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Monday, January 23, 2012

Can Gingrich Beat Obama?

While I have held the view for some time that almost any Republican nominated would have no problem beating Barack Obama in 2012 (in a two-man race), I do have some doubts about Newt Gingrich. Here are my reasons for doubting him:

1. His rants against capitalism and free markets may have helped him against Romney during this past week, but against Obama, they would be neutralized. What is the difference between the two of them on this issue? What helped him this week would likely be used against him against Obama.

2. It's pretty hard for Newt to play the Washington outsider. After all, his whole life has been about Washington politics: he was in the House for twenty years or so, and even when he left, he worked as a lobbyist, or a quasi-lobbyist, or a consultant, or whatever, designed to help companies deal with Washington.

3. While Newt is a great debater, I would offer caution to those who believe he would run circles around the President. I do agree that whether it be Newt, Romney, or Paul, all three could school Obama pretty easily, but how many debates will Obama actually agree to? Two maybe? And within these debates, who usually moderates them? Ummm....95% of the time, they are people who want Obama to win. So while Newt is a good talker, I am not so sure he will come off as well in a debate with Obama.

4. Lastly, and possibly most importantly... will women vote for Newt? I have no idea whether the allegations his ex-wife made are true or false. He said she said. But right now, the story is out there, and even if only a minority of people believe it to be true, this could be quite damaging. I personally believe that the fact that he has been married three times means he won't get a lot of women support. One could easily argue, didn't Bill Clinton womanize? And this didn't hurt him. Ok. Right, although maybe it would have in 2000...but it's also different, and the media holds the two parties to different standards.

I have my doubts about Newt, but before we get too carried away, let's see what happens in Florida.