Tuesday, February 14, 2012

National Review Magazine Pulls No Punches

National Review Magazine, in an editorial piece entitled "Santorum's Turn," is calling for Newt Gingrich to exit the GOP primary race in no uncertain terms, and in one of the strongest pleas for the former Speaker to exit.

Why? (Well, isn't it obvious?)
First, and foremost, Gingrich has only had one win- South Carolina. And second, Rick Santorum is proving to be the real contender, not Gingrich. The article goes on to cite that Gingrich is, without question, a very smart man. Someone who could be used as "resource for any future Republican president." But the longer he stays in the race, the less likely it is that anyone would ever want to associate with him. "But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee." Pretty harsh rhetoric from a publication that is supposed to be on the same side as Gingrich!
The National Review points out that when Gingrich led in the polls, he called for Santorum to leave the race. And therefore, "on his [Gingrich's] own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit." (Of course, he could also endorse Romney the bigger front-runner, but we all know that is just laughable.)
The magazine was also fairly complimentary towards Santorum, and less so towards Romney. Regarding the former Senator from Pennsylvania-
Santorum has been conducting himself rather impressively in his moments of triumph and avoiding characteristic temptations. He is doing his best to keep the press from dismissing him as merely a “social-issues candidate.” His recent remark that losing his Senate seat in 2006 taught him the importance of humility suggests an appealing self-awareness. And he has rightly identified the declining stability of middle-class families as a threat to the American experiment, even if his proposed solutions are poorly designed. But sensible policies, important as they are, are not the immediate challenge for his candidacy. Proving he can run a national campaign is.
Well, the first half was mostly complimentary anyway.

Note the language difference between the descriptions of Santorum and Gingrich.

It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader.
With Santorum it is "moments of triumph," "humility," "self-awareness," "rightly identified."
For Gingrich it is "avenge," "wounded pride."
But that is nothing compared to the unflattering terms used to describe Mitt Romney.

Romney remains the undramatic figure at the center of the primaries’ drama. Lack of enthusiasm for him has set it all in motion. Romney is trying to win the nomination by pulverizing his rivals. His hope is that enthusiasm will follow when he takes on Obama in the summer and fall. But his attacks on Santorum have been lame, perhaps because they are patently insincere. (Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?)
Romney is a transactional politician rather than a charismatic one. 
"Undramatic," "transactional politician," "lame," "pulverizing," no really, National Review, tell us what you really think!

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