Here’s the Nonsense: Newt Gingrich won’t become the GOP nominee because he has too much baggage that will destroy him just like the allegations of sexual harassment and an affair are destroying Herman Cain.
Here’s the Horse Sense: Newt Gingrich’s past problems will have nowhere near the impact on his campaign that the allegations against Herman Cain have had on his campaign because Cain’s problems are new news, Gingrich’s problems are old news.
You can only crucify a person once, and Gingrich has lived through it in the past. While the Democrats and the media will try to use those things against him, Newt has not only dealt with them in the past, he has taken the offensive by bringing them up again himself and addressing them on his website. And Newt has opened the door to further scrutiny by welcoming any other questions that he may not have addressed to date. It’s hard to knock down a door that is wide open.
Many think the biggest problem facing Gingrich is getting support from Tea Party voters and also from Evangelical Christian voters. But Gingrich may not have the problems that people think with these two groups.
Critics say that Evangelical Christian voters will have problems with Gingrich’s marital infidelity in the past. That is most likely an incorrect assessment. Evangelical Christianity’s most central teaching is about forgiveness and redemption for a repentant sinner. While Newt is Catholic and therefore doesn’t share the same faith with Evangelicals, his openness about his mistakes, the fact that he’s publicly stated that he’s sought God’s forgiveness for those mistakes, and the fact that he’s open and willing to accept judgment of others for his mistakes will buy him a huge amount of credibility with Evangelical Christians. If Evangelicals are taught anything in their faith it is that believers must seek God’s forgiveness for sin and that when God forgives, the believer is redeemed and made new. Even though Evangelicals don’t agree with Newt’s religious beliefs, they would respect his effort in his own religion to seek forgiveness and repent of what he’s done. That would come across to them as a sincere effort at changing his life.
It is also said that Gingrich would have problems getting the support of the Tea Party voters. Compared to Romney, Gingrich is a breath of fresh air. Not that Gingrich has the perfect conservative record, but because Gingrich is smart, experienced at bringing diverse groups together, experienced at cutting government spending, has a command of the issues second to none in the race, and is willing to speak his mind - especially to the media. And that last one is very important because the Tea Party have had it with the media after the vicious attacks they made on Sarah Palin.
Tea Party voters and Evangelical Christian voters (some of those voters obviously fall into both categories) don’t want a repeat of 2008 and therefore most will get behind pretty much anyone who is not Romney. They see Romney as nothing more than a moderate who is the current version of John McCain, Bob Dole, and George H. W. Bush.
Newt’s background is not near the issue for him that Cain’s alleged background is for him. Newt has been immunized from attacks on his past having much success because he’s been judged on these issues before and he’s brought them up again and not waited for his enemies to do it. It also helps Newt that the Democrats are already trying to set the stage so that Obama’s past relationships with people like Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers will be kept off the table. The arguments are already starting that these are old issues that have been dealt with before and also that it would be racist to bring up topics like Rev. Wright and his relationship to President Obama. Regardless of whether they’re right in doing this, by taking this approach it weakens any argument that things in Newt’s past are valid to bring up again.
Voters choices for a GOP nominee are narrowing. We are rapidly coming to the time when voters will need to make a decision between the candidates that are available to them. And if they want someone other than President Obama in the White House, then they need to decide which candidate both has the best chance at winning and that can do the best job turning the country around. It very well may boil down to a decision between Gingrich or Romney. Newt has a very good chance of surviving the scrutiny to become the GOP nominee. And with Newt’s knowledge, experience, command of the issues, and debating skills that could be a nightmare for President Obama.