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Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

ESSAY | Politiska nördar kände säkert till Newt Gingrich redan innan starten av republikanernas valkampanj. Samma kan nog inte sägas om Rick Santorum.

Så för alla som gillar att dyka ner i tidningsarkiven kommer här två långa personporträtt publicerade 2005 respektive 2009 i The New York Times Magazine.

Båda håller än idag för en genomläsning. Och när man läst dem får man en betydligt mer nyanserad bild av personerna än om man bara följer dagsnyheterna. (För att inte tala om man följer amerikansk politik via svenska medier.)

Michael Sokolove skrev 2005 i The New York Times Magazine:

Santorum has never entirely shed his image as someone not quite fit for polite political company — he is the senator as hyperactive political pugilist, quick to engage in combat, slow to yield the floor, a little too eager to crush opponents. His instinct runs more toward total victory than to meeting somewhere in the middle. He has become important, a man for the political times, partly because he understands the Senate’s courtly veneer as just that — a fiction. He likes to fight from the extremes and disdains political moderation as wishy-washiness. He respects Democrats like Representative Henry Waxman of California; Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin; and the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota — determined, passionate liberals. ”They’re out there because they really believe this,” he said. ”This is from their core. They’re true believers, God bless them. That’s what political discourse is all about. You bring in your moral code, or worldview, and I bring in mine.”

[…]

Some of Santorum’s supporters, however, say they believe that his faith leads him into terrain that has been abandoned by other social conservatives. David Kuo, the former deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, says he has come to believe that, on social issues, the hard right of the Republican party is concerned too much with behavior, primarily abortion and homosexuality, and too little with poverty. He considered Santorum the exception. ”He was a singular voice in Republican leadership fighting for antipoverty legislation,” Kuo said. ”He kept pushing it. I was in meetings when people would start rolling their eyes when he started talking about it. It is very much at odds with the public perception of him. He fought behind the scenes where nobody could see it. His compassion is genuine.”

Om Newt Gingrich skrev Matt Bai i The New York Times (2009) följande:

“He’s a total idea factory,” [Paul] Ryan said. “The man will have 10 ideas in an hour. Six of them will be brilliant, two of them are in the stratosphere and two of them I’ll just flat-out disagree with. And then you’ll get 10 more ideas in the next hour.”

A lot of these e-mail messages are deeply wonkish, written in single-sentence paragraphs without punctuation or capital letters. It’s almost as if you can see Gingrich twittering away at a Starbucks while doing calculations on a wrinkled napkin.

[…]

Gingrich is a historian and a futurist; he’s comfortable looking backward or ahead, but he doesn’t actually do all that well with the present. Possessed of a chaotic mind that moves from one obsession to the next, Gingrich flailed from objective to objective, while his missteps came to dominate the news.

[…]

This has long been the chief criticism of Gingrich among those who share his ideological convictions — that there is a randomness to his brilliance, a lack of prioritization or discipline. Gingrich may be an “idea factory,” as Paul Ryan puts it, but it sometimes seems like a factory working on triple shifts without a floor manager or anyone keeping the books. Even Gingrich’s modestly bulging waistline, which expands and contracts on some kind of lunar schedule to which only fellow Republicans seem especially attuned, is mentioned as evidence that Gingrich can’t focus on any one objective for very long.

Läs mer: Artiklarna och tidskriftsomslagen är från The New York Times Magazine den 22 maj 2005 respektive den 1 mars 2009.

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USA | Efter tre raka förluster tog Mitt Romney hem Maine med 39 %. Men segern var inte den enda goda nyheten för Romney.

James Rosen, Maine Sunday Telegram, skriver:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney got a much-needed boost Saturday, winning a key symbolic vote over former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania among some of the nation’s most active Republican voters and besting the field in the Maine caucuses.

Romney’s 38 percent-31 percent defeat of Santorum in a straw presidential vote among thousands of activists at the annual convention of the Conservative Political Action Committee bolstered his claim that he can consolidate support among the Republican base.

[…]

In a separate nationwide survey of conservatives conducted by conference organizers, Romney also bested Santorum, though by a narrower margin of 27-25 percent.

The two results, announced shortly before the news that Romney also won the Maine caucuses, were a setback for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and provided fresh evidence that he’s losing ground to Santorum as the strongest alternative to Romney in the GOP White House race.

In Maine, Romney took slightly more than 39 percent of the 5,585 votes cast statewide. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas came in second with 36 percent. Santorum received 18 percent and Gingrich won 6 percent of the caucus vote.

Bild: Framsidan är Maine Sunday Telegram den 12 februari 2012.

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HYBRIS | Han har höga tankar om sig själv. Han älskar att kalla sig historiker. Och jämföra sig med Charles de Gaulle, Ronald Reagan och Margaret Thatcher.

Även om Pat Oliphants teckning publicerades innan Newt Gingrich seger i South Carolina har den blivit aktuell igen efter förlusten i Florida.

Timothy Stanley, historiker på universitetet i Oxford, skrev på CNN:

It’s no great surprise that Gingrich lost Florida. He was dead from the moment that he clammed up in the Florida debates — and the millions that Mitt Romney poured into the state in negative ads didn’t help either. A lesser man would be crushed by this result. But Gingrich isn’t just a man. He’s a visionary, a historian, the inventor of supply side economics, a space marine and a latter-day Casanova. I’m getting all this off the back of one of his DVDs (just kidding).

