I want to address this comment by Ed Morrissey about Gingrich’s recent rise in the polls as the latest iteration of the anti-Romney… actually, let me stop and note something: if Team Romney is not yet worried about the fact that NOTHING seems to get their candidate above the mid-twenties, then they need to start worrying. At least a little.
Anyway, Ed wrote this, on why it may not be a smart idea for Teams Not-Newt to unload on the former Speaker:
…Gingrich has played very graciously with everyone else in this race, and going negative on Newt might have a high risk of backfire.
Hoo, yeah. To put it mildly.
Look, I am not a Newt Gingrich supporter. Not many people in the conservative blogosphere are, really: he’s got his baggage and issues just like everybody else, and those issues will be endlessly replayed in the press starting about, oh, now. But I am comfortable in saying that most of the conservative blogosphere – emphatically including the biggest names in the conservative blogosphere – are enthusiastic supporters of Newt Gingrich participating in the debate process. This is partially because the man’s as smart as a whip, and partially because Newt is good about getting the conversation over to topics that conservatives actually want to hear about. But it’s mostly because we know that during any given debate, Newt Gingrich will rip out a debate moderator’s liver and consume it, raw, on national television.
Do not underestimate the attraction of this. These debates have been awful: mostly stupid moderators who mostly hate Republicans asking mostly stupid questions designed to have no good answer. The only ones that I’ve most liked so far have been the CNN ones, and that’s largely because the network teams up with conservative groups for them*. We feel obligated to watch and comment on them anyway, which makes it worse. Having Newt eviscerate talking heads is the only reliable joy that we get from these things; and we will not react well to anything that cuts into the man’s disembowelment time.
Fair warning, Teams Not-Newt.
*Yes, I know, Erick Erickson of RedState is also a CNN commentator. For that matter, I may end up with enhanced access to the CNN/Heritage debate next week. Neither data point is incompatible with mine that CNN has been giving conservatives more consideration than the other debate hosts have.