Newt Gingrich: The Immovable Object…

So it’s been eight months, 20 debates, 1,420 rallies, $105 million spent and countless Big Macs (mostly in the Gingrich camp it must be said), and still the Republican candidates are slogging on. Although most of the Republican candidates are quite morally contemptible, you do have to admire their ‘staying ability’, to keep going from small town to small town in an attempt to squeeze those last few votes out of the Republican faithful. I know that if it was me, well after the 1000th rally I think I would be rocking back and forth in the corner only to be institutionalised, strapped into a straight jacket and being putin a padded cell, much like Sarah Palin. And yet the marathon continues!

After last week’s Super Tuesday reaction it was always going to be difficult to follow up to something as exciting as that, and yet I’m pretty excited this week! Firstly, I got Bruce Springsteen’s new album ‘Wrecking Ball’, now usually I don’t do much promoting (although there is more to come later), but I am a HUGE Springsteen fan, and his new album is awesome so buy it, c’mon who doesn’t love the boss?! And secondly, in unfortunately non – Springsteen related news, the second thing that excited me was that this week it finally, finally looked as if Newt Gingrich would drop out the race prompting a huge sigh of relief from the world’s population. Unfortunately however, he disappointed everyone, hence the title ‘the immovable object’, now for once, if you can believe it, I wasn’t making fun of Newt’s weight I was more pointing out his reluctance to step down… Well it might be 20% as a joke about his weight, OK 40%!

Newt had promised, for a third time, that his campaign would surge, and to be fair to the chubby former Speaker of the House it wasn’t just him who thought he had a pretty good chance in Alabama & Mississippi; previously he’s done pretty well in the Southern states, with wins in South Carolina and his state of Georgia. In fact it was Sweater vest Santorum that once again solidified his position as the ‘alternative to Mitt’, although personally I think Santorum and Gingrich should fight each other for the chance to be Mitt’s alternative, apparently everyone else favours a more structured approach! And it was  Santorum who really favoured the structured approach this week winning both of those aforementioned states.

Invoking the faith card from the very beginning, it was quite clear that Sweater vest was going to do well in the deep south states, and in between thanking Jesus and attacking Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum has been on something of a roll, his wins in Miss (It’s a nightmare to spell Mississippi!) & Alabama come on top of his 3 Super Tuesday wins, coupled with his Kansas win this past weekend, and added again by his very probable win Missouri this weekend. He now goes into the great state of Illinois next week for the next BIG ONE, only this time he has $3 million worth of attack ads lined up by ol’Mitt waiting for him, and who said politics couldn’t be friendly!

However the even BIGGER ONE is Newt Gingrich, and his date of departure, which I’ve been hoping for, for about 8 months I think! His defeats in his must win home region of the Deep South ensured that his White House bid is over, you hear that Newt, over! Yet he’s delaying the inevitable and being bloody stubborn about it, it seems only Gingrich & Gingrich’s team that still think this is a 3 horse race, yet realistically, it’s not been a 3 horse race for some time now. Yet it’s not all bad I suppose, I like making jokes about Newt Gingrich, and without him it would seriously impair my ability to make fun of him, well I could keep doing it, but it wouldn’t have as much impact. So Newt’s still running the marathon, but the question is; for how much longer?!

– Just a little note at the end here, I promoted Bruce Springsteen’s album on here earlier, but now it’s time for some shameless self-promotion! A website has been set up by a few university students here in the UK to try and showcase young writers, photographers, artists etc. So basically it’s pretty cool, I’ve written quite a few bits for it on American politics, and the guys who run it are really great so please have a look! It has the potential to be really, really big so please do have a look! It’s called Loud Mouth and I believe it’s launching this Sunday – http://loudmouthofficialblog.blogspot.com/

Why Barack is getting comfortable..

