A political campaign is an extended job interview. I wrote about looking at Herman Cain's appalling knowledge gaps from that perspective ("Cain Blows His Job Interview"). If you look at Newt Gingrich's candidacy in the same way, he should get a quick dismissal. Look at his references. People who worked with him and know him best are warning us in the strongest terms to stay away from him. Would you hire someone for senior management (or for anything) with references like that?
I review the application materials in "The Gingrich Gap."
Peggy Noonan calls him “a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, ‘Watch this!’” While recognizing his virtues and great accomplishments, she calls him “ethically dubious,” “egomaniacal,” and “erratic and unreliable as a leader.” George Will says Gingrich “embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive.”At the Fox News Iowa degate last night, Rick Santorum reminded us that when Gingrich was Speaker of the House in the 1990s, there was a conservative revolt against him.
David Brooks, a remarkably genial fellow, told Time, “I wouldn’t let that guy run a 7-Eleven let alone the country.” Joe Scarborough shares this judgment, calling Gingrich “an ideological train wreck and the worst manager this side of Barack Obama.” Expanding on Noonan’s “egomaniacal,” Brooks writes that Gingrich “has every negative character trait that conservatives associate with ’60s excess: narcissism, self-righteousness, self-indulgence and intemperance.” Charles Krauthammer shares this judgment: “Gingrich has a self-regard so immense that it rivals Obama’s—but, unlike Obama’s, is untamed by self-discipline.”
Most recently, an editorial in The National Review cites “his impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked (and not especially conservative) ideas” when he was speaker of the House. “Again and again,” the editorial continues, “he put his own interests above those of the causes he championed in public.” Though that was then, “there is reason to doubt that he has changed.”
It seems that the poor references are finding their way the the desk of Joe Citizen. Newt is slipping in the polls in Iowa. That is death to the Gingrich ascendancy. The Iowa caucuses are two and a half weeks away which is an eternity in this roller coaster primary, lots of time to join Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry in the reject file.
Newt appears to be scaring people to Romney. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Mitt Romney has moved into the lead.
Mitt could take Iowa and New Hampshire, then roll on the the nomination. Mature, center-right administration would be a relief from the Social Democratic Revolution of the last three years.