Back when I was still blogging at LiveJournal, I put up two posts offering cautious praise for Newt Gingrich, based on a long talk I heard him give at AEI in 2006. Looking back at the two posts, they are somewhat more cautiously laudatory than I remembered (or perhaps more cautiously laudatory than some things I might have said then in casual conversation with my then-boyfriend or other friends.) This is good, because otherwise, I might have to pen some sort of "Things I Used To Think That Turned Out To Be Wrong" after reading various critiques of Gingrich's rise in the 2012 Republican nomination polls that I have found persuasive. Of course, I could perhaps devote an entire blog devoted to apologizing for things about which I was wrong in 2006, but somehow I doubt that that would make for especially interesting reading. All to the better that I get to skip the self-abnegation routine...
Back to Newt. At a basically personal level, for the reasons that I spelled out in those old posts, I kind of like the guy. He passes the proverbial "Would you want to grab a drink with him?" test that pundits are so fond of mulling over. Peggy Noonan, I think, sees the same strengths that I saw back then. But she's also right to flag the same very real weaknesses that David Bernstein and George Will did in the critiques of Newt's rise linked above. So given all that, I can't really cheer on the recent Gingrich boomlet. There's part of me that's guardedly hoping that Jon Huntsman gets his turn soon at being Anti-Romney of the Month, for most of the same reasons that my husband spells out here. Nonetheless, emphasis on the "guardedly."
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