Boy, that Santorum trifecta a couple weeks ago sure did marginalize Newt Gingrich.
At this point, Newt can’t buy a headline, mostly because of the diminishing returns. He masterfully turned the allegations by his ex-wife by framing it as the Evil Liberal Media out to get him. That propelled him to a victory in South Carolina, but since then, he’s done nothing and has been completely irrelevant. Yeah, that moment with John King may have provided plenty of starbursts for Republican yokels, but when he attempted another attack on the media before Nevada, it did not register. Republicans are all about the shock value, and the only way Newt could stay in their good graces was by topping his first attack on King.
Republicans thrive off spinning media attention as an attack. When Santorum sugar daddy Foster Freiss made a ridiculous comment about sticking aspirin in your vagina as a means of birth control, the media dutifully asked Santorum his thoughts on it. Santorum spun it as the liberal media out to get him. While this undoubtedly won some plaudits from the conservative brain trust, it will likely not have a big effect on the electorate at-large. Had this been on live television, yeah, it would’ve moved the needle.
Newt would never admit it, but his ex-wife’s allegations of his diddling were a catalyst. It’s a whole “wink wink nod nod” deal where Gingrich acts outraged, but he knows that puts the spotlight right on him and makes the media look like they are being biased. Of course, most of us realize the game that is being played, but conservatives are nowhere near as savvy.
There is a good chance we’ve seen the last of Gingrich, a hateful, arrogant opportunist who has a hand in the vitriol the right-wing promulgates these days. Gingrich will no longer be anywhere near as important as he once was (or was perceived as) during those couple of weeks where it looked like he would be the Not Romney to fully establish himself. If this has been “it” for Gingrich, this is a win for Americans, though his legacy will undoubtedly survive. Sure he’ll make a few appearances on the campaign trail (probably with his ole buddy Sean Hannity) where he talks about the “secular socialism” Obama is trying to unleash on America, but that pompous self-importance and the bombastic adjectives he applies to himself, it’ll matter none.
Farewell, Newt, you pudgy, doughy fascist blowhard. Hopefully they make you a janitor in hell.