Sunday, January 22, 2012

Late night

The victory speech by Newt Gingrich in South Carolina last night. If you missed it, there's a notable mention of Stephen Harper by Gingrich. It happens shortly after the 20 minute mark. You may wish to fast forward to that moment if your blowhard threshold is low.

Long story short, in the course of criticizing President Obama on his decision to nix the Keystone pipeline, Gingrich played up the point that Prime Minister Harper is a Conservative and is "pro-American." Thereby seeming to roll with the whole ethical oil position in doing so. Otherwise, why mention the political leanings of Harper?

It was an entertaining little spectacle of a moment. Gingrich embracing Harper is likely a turnoff to most Canadians. After all, to anyone watching, as a lot of Canadians were, elsewhere in the same speech, Gingrich tars Obama as the "food stamp" President with the obvious racial undertones accompanying that label. Gingrich also commonly refers to Obama as a radical and a Saul Alinsky organizer and he did so in this speech as well. Hard to imagine that this is the kind of embrace and speech the Harper communications types - who are so careful with the Harper image - wish to be associated with. Harper didn't appear in public the day the Keystone decision was announced, it was left to a statement for Harper's reaction and for Joe Oliver to speak in public about. Think Mr. Harper was pleased to see his name so clearly associated with the project in Gingrich's widely watched speech? Probably not.

As for the Republican race, what a disaster. Gingrich actually has a shot now, at least he does until people take their next close look at him. Will leave off here with Andrew Sullivan's take:
My take away? This is the Republican crack-up people have been predicting for years. Gingrich is on a roll. I think he can win this - and then lose this in a way that could change America history. That is a brief impression in one moment of time. But I cannot see Romney winning this at this point. They are just not into him, and he's an awful candidate.