The Wall Street Journal reports on Newt Gingrich, who is in Illinois once again comparing himself favorably to Ronald Reagan. “Other than Ronald Reagan, I know of no Republican in my lifetime who’s been able to talk like this,” Gingrich told a banquet crowd in Palatine, referring to his own policy ideas on energy, brain science and other matters. “That’s why I’m still running, because the gap is so huge.”
The Journal goes on to say, “If Mr. Gingrich has failed to capture the party’s imagination in his bid for its presidential nomination, he says, it isn’t his fault. He offers big ideas, but ‘the news media can’t cover it, and my opponents can’t comprehend it,’’ he says.”
That sounds to me to be a bit of an exaggeration. But just for fun, let’s assume Gingrich is as monumental a political figure, and as hyper-intelligent a person, as he believes. Let’s assume he is the only person in nearly 70 years who is Reagan’s equal in terms of brilliance, mastery of the issues, and in his ability to articulate a conservative vision.
If that’s the case, the obvious next question is what explains the fact that Gingrich has won just two out of 31 nominating contests so far? If he’s as good on policy and vision as he says, the only reasonable explanation is that Gingrich’s deficits must be monumental. Because how on earth could you keep Gingrich’s unparalleled gifts and talents under a bushel? It cannot be easy – but Newt Gingrich has somehow found the way to make himself unappealing to the vast majority of Republican voters.
The man must be a miracle worker.