It is looking like my pick for the 2012 G.O.P. nomination, Rick Perry, may not make it after all. While I still think out of all of the candidates he has the best record in which to beat Obama, Perry is trying to campaign among undecided voters in South Carolina which demonstrates his desperation to claw back to top-tier status.
I hold out some hope Rick Perry can make some sort of a comeback but must face the fact he may not. If Perry bows out, I will put my support behind my second choice for President: Newt Gingrich. At first I had written Newt off due to the bad taste in my mouth over the collapse of the 1994 Republican Revolution which I blamed him for. I also thought he had way too much baggage that would easily lead to an early demise. Fortunately, my initial assertions were inaccurate and it's turning out Newt might be the best choice among the Republican candidates.
As Thomas Sowell points out, Newt not only produced the first Republican-controlled Congress in over 40 years but also the first balanced budget since 1954 too and brokered very necessary welfare reforms that Clinton took credit for but liberals decried. While Speaker Gingrich was later subjected to House ethics and IRS investigations due to a controversy surrounding the financing of a course on American History he taught at the time of which he was later cleared of all but one of the charges.
The ethics charges leveled against Gingrich were primarily on the part of Democrats and, not surprisingly, were later found to be fabrications. Newt's biggest mistake was not understanding the Machiavellian aspects of the kind of radical changes he wanted to implement and the depth of the opposition he would encounter. Sarah Palin went through a similar scenario as Governor of Alaska and, interestingly enough, Newt has announced he would consider picking her for Vice President. If Newt gets the nomination and selects Palin that would be an added bonus to the 2012 Republican ticket. These two individuals have first hand experience with and can successfully fend off the destructive tactics of the left which nearly brought both of them down while Newt could push for radical changes in tax and spending policy like he did as Speaker of the House.
What is refreshing is not only has Gingrich admitted his mistakes but what is amazing is that his poll numbers are very high in South Carolina. This shows that he can articulate his case to the average voter while having knowledge of the intricate details of public policy. Voters are obviously forgiving Newt for his past mistakes and are warming up to his message since they see him as a competent and capable man.
Gingrich does have a temper and I think he is going after Mitt Romney out of revenge for the negative adds Mitt allowed a Super PAC to run against Newt in Iowa. It was wrong for both Newt and Perry to make an issue out of Mitt Romney's business practices at Bain Capital. However, I think it would be a mistake to write Newt Gingrich off as a serious contender. A friend of mine who used to organize Science Fiction conventions knew author Jerry Pournelle who co-authored books of interest to libertarians such as Oath of Fealty, The Mote in God's Eye and the Prometheus-award winning Fallen Angels. Pournelle is friends with Newt and it is through my friend that I learned more about him and have warmed up to the idea of him being a good choice to be the Republican nominee in 2012.
President George W. Bush bravely weathered criticism of his terrorist policies, and Newt has been steadfast against the criticism of his past while having a breadth of knowledge that would make Thomas Jefferson proud. For twenty years Gingrich has taught war strategy to general staff at the Air University for the U.S. Air Force and at the National War College which would make him a very competent and capable Commander-in-Chief. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has few accomplishments under his belt as Governor of Massachusetts, a record of tax and spend policies as well as appeasement of Democrats that would make any leftist blush.
The fact that Jimmy Carter has said he would be very pleased to see Romney get the nomination as well as his attempts to coverup mistakes of his term as Massachusetts Governor speaks volumes as to why Mitt Romney should not be the GOP nominee. When I look at the contrasts and scuttles between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney the more I am reminded of the clash of ideas between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller. In this case, history seems to be repeating itself and in light of the contrasts in policy and appeal Newt has a record of accomplishment that libertarians can appreciate while Romney's record leaves one wanting. What America needs is a man of action and, unlike Mitt Romey, that is what Newt Gingrich is.