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So things are starting to change, the seasons, the weather, it’s probably Newt Gingrich’s annual underwear changing as well, so it’s good for everyone, in fact in England today we had our hottest day so far this year which is obviously great. It was actually sunny, and as soon as the temperature tops 9 degrees everyone’s out in sunglasses and shorts, and personally I’m not a huge winter fan, so I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit, and by British standards anything above 10 degrees is something of a heatwave! Another momentous change could be on it’s way later this year, not Newt’s underwear (not twice in one year!) but ol’ Obama could be ousted, while I’m sure that England will have another sunny day, I, like so many others, cannot see a change in the Oval Office later this year.

It’s been a damn good week to be a Republican, no wait sorry, that should be it’s been a damn good week to be Mitt Romney, everyone’s favourite Mormon (I don’t know any mormons so he wins by default) cleaned up two Primaries this week in Michigan & Arizona. Personally I thought Mitt would blitz both primaries and finally silence Sweater vest Rick, well, it turns out I was half right, he won in Arizona by a hefty 20ish%, Michigan on the other hand was a bit tighter, and when I say ‘bit’ I mean a lot, and when I say tighter, I mean there was some serious sweating going on in the Romney Campaign HQ. I don’t know a huge amount about the demographics in Michigan but I thought that because Mitt’s dad was governor there, he was naturally, a shoo in. Apparently not, in the end he beat Rick Santorum by about 3%, and even then it wasn’t a HUGE WIN, unfortunately for ol’ Mitt, Michigan divides it’s delegates proportionately, so despite his marginal win he has to begrudgingly split the 30 delegates with Sweater vest Rick, and cue more Romney sweating!

When the results were coming in, admittedly I was asleep, (what? it was like 3 AM here and I have school!) but when I woke up and saw the results I was genuinely surprised at the small winning margin in Michigan. As I said, I’m not sure of the voter demographics, but I mean his dad was freakin’ governor, so surely that carries some sort of influence, and also it’s where Mitt was born, so surely home-field advantage! So that raises the question; Why didn’t Mitt blitz Michigan? Now, admittedly, I’ve been giving the other candidates a bit of a hard time, especially Newt Gingrich, and as a result I’ve left Mitt Romney a tad unscathed, so here it goes; while I’ve very much enjoyed deriding both Rick Perry and especially Newt Gingrich, it turns out that Mitt Romney is no stranger to the ‘political gaffe’, in fact after a bit of research into his comments, especially when talking to voters, it really shows that he has the equivalent people skills of a cruise missile!

On friday, it seemed that ol’Mitt went all ‘Rick Perry’ on us all, trust me that saying will soon be in the dictionary, he firstly seemed to boast that his wife ‘had a couple Cadillacs’, brilliant thing to say in Michigan, he then bizarrely remarked something about Michigan’s trees being ‘just the right height’, but then the real big one, he said he didn’t like NASCAR, again good stuff in Michigan, but he did know the owners of a couple of NASCAR teams, you heard him, Mitt Romney in touch with the 99%. By Wednesday the Democrats had created a video, highlighting the aforementioned quotes and calling him ‘out of touch’, honestly, it’s my dream to go into politics be it American or British, and I would love to work on election campaigns, but there is simply nothing Romney’s team could come back with in response to him being ‘out of touch’, at least Barack made an effort with the whole ‘I listen to rap’ thing, I guess Mitt could go down that road, no one would believe him though, well maybe he likes Vanilla Ice?

Of course the bigger picture is that the Republican party is it’s own worst enemy, it’s contributing to it’s own downfall, and essentially serving President Obama’s next term on a lovely GOP dish. Romney has no real backing from the GOP HQ, and with him being the frontrunner, well it’s a disaster. Their obvious reluctance to get behind their man with the best chance of winning their nomination undermines their best chance of winning the presidency, some party leaders have called for unity but nothing seems to work. Exit polls from Michigan showed that half the voters, only 45%, of Republican voters, felt enthusiastic about their REPUBLICAN candidates, the GOP voters are seemingly waiting/hoping/praying for a fresh candidate that, realistically, may never come. It’s time for Mitt to get back ‘in touch’ with the voters, maybe he could start rapping?

