Monday, February 6, 2012

Mitt Romney Wins Nevada Caucuses; Newt Gingrich Wins Support of Those Seeking to Promote Better Mental Health

Mr. Gingrich is Starting to Generate Sympathy (Really) But Not Votes

The Nevada caucuses have been held and the results are exactly what one would expect.  Mr. Romney has been campaigning in the state for five years, his Mormon religion gives him support amongst a large group of Mormons in the state and the opposition had little or no organization.  So while the national press, eager for a story were there is none portrays this as a huge victory for Mr. Romney, it is really nothing more than business as usual.  Mr. Romney winning in Nevada is no more than a “dog bites man” story.

Of greater concern to many of us is the attitude of the second place finisher, Newt Gingrich.  Mr. Gingrich is not a nice person, he has never been a nice person.  In gaining national prominence Mr. Gingrich has relied on tactics of personal vicious attacks on people who disagree with him.  For Mr. Gingrich to be losing as a result of those same type of attacks now being used against him should result in some satisfaction.

Instead results of the Republican race only results in some sympathy as Mr. Gingrich appears to be losing his grip on reality.  Instead of the usual post election rally, which would not have made any sense given Mr. Gingrich’s performance in Nevada, he held a news conference in which displayed that he has taken the attacks against him so seriously and they have so unnerved him that his grasp of reality appears to be slipping.

Gingrich’s remarks about regaining his front-runner status by Texas — which he repeated — capped a bizarre press conference held Saturday in Las Vegas.

Consider this from the press conference.

The former House speaker said he will be in the race all the way through the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.

“I’m not going to withdraw,” he said. “I’m actually pretty happy with where we are.

Anyone who watched Mr. Gingrich over the last several weeks knows that “happy” is not the word to describe him.  Happy is not the word to describe a person coming in second in a two man race.  And then there is this.

Gingrich said his plan is to amass about as many convention delegates as Romney by the time Texas votes on April 3. “By that point,” he said, “we can win the nomination.”

which would imply Mr. Gingrich expects a big wins on Super Tuesday and beyond.  And there is this

“I am a candidate for president of the United States,” Mr. Gingrich said emphatically. “I will be a candidate of the president of the United States. I will go to Tampa.”

which just sounds eerie. 

Mr. Gingrich has one huge supporter, a billionaire casino owner who has pumped millions into Mr. Gingrich’s campaign.  The person, Sheldon Adelson, is signaling he will move to Mr. Romney at some point in time.

Several people who have spoken with Mr. Adelson over the past two weeks said he would most likely continue to help the group as long as Mr. Gingrich remained in the race. But, they said, he is concerned that additional deep-pocketed donors have not joined him. And, they said, his affection for and loyalty to Mr. Gingrich, who met with him here on Friday, have not blinded him to the reality that the nominating contest is tilting in Mr. Romney’s favor.

The victory in Nevada was a small thing for Mr. Romney.  It was expected, it did not signal any broad based support in the state for the general election and it did not award a huge number of delegates.  But the press is playing it up as a huge win, because the press needs to report stories regardless of whether or not a story is there.  So Mr. Gingrich is not only up against reality, he is up against perception, which is even stronger than reality.

This Forum continues to believe that Mr. Gingrich will withdraw, because it is the rational thing to do.  However, only rational people do rational things; irrational people by definition do irrational things.  And it is sad to see an irrational person act out his fantasies on the national stage, even if that person is not, as previously noted, a very nice person.

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