January 22 2012
Stories: Newt’s Winning Formula: He Does Scorn and Disgust Better Than Anyone
Speaking to a packed house at Mutt’s BBQ in South Carolina’s Pickens County on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich encapsulated the conviction underlying his campaign. “[W]e frankly disdain the internationalist, secular socialists who would like to change our country,” he said, to applause and hoots of thrilled agreement.
Last night was a resounding victory for disdain. Gingrich may be a sexual hypocrite, an erratic leader, and a cosseted lobbyist masquerading as a scrappy insurgent, but he is an absolute maestro of contempt, and that is what South Carolina wanted.
Look at what turned his electoral fortunes around. It had little to do with his attack on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. I didn’t meet anyone in South Carolina, including Gingrich supporters, who had anything negative to say about Romney’s business record. Instead, the race turned in Gingrich’s favor during the debate on Monday, when Juan Williams asked him whether it might be “insulting” to black Americans to say they should demand jobs and not food stamps, and that poor kids should be put to work as janitors. Gingrich, puffed up with righteousness, went on the offensive. To the crowd, he seemed to be putting Williams in his place. No doubt their hearts pulsed as they imagined him doing the same to Obama.
“Only the elites despise earning money,” Gingrich retorted. When Williams pressed him on his references to Obama as the “food-stamp president,” the audience booed. Gingrich’s sneering, forceful response about not bowing to the forces of political correctness earned him a standing ovation. After that, his rallies started getting mobbed and his poll numbers soared. Gingrich trounced Romney on Saturday because of how effectively he channeled the Republican base’s apparent conviction that whining racial minorities are enjoying unearned privileges in the benighted Obama age. more >