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  1. Newt can only destroy the party further. He is an an intelligent but compromised character—too weak when push comes to shove. I think Palin will stand stronger than Newt would on principles. Newt should stick to articulating principles for the people who have what it takes to follow through on them.

  2. Gingrich: Oh, you’d better believe I’m thinking about 2012

    Consider this a follow-up to the Sarahcuda post. Is Newt … the anti-Palin?

    “I’ve never been this serious,” Gingrich said.

    “It’s fair to say that by February the groundwork will have been laid to consider seriously whether or not to run,” he said…

    Gingrich is known for his frequently harsh rhetoric, and he didn’t hold back in speaking about Obama.

    “I think he will replace Jimmy Carter as the worst president of modern times,” said Gingrich.

    Thanks to Obama’s performance, Gingrich said he expected that whoever wins the Republican nomination would win the White House.

    “He is a disaster,” Gingrich said of Obama. “His principles are fundamentally wrong. The people he appoints are more radical than he is and less competent.”

    The Standard thinks he’s blowing smoke to keep the media on the hook and I’m inclined to agree. Who, exactly, would Newt’s constituency be in the primary? He’d be an “anyone but” candidate, wouldn’t he? He’s got a Ph.D. and years of Beltway experience, which should appeal to the “Anyone but Palin” crowd that worries about her qualifications. He’s been outspoken about his faith in God, which makes him a reasonable “Anyone but Romney” choice for base voters who are oncerned-cay about ormonism-May. He’s nationally famous and fully capable of dishing out thick cuts of red meat in his stump speeches, which leaves him as a viable “Anyone but Pawlenty” alternative worried about T-Paw’s lack of star power against Obama.

    The only question: How many “anyone but” voters out there would prefer him to some other candidate in the field? That is to say, what exactly is the case for Newt, and how does it differ significantly from the case for Mitch Daniels? (“Newt 2012: Like Mitch Daniels, but with lots more personal baggage!”) I wonder if he’s imagining this as a replay of 1968, where the failed candidate turned Republican elder statesman is swept to the presidency by a backlash to the Great Society initiatives of his predecessor, or if he’s imagining it as a replay of 2008, where the GOP base is fragmented by a variety of candidates and ends up settling on the old familiar guy with a lot of experience. I can sort of see him winning early primaries in a three-way race with Romney and Pawlenty, but er, it’s not going to be a three-way race between him, Romney, and Pawlenty. Paint me a picture of how this would possibly work.

  3. Palin’s PAC fundraising suddenly looking mighty presidential

    I think she’s still undecided and keeping her options open, but clearly a “different type of campaign” is what’s in store if she does run. Her staff will probably remain as small as possible in order to cultivate the whole anti-establishment “one of us” common touch that the grassroots admires. As for point two, here’s John Ellis, a.k.a. Jeb Bush’s cousin:

    “She’s too stupid” is what the Establishment GOP really thinks about Sarah Palin. “Good-looking,” but a “ditz.” This is unfertile ground, since Palin can turn the argument on a dime and say: “They drive the country into bankruptcy, they underwrite Fannie and Freddie, they bail out Goldman Sachs, they fight wars they don’t want to win, they say enforcing the immigration laws is silly and they call me stupid! I’ll give you a choice: you can have their smarts or my stupidity, which one do you want?” A large number of GOP presidential primary voters will take Palin’s “stupidity” in a heartbeat.

    Ellis’s prediction? The growing threat from Palin will lead establishment Republicans to turn to, er, Jeb Bush. Which isn’t that crazy: It might not ultimately be Jeb, but as a wise man once said, if she runs it will ultimately be a Palin vs. anti-Palin race. Exit question: Is this happening?