The Newt Moment?

A successful presidential candidate taps into the public mood. Newt Gingrich must be hoping the public is bristling with irritation and high dudgeon.

The old saw is that the most dangerous place to be is between Chuck Schumer and a camera. The second most dangerous place to be is sitting across from Newt Gingrich on a stage asking him a question during a Republican debate. There is no surer way to get shot down as superficial, ill-informed, and divisive than to pose a query to the former speaker of the House.

At the CNBC debate on the economy, Gingrich eyed Maria Bartiromo the way Franklin Roosevelt might have looked at Admiral Yamamoto had the Japanese commander been selected to moderate a foreign-policy debate shortly after Pearl Harbor. A lawyer argues the law when he doesn’t have the facts on his side, and vice versa; Gingrich litigates the debate question even when he has a perfectly suitable answer.

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