The prevailing attitude among many Democrats is that Newt Gingrich 2012 is the best thing to come down the pike since – well, Newt Gingrich 1996.
“We’re looking at 1964 or 1972” if the former speaker is the GOP’s pick, predicted one top Democratic strategist, recalling two incumbent landslides.
Gingrich’s liabilities are ample and amply documented. There’s the infamous lack of personal or professional discipline, the absence of campaign infrastructure, the marital infidelities and political intemperance — this is the man who had an affair while helping to impeach Bill Clinton for having an affair. Oh, and he just happened to collect $1.6 million from reviled mortgage giant Freddie Mac in nebulously defined consulting fees.
Most of those around President Barack Obama would still prefer to take on Gingrich rather than the better funded and organized Mitt Romney. But if Romney is a conventional enemy, Gingrich poses an asymmetrical threat: He’s simply a more dangerous, talented and unpredictable political actor than Romney.