What a pompous, arrogant asswipe. Gingrich said during last night’s GOP clown showdown that Barack Obama would not be left standing after 7 three-hour debates, as if anyone would be watching.
PERSONALLY, I think everyone who wants to debate the president should get a chance to do so. Maybe Barack Obama should spend a little less time in the situation room and a bit more time preparing for a series of multi-hour engagements with a man who may or may not be his opponent in next year’s election. What is he, some kind of elitist? So I’m sympathetic to Newt Gingrich’s idea that Mr Obama should meet him for a series of Lincoln-Douglas debates. Still, I agree with Ross Douthat that it’s striking that Mr Gingrich’s debating skills have become a selling point for his candidacy. As Mr Douthat argues at the New York Times, Republican primary voters may be reacting to a perceived advantage (Mr Obama’s rhetorical skill)—or overreacting, given that this revenge-of-the-nerds thing has never propelled anyone to the presidency:
“How does a Columbia-Harvard graduate, who was the editor of the law review … supposedly the best orator in the Democratic Party,” Gingrich asked recently, “how does he look himself in the mirror and say he’s afraid to debate a West Georgia College professor?” It’s a line that evokes a kind of conservative revenge fantasy, in which the liberal elitists who sneered at George W. Bush’s malapropisms and Sarah Palin’s “you betchas” receive their richly deserved comeuppance at the hands of Newton Gingrich, Ph.D.