UTHÅLLIGHET | Den 9 juni lämnade de professionella politiska strategerna Newt Gingrichs kampanj. Idag är han republikanernas toppkandidat.
Peter J. Boyer skriver i Newsweek:
This time, Gingrich says, he is proceeding with greater caution, requiring each major hire to undergo a training session to facilitate acculturation in the Gingrich way. “I realized that if you don’t methodically go through acculturation, this is not going to work,” he says, during meetings with Newsweek in South Carolina and his subdued Washington, D.C., offices. “Because this is too different—it’s too intellectual, it’s too fast, it’s too delegated.” Gingrich knows he has much to overcome, including a significant organizational and funding disadvantage, and the challenge of withstanding the assaults to come (including a confrontation with his own long and sometimes erratic record), while keeping his own impulses in check. Which puts Gingrich in mind of one last trait shared with Clinton. “People forget,” he says, “that we are both very tough.”
Four days after his staff walked out last June, Gingrich took to the stage at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire for the first major Republican debate. Some suggested that Gingrich’s only chance of survival was to hit a home run. He disagreed. “You can’t do that, because you will look like you’re trying to hit a home run,” he argued. “What you have to do is go in and look very stable, so you look competent. And you have to be very patient.”
Gingrich’s debate strategy became, of necessity, his campaign strategy. He would not attack his fellow Republican candidates, directing his criticism instead at President Obama and the press. It proved a remarkably effective political gambit. The debate crowds were far more raucously partisan than in the past, a fact that Gingrich immediately sensed, and exploited. “You’ve got these media guys, and behind them are 2,000 right–wingers who are waiting to beat them up.”
Two months and four debates later, Gingrich’s poll numbers had doubled. The other candidates, meanwhile, were busy harming themselves. Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann went at each other in what Gingrich calls “a destructive exchange,” followed in subsequent debates by Rick Perry and Mitt Romney “acting like seventh graders.”
But the conservative base is plainly thrilled by Gingrich’s forceful oratory. In Gingrich, conservative voters see a guy who’s as alarmed as they are about the state of the nation (alarm is Gingrich’s natural state), and who has already delivered a historic victory—one that produced a balanced budget and reformed welfare. His command on the debate stage has had a dwarfing effect on the other contenders.
Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget (19 december 2011) är från den amerikanska utgåvan.