Newt Wins South Carolina! GOP Ship's Heading: Newt-by-North-West

Posted on January 21, 2012 by

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Dateline Portland Oregon, January 21 2012:  I am probably one of the least politically astute people on the planet.  Thus my qualifications for writing a political opinion piece. So it may come as no surprise that my pick for a Presidential ticket comes not from any profound thinking on the topic, but from something that popped into my head while considering a “Newt-West” (Speaker Newt Gingrich for President, Congressman Allen West for Vice President) ticket.  This combination has been widely considered.  What has not been considered (near as I can tell) is throwing Ret. Lt. Col. Oliver North into the mix for a pre-election cabinet consideration.  OK stop laughing.  My rationale is simply that it sounds catchy doesn’t it?  “Newt-by-North-West?”  OK never mind I never was much of a marketing guy either.

GOP Ship's Heading: Newt-by-North-West

On the heels of his surprise win this weekend in South Carolina, Newt definitely has the momentum.  While he can be a flip flopper, he is also the quintessential Washington insider who has demonstrated he can get things done in bipartisan fashion.  And there are bonus points:  he knows where the bodies are buried.  With President Clinton he shoved through welfare reform kicking millions of dead beats off the dole.  He is also an extremely gifted debater.  Credit him with finding a 500 pound gorilla in the room to attack during the debates.

It took Newt Skywalker a little while to find the perfect target.  First he picked Senator Paul Ryan.  On June 6th,  following the first NH debate, I was fortunate enough to be invited as a guest on Jayne Caroll’s Conservative Counsel.  In my preparation notes I wrote the following:

June 6, 2011:  “In contrast let’s look at Newt.  Newt had prepared Paul Ryan to be the the victim long ahead of time.  With Ryan not there, Newt could safely crticize the status quo without being accused of  “dinging up the home team” or committing fratricide.  So if I’m looking for a winner, I propse Newt  for … looking like a masterful debater and committing a victimless crime.

So while many pundits were whining about Newt attacking Ryan’s milk toast, he had found a strategy little noticed by the mainstream, and he began to scope out more delectable prey.  He hit the bullseye thursday night, to the delight of the audience, by taking a flame thrower to the face of the debate moderator.  CNN’s John King is still trying to put his hair out.

Left: CNN's Debate Moderator John King is still trying to put his hair out. Right: Newt Skywalker draws his lightsaber.

And of course the benefits of adding Lt. Col Allen West to the ticket have been widely expounded upon.  As the darling of the TEA Party, and war hero of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (despite the controversial record); West makes the perfect pairing.  It’s an effective strategy for getting the entire party rowing together.  He’s erudite, eloquent and well educated; and his choice let’s the air out of the Democrat’s so-called “race issue” balloon.  While true conservatism is color blind, many center-Left independents will look to a West pick as a nod to being an inclusive party, in the same vein as a Condoleezza Rice, a Colin Powell or an Alberto Gonzalez.

What’s not so apparent logic is the seemingly farcical add of Ollie North as a consideration for an early announced cabinet consideration, such as Sec Def. or Homeland Security.  Of course North is a war hero in his own right, but carries with him the staggering baggage of the Iran Contra affair.  But that was the 80s, and isn’t this the era of retro everything?  With his continual entertainment and news appearances, North has a large fan base.  He carries with him nostalgic images of American Pride,  from a time when “Captain Ron” was at the helm. In his military career North had a reputation of being a no-nonsense guy, who got things done.  Hint:  He’s not afraid of using the term “Islamo-Fascists.”  Yeah of course he shredded documents, but that was before the Enron scandal which put his actions into their proper context.  And lets face it: having him appear on the same convention stage with Gingrich and West will have the fan base jumping from their 200-level seats and heading for the floor.

So for now I say it’s “Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!  Ship’s heading:  “Newt-by-North-West.” (And please, hold the Titanic jokes.)  And oh yeah, one final note.  What about the $15 Trillion in debt we’ve accumulated playing nurse maid to a nation of couch dwellers and crony capitalists?  Who gets the cabinet nod to clean up that mess?  Well let’s leave that as a subject of a future post.  But at the risk of tomatoes being thrown, dare I say it?…  (… wait for it … wait for it …):  “Paul hands on deck.”  (Groan.)

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Posted in: National, Opinion