Newt Gingrich: going, but not forgotten
The UK has slipped back into recession. The (past) cosiness between the Murdochs and the Conservatives is becoming dangerously claustrophobic for both of them, and loyal subjects are wondering whether the imminent Royal Jubilee and the arrival of the Olympic torch can put a smile back on Britain’s glum face.
But wait a minute. We have huge news on this side of the Pond too. Newt Gingrich has let it be known that he may soon be close enough to consider making an announcement about an issue that, I know, has kept you up at night.
Newt, I am reliably informed, is “reassessing” (and I stress not quitting) his presidential bid. He was forced to war-game the hypothetical alternatives to victory by his continuing string of failures.
To date, and for the record, Newt has won South Carolina, which was admittedly a huge upset for the Romney machine, making the journalistic pulse race, and Georgia, his home state, which was hardly surprising.
For the last month Newt and Callista –they are as inseparable as hair and hairspray- have been jetting around the country in more modest style without the benefit of an executive jet. Most of the travelling press stopped travelling with him a long time ago, and yet Newt has lingered on the campaign trail like a persistent odour.
He has ignored so many hints to quit it became a bit like sitting in a restaurant at midnight while the waiters are stacking the chairs on the tables, turning up the heavy metal music and flashing the lights. TIME TO GO!
The penny has finally dropped, and Newt will be sorely missed for his proposals to populate the moon and colonise Mars as well his fascinating insights into Zoos. If a run for the Presidency is no longer on the cards how about a trip to a distant galaxy with a monkey in tow?
With Newt getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror, Mitt Romney is now concentrating exclusively on Barack Obama. He still looks like an awkward candidate who has read the Berlitz guide to public speaking from cover to cover but doesn’t have campaign rhetoric in his blood.
But his latest line, spoofing Clinton’s winning mantra from 1992 – “It’s STILL about the economy and we’re not stupid!” – rings a bell at a time when the recovery looks pusillanimous. As expected, Mitt is already steering back to the squishy centre.
For instance, he pre-empted Obama this week by calling for student loan interest rates to be kept low, even though it will cost tax payers 9 billion dollars. He would never have made this proposal during the heat of the Primary Campaign when he was most worried about the attack dogs on the Republican right.
Now Mitt is free-er to roam where is most at home away from the firebrand fringes. The voters may of course not be convinced and the Obama camp will keep reminding them of Mitt’s meandering. But this election is about to get a lot more interesting if a little less entertaining.
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