[…]

In short, just about the only thing that will propel Gingrich through to the national convention is ego. But that ego is large enough to have a gravitational pull of its very own — so don’t expect to see Newt stop now.

Bild: Fler teckningar av Pat Oliphant på GoComics.

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USA | ”Live to fight another day.” Så skulle man kunna sammanfatta Rick Santorums framgångar i Colorado, Minnesota och Missouri.

Även om det har varit lite förvirrat i media handlar det inte om några vunna delegater för Santorum. 

Däremot kan Santorum (och Newt Gingrich och Ron Paul) dra nytta av att spekulationerna återigen drar igång kring Mitt Romneys oförmåga att entusiasmera de konservativa gräsrötterna.

Skall Santorum lyckas även framöver måste han hålla ångan uppe. Han har nämligen inte mycket till kampanjorganisation på plats inför kommande drabbningar.

Segrarna ger honom dock möjlighet att fylla på sin sinande krigskassa. Trippelframgången borde göra det lättare för honom att få in nya kampanjbidrag.

Alexander Burns, Politico, skriver:

General-election viability has been a part of Santorum’s message since before the Iowa caucuses. Even when he was polling in the middle of the pack in Iowa, Santorum was urging Republicans there to think about which candidate in the race had a record of winning the blue-collar, Midwestern swing voters who decide elections.

Now, strategists suggest, is the time for Santorum to dial up that argument. The cornerstones of Romney’s campaign have always been his perceived electability and strength on the economy. With unemployment numbers dropping and Romney looking less formidable in polling match-ups with the president, Santorum has an opportunity to ask the GOP to reconsider their assumptions about the front-runner.

He’s started doing that, telling voters in Missouri last week that their party needed to nominate a candidate “much more multidimensional than Mitt Romney” to beat President Barack Obama. In his victory speech Tuesday night, Santorum said that it was his reliable conservatism, rather than Romney’s money and organization,that would give the president his toughest challenge.

Santorum will need to make that case at full blast if he’s going to persuade voters to view 2012 through an entirely different lens than the one they’ve been using. In a way, that’s been the story of his whole campaign — a White House run held back principally by the fact that it seems so implausible.

Bild: Artikel på framsidan av The New York Times den 8 februari 2012.

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NEVADA | Mitt Romney vann stort i mormontäta Nevada. Med ca. 70 % av rösterna räknade har Romney 48 %. På andra plats Newt Gingrich 23 %. 

På tredje och fjärde plats Ron Paul (19 %) respektive Rick Santorum (11 %).

Romney ser alltmer ut som den självklara presidentkandidaten bland republikanerna. Gingrich däremot låta alltmer som ”the crazy uncle in the attic”.

Och inte blir det lättare för Gingrich i kommande valkampanjer. Sam Stein, The Huffington Post, skriver:

The month of February, which brings with it a slate of primaries and caucuses that favor either Romney or Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), promises to be brutal for Gingrich. His campaign is reportedly low on cash. He has no formal infrastructure in place in most states and didn’t even make it on Virginia’s ballot. Pressed on all these points, however, his responses drifted between insolence and confusion.

[…]

He was, he concluded, ”mildly amazed at the news media’s desperation to find some excuse to say, wouldn’t you please quit this evening.”

The truth, of course, is that the press would love nothing more than for him to continue. Even an increasingly dull primary race is better than no race at all. But signs that his campaign has lost its defining rationale are mounting.

Övrigt: Framsidan är tidningen The Las Vegas Review-Journal som publiceras i Nevada.

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FLORIDA | Mitt Romney vann övertygande med 46 % av rösterna. På andra plats kom Newt Gingrich med 32 %. På tredje plats Rick Santorum med 13 %.

Från Romneys segertal i Tampa, Florida:

Primary contests are not easy – and they’re not supposed to be.  As this primary unfolds, our opponents in the other party have been watching.  They like to comfort themselves with the thought that a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak.

But I’ve got some news for them:  A competitive primary does not divide us; it prepares us.  And when we gather here in Tampa seven months from now for our convention, ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for America!

Three years ago this week, a newly elected President Obama faced the American people and said that if he couldn’t turn the economy around in three years, he’d be looking at a one-term proposition.  We’re here to collect.

Since then, we’ve had 35 months of unemployment over 8 percent. Under this President, Americans have seen more job losses and more home foreclosures than under any President in modern history.

[…]

Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. In another era of American crisis, Thomas Paine is reported to have said, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Mr. President, you were elected to lead, you chose to follow, and now it’s time for you to get out of the way!

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DESIGN | Mitt Romney har tagit mycket stryk på sista tiden. Newt Gingrich har vunnit debatter och knappar in inför valet i Florida enligt opinionsundersökningar.

Men det var inte de politiska händelserna som fick Bloomberg Businessweek att avstå ifrån att låta en blodig och sönderslagen Romney ”pryda” omslaget. Enligt tidskriften ville man bara lyfta fram en annan story.

Redaktör Josh Tyrangiel: “[T]he Romney story seemed to have already hit its peak. A lot of times these decisions are about all of us putting our finger in the air and trying to figure out which way the zeitgeist is blowing. It’s what makes the job so fun and so challenging.”

Läs mer: Se texter och länkar om tidskriftsomslaget på BuzzFeed och The Atlantic Wire.

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