The establishment comes down on Newt

We’ll never quite now how much of Newt’s seeming collapse in Florida is based on being destroyed in the ad market, being pummeled in the debates, or the Republican elites coming down hard on him.  But man, he sure looks done now (though this year, I’m definitely refraining from definitive pronouncements).

Damn, I should’ve sold Newt short a week ago!  Anyway, John Cassidy has a really nice piece about the GOP Establishment finishing off Gingrich the past week:

The only realistic scenario in which Gingrich could have defeated Romney was one in which he halted Mitt’s victory march in South Carolina and then took him down in Florida. When the Party elders saw Newt successfully carry out part one of this plan, they decided to halt his progress, and quickly. As Palin noted in her post, some of their attacks upon the former Speaker shaded the truth, others; such as the ones questioning his credentials as a Reaganite, were highly inflammatory. To the latter point, Palin recycled a 1995 quote from Nancy Reagan, who’d said, “Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.”

Newt and his Alaska-based patron—for that is now her primary role—have just learned a lesson that many Democratic candidates have learned since 1968, when Richard Nixon put together the first recognizably modern Presidential campaign: never underestimate the ruthlessness of the G.O.P. electoral machine.

Yep.  You just don’t usually see a Republican on the losing side of the ruthlessness.  I did predict at lunch today that Newt will stick around as long as the media keeps paying attention to him.  Hopefully, that’s a good long while.  It’s just hard (though certainly not impossible) to see a road to victory at this point.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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