P.S – Apologies for various uncompleted versions of this being posted multiple times, WordPress has changed and no longer likes me. Apologies to anyone that commented previously, as those old incomplete posts were deleted!

To Mitt, or Not to Mitt, that is the question..

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So I guess I better start off this week’s blog by thanking Rick Santorum, not so much a genuine ‘thanks’, but a sarcastic ‘thanks’, ‘thanks Rick Santorum for winning in Missouri, Minnesota & Colorado!’, I had to change my original title for this week’s blog and it’s entire content because of the sweater vest king’s triple win. Originally it was going to be ‘Viva Las Mitt’ which I thought was pretty damn good, it had a nice ring to it, and of course it would be about Mitt’s win in Nevada, but NO, ol’ sweater vest Rick Santorum had to ruin it!

In fact, you know what, we’re going to have some ‘Viva Las Mitt’ in here! Last Sunday was a good day in the Romney household, he completely blitzed Nevada and finished with a giant 48% of the vote, twice more than that chubby chaser Newt Gingrich who got a measly 23%. Another thing pleasing Romney, and his many, many sons, was that the exit polls showed Newt’s support seemed to be falling away among conservatives, evangelicals and Tea Party crazies, these supporters who had previously grabbed him a victory in South Carolina were now firmly in Romney country. This trend continued this week with pretty crappy performances in the Colorado & Minnesota caucuses, in which he finished 3rd & 4th, oh and also a default last place finish in the Missouri Primary, which wasn’t a Primary, confusing, because he didn’t even register in time for it!

So what started badly on Sunday for Newt, ended in a car crash of a result on Tuesday, unfortunately however, his campaign is far from over; he has vowed to stay on at least until Super Tuesday in March where he looks set to do a bit better than previously. In contrast, ol’Mitt was on something of a roll, after knocking both Florida & Nevada out of the park in quick succession, he was widely expected to do well in the three contests this week, apparently the Coloradan, Missourian & Minnesotan (I can’t believe these are actually words for people from these states) voters didn’t read the Romney script!

Before we go any further I have to admit that I had no idea where Minnesota or Missouri actually were, but then I found that the Missouri Primary wasn’t a ‘real primary’, apparently they have the official one in a couple of months, so I wasn’t too bothered about that one. So now I just don’t know where Minnesota is, which I think is ok, it’s one of those states that you don’t really hear about, no offence to those Minnesotans out there, I’m sure it’s lovely. Now to move on before I get hate mail from Minnesota, I already knew a bit about Colorado (Go Broncos! Tebow!) and personally I thought Romney was a shoo-in for both of the aforementioned states, after all in 2008 he won the Minnesota Caucus by a fairly wide margin. This didn’t quite go to plan; the Santorum surge seems to have risen from the ashes in Nevada, the exit polls seemed to show a slightly more anti-Mitt edge than the results reflected, interestingly four out of ten Republican voters said they were principally focused on getting Obama out of the White house, suggesting that some voters are willing to compromise some of their ideological beliefs in to back the man they best believe can get that comfy seat in the oval office, so instead of a vote for Mitt, it’s more of a vote for anyone whose not a Democrat.

Personally I think this is the case with Rick Santorum’s triple wins, instead of actually voting for a candidate the voters believe in, they are just voting for an alternative to Mitt Romney or an alternative to Barack Obama. While this of course great news for ol’Rick and more importantly his array of sweater vests, it’s bad news for the Republican party, their vote is becoming increasingly split between three candidates and this leaves the door open for Obama to walk straight back into the White house. If we’re talking about ‘divide & conquer’, the Republicans are dividing themselves making it much easier for the Democrats to conquer later in the year. Ol’Mitt’s campaign is suddenly significantly weaker, he was hoping to spend February attacking Obama, now he’s spending February attacking Santorum, who can probably expect the same negative ad bombardment that Newt Gingrich has been experiencing the last couple of weeks. Santorum, who has so far been fighting on the caucus and primary front on a very strict budget, has said that the last fortnight has been the best in terms of fundraising, as the results came in tuesday night it was reported he received $250,000 in online donations alone, this really can only mean two things, you’ll be seeing more Santorum and you’ll be seeing more sweater vests!

