Powerline: The Case for Newt
This excellent piece comes as a natural extension for many who are supporters of Herman Cain but worried that he may not be able to overcome the allegations of sexual harassment permeating mainstream media coverage for the past week-and-a-half. It is also fairly reflective of what I had to say two days ago about Speaker Gingrich.
Nevertheless, I thought that Steven Hayward’s piece was a worthwhile read. An excerpt:
So as Cain fades from the scene (I like Cain, but I’m sorry, he’s not ready for prime time presidential politics) and Perry continues to perform erratically, there’s a decent chance Newt will emerge as the not-Romney candidate. And then there will be a test to see whether the GOP “establishment,” such as it is, can put Romney over the top, and whether the Tea Party and other conservative grass roots Republicans will put aside their well-founded suspicions of Newt.
But beyond handicapping the primary campaign dynamics, Newt is doing something interesting and maybe profound: he is trying to run for president according to an older model that stresses substance over sound bytes and gimmicky, targeted campaign strategy. (Hence the emphasis on Lincoln-Douglas style debates that de-emphasize the place of the media questioners, among other things.) It is a bid to see whether presidential politics can still be conducted along the line of the old republic that would be more familiar to the Founders, to the style of public argument more akin to what Hamilton had in mind in talking about “refining and enlarging the public view” through “reflection and choice” in Federalist #1.