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Is Newt the New Reagan?

        When Republicans were asked who they considered to be the leader of the Grand Old Party, most responded, “Duh?” In a recent Gallup poll, nearly a third of Republicans say they look to Rush (10%), Newt (10%) and Cheney (9%) as the party spokesperson.

        These three rich, old white guys make Sarah Palin look like Mary Poppins. But poor Sarah, along with Rev. Huckabee, only polled enough votes to be lumped into the category of “Others,” while Mittens registered a mere 2% despite his heavy spending in the last presidential contest.

        As the poll confirms, consensus is scarcer than hens’ teeth in GOP circles. Moderates in the party—their wings severely clipped—are feeble and frustrated. Meanwhile, those on the right are beating their chests, chattering breathlessly, swinging from the trees, throwing coconuts hither and yon, and wreaking havoc wherever there is opportunity.

        But the loathsome tactics of yesteryear have lost much of their electoral charm. Today there is a cool, new Lion King, who walks the “jungle”: confident, strong, and transforming. The nation and the world is excited by America’s renewed leadership role under President Obama. Since his election in November 2008, our global approval rating has shot up, showing a 25% increase in Turkey; 13% increase in France; and 11% increase in Germany.

        So what is Newt’s strategy for toppling Obama? He wants to sell himself as a Ronald Reagan Republican able to develop a broad base and thus harvest some independents and Democrats. He cites the 64% of Californians who recently opposed a tax issue as an example of those who might be excited by his presidential bid.

        Yet Newt Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan. The former House Speaker has more baggage than Lovey Howell on Gilligan Island. Cheney and Rush are even less appealing candidates to independents, Hispanics, African-Americans, and young people—those the GOP must attract to overthrow Obama.

        Looking at this pitiful threesome, I can only scratch my head in disbelief. I’m thinking it’s early. We may simply be looking at the warm up band, with the main performer yet to appear.



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