Newt needs some ‘Tebow Time’!

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Well, it would be an understatement to say that it’s been a bit of a tumultuous week! Not only have we had two GOP casualties with John Huntsman inevitably pulling out but also just as inevitably, Rick Perry has decided to go as well! While Huntsman’s exit was to be expected, Rick Perry’s was slightly less so, I mean yes he’s been polling at a pretty crappy 5% in just about every state since Iowa but he was a resilient Texan! So not only has it been a bad week for the GOP HQ who have seen two other people who aren’t Mitt Romney drop out, but also the Denver Broncos lost on Sunday night, what? I like American football! So that means no more Tebow Time, what? I’m not the only person who likes Tim Tebow?

Oh and in case you don’t know who Tim Tebow is, that probably applies to most of us in the UK, he is the Quarter back for the Denver Broncos and he’s been causing quite a stir in the sporting world. Basically during the American football season when the Broncos have been losing, he has inspired some great comebacks to win the game, after he throws the winning touchdown he prays on the field, no seriously, and it’s turned into a bit of a phenomenon, google Tebowing!

Anyway back to the politics, if there was one man in need of some Tebow inspired ‘divine intervention’ it’s Newt Gingrich. He, like many others, have stated that if ol’ Mitt wins the South Carolina Primary on Saturday then the race is effectively over. Which is probably very true, Mitt’s running away with it in the Florida polls at the minute, but that isn’t really the case in South Carolina anymore…

It’s remarkable really, Mitt was streets ahead of everyone in South Carolina about a week ago, however a few things have changed since then. Essentially Mitt Romney has served a punching bag over the past week taking hits from just about everyone, the main attacker has of course been Newt Gingrich, with the former Speaker of the House investing in excess of $3.3 million of campaign ads over South Carolina’s airwaves. The most notable, a now infamous 27-minute documentary entitled ‘When Mitt Romney came to town’, I thought it was a new romantic comedy starring everyone’s favourite mormon, but in fact it was about Mitt’s 15 year tenure as head of Bain Capital featuring endless interviews of people who had lost their jobs and homes when the companies they worked for were taken over by Bain and closed. Another bizarre advert from Newt Gingrich productions slated Mitt for lying and for speaking French. Yeah apparently your not allowed to speak more than one language if your running for President, no wonder John Huntsman never had a chance!

While the ‘French attack’ will go down in history for being the most ‘bizarre political advert ever’, Newt’s 27 minute Mitt flick back fired slightly, it seems just about everyone rounded on Newt’s ill conceived ‘documentary’ accusing him of being ‘ignorant’ and ‘dumb’, although it seems Sarah Palin thought that it was ok, but that’s not good for anyone. And while many thought that Newt’s popularity might wain, it has in fact done the opposite in the past few days, he’s surged in the polls, and even more so in the past 12 hours when it was revealed that former Texas governor Rick Perry was pulling out, only to then proclaim his love for Newt! The forgetful governor’s endorsement may not seem much, but his 5% of conservative support could make South Carolina a very tight race.

Yet more bad news for Mitt Romney, I’m starting to genuinely feel sorry for him, it looks like the Iowa Caucus result is to be overturned, although not officially until tomorrow, it looks like ol’ ‘sweater vest’ Rick Santorum has won by 37 votes, instead of the 7 votes Mitt won with originally. Just craziness. But not the sort of craziness Mitt Romney needs two days before the primary, if he loses in South Carolina then the race could be blown wide open, with his solitary win in New Hampshire, a state he was always going to win, it’s not looking like Mitt’s for the taking anymore…

An odd but fortuitous turn of events for Newt Gingrich, he must be Tebowing somewhere!