The obvious question then is: why don't I just stop writing about him? I don't really know. Maybe it's the same as Howard Fineman wrote yesterday: ". . . it is not enough for Gingrich to lose next Tuesday; they want to bury him and spread salt on his grave."
I admit to a bit of gloating at Newt's downfall, the glee of seeing a bully get his come-uppance. Of course, Newt being Newt, it's never his fault. His explanation to a group of Rotary Club members: "I can't do modern politics." Meaning that he can't bring himself to do the hardball, dirt-slinging attacks the others are doing; he's just too nice a guy who only likes to talk policy.
After I finished rolling on the floor with laughter, I read the rest of what Fineman wrote about that self-serving talk. Newt was contrasting the 2012 campaign with what he described as the "positive" [sic] campaign he waged with his "Contract with America" take-over of the House in 1994.
A generation ago, Gingrich was the master of media-based warfare. This year he was tossed about by the game: rocketed to the top and back to earth in one month. At the Rotary Club, he waxed nostalgic about the old days, recalling -- in a sanitized way -- how he had run a "positive" campaign to take over the House based on his "Contract with America."
"It was a positive, issue-oriented campaign that fall," he told the Rotarians. He said he had wanted to do the same in the presidential campaign but had been blindsided by how nasty and "cynical" the contest was. "We got off to a bad start," he said. "I can't do modern politics." A tired Gingrich suddenly looked the part of the college professor he once was.
The story line was self-serving, of course -- Gingrich is one of the nastiest politicians to ever approach a microphone -- but he did not figure out how to do on a mass scale in a presidential campaign what he had done as a congressional warrior 17 years ago. He could not industrialize himself.
Fineman speaketh the truth. Not only did Newt perfect the black art of "modern politics" (meaning the negative, tear-down-your-opponent kind), he put out lists of negative words for all his GOP colleagues to use, instructing them how to practice the black art of negativity against the Democrats. Some have said that Newt is "the father of divisiveness" in Washington.
So, he may have failed in the 2012 version -- but actually what has defeated Newt is, as we all predicted, Newt himself. His "cosmic ego" and his lack of organization. The more people know about him the less they like him, AND he has no organization to do the necessary planning and tasks of "modern politics" -- because his staff all quit back in the summer.
Believe me, Newt's posturing as a positive campaigner was just that: posturing for political purposes. He knew he didn't have the money or the organization to win the other way. So he tried to turn that into an asset. He thought he could give the appearance of being above it all and get points that way. The trouble is: he isn't above it all. He's actually at the very bottom of it; he taught the others how to play dirty. And now they're turning it on him.The truth is, they don't have to play dirty with Newt. Just remind voters of what there is to dislike about him by simply telling the truth. No distortions or exaggerations or lies. The truth about Newt is devastating enough.