newt.

Do I really think the Republicans are going to nominate Newt for president? Nah.

Too good to be true. Even now, the spotlight is beginning to shine pretty harshly. Eventually, the grownups in the establishment who think nominating Newt is a gift to the Democrats will probably get the upper hand — but hopefully later rather than sooner.

This has all the makings of a nice bitter fight. Newt is not about to go gently into the night. No Rick Perry he. Newt lives on debates, regardless of his own war chest. He has friends with super-PACs carrying his water. His supporters, many of them, are true believers.

The fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama went the distance. Even if they are, today, loyal partners, I have no doubt there was no love lost when it ended.

But it was never blood war on the ground. The people on both sides were old friends who went back to being friends when it was over. It was liberals against liberals. Indeed, among Democrats, you can't help but notice that the big whiners about Obama aren't the Hillary supporters who joined up at the end, but the early Obama-ites who had expectations no one could achieve.

Newt-Romney, however, is already nastier than Hillary-Obama ever was (with all of one bad ad, the red phone). Fine by me. The nastier the better. What Hillary-Obama proves is that it's not the length of the fight but the bitterness and animosity on the ground that hurts. Like in 1980. Go, Newt.

There were, and probably still are, two schools of thought about 1980. The Kennedy side believed the only hope of defeating Reagan was to defeat Carter first. The Carter side felt that Reagan won because Carter was so defeated by the process. My guess is there is a similar debate on the Republican side right now.

But the bottom line is that Reagan did win, which is why all of us who are rooting for Obama are rooting for Newt to go the distance in his attacks on Romney. If he does, win or lose, we win.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



7 Comments | Post Comment
"Understand folks, psychopaths LOVE power. They worship it
and those above, while having nothing but contempt for those below.
They know how to smell the wind ---can change on a dime, and
are superb liars and actors. They LOVE applause, and have NO
conscience whatsoever. We are living in a psychopathic system
--designed by psychopaths --run by psychopaths ---with a psychopathic
culture given to the public."

Gingirch is certainly a PSYCPATH.

----Conservatives --Libertarians --Liberals ---indeed, Americans and humanity
generally should have NOTHING to do with arch-EUGENIST, key Globalist and
open mercenary adulterer -----New 'IT' Gettng-RICH.
Since the days of Play-Dough in ancient Greece ----we've been the 'ITs'.
AS TREASON and EUGENICS unfold ---there's nothing 'NEW' under the ---son.
Those with an ear ---TAKE HEED.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Anon Ymus
Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:35 PM
Good ol' Newt. Not always right but never in doubt.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Motley Wisdom
Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:54 AM
Re: Anon Ymus
You forgot to say 'Obama is certainly a MARXIST!'
Comment: #3
Posted by: Early
Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:58 AM
Dear Ms.Estrich,

As a self described 'Palin Democrat', 'Blue Dog Democrat', or 'Conservative Democrat' I just can't see how Newt Gingrich can win a general election based on his reputation in the U.S. House! He would need not only Republician and Independent votes, but so-called 'Blue Dog' Democratis votes such as mine, which he won't get.

Nuff Said...Dennis

Comment: #4
Posted by: Dennis
Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:00 AM
So...your vote goes to ....?
Comment: #5
Posted by: Early
Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:09 AM
Re: Anon Ymus
I believe that you have probably described Gingrich reasonably well, but what is utterly disturbing about your post is that it is a perfect description of obama who has demonstrated and indeed demonstrates every day, most recently in his SOTU fantasy diatribe that he is a psycopathic, sociopathic, narcissistic, congenital liar and a statist/collectivist enemy of freedom and perpetrator of tyranny.
Comment: #6
Posted by: joseph wright
Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:10 AM
Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. Of course Newt would be the weakest possible Republican candidate. But if the Euro collapses and unemployment tops 10%, even Newt might win. And then where would we be?
Comment: #7
Posted by: JohnEMack
Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:17 AM
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