It’s never a given that presidential elections will be determined over policy questions. The 20% undecided voting block that the candidates fight over can swing depending on how voters personally feel about the men that are running. Three qualities that could be important in 2012 are personal life, intelligence and patriotism.
The Democrats can’t believe their luck that they are getting to run against Gingrich. “He would be the best thing to happen to the Democrats since Goldwater,” said Barney Frank in a parting shot on his way to retirement. Remember that comment. It’s going to become famous if Gingrich wins in a landslide.
Clearly the Democrats are looking forward to the contrast between Obama’s and Gingrich’s personal lives. Barack Obama is a reliable family man in the Ward Cleaver/Cliff Huxtable mold. His credentials as a loyal husband and father can’t be challenged. As a Dad he is a legend. Despite being the most powerful man in the world, he’s dedicated enough to pitch in as assistant coach for Sasha’s basketball team. Are you kidding me? Never again will an American parent have an excuse for not pouring time into their children. If Obama can do it, so can you. Congrats, Barack, you put us all to shame.
The president needs to have his likeness chiseled on the Mount Rushmore of presidential family men. Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter (lusting in one’s heart is no disqualification), John Tyler (15 kids), and Barack Obama.
Gingrich’s failings as a husband are legendary. While there are discrepancies concerning how his first divorce transpired and who initiated the process,it’s safe to say that Newt’s probably a very difficult man to be married to, and not the type of guy that you’d ever want your daughter to fall for. Advice to the Gingrich campaign: don’t let your candidate go on the Dr. Phil show. It won’t be pretty.
So Obama wins if the election is about personal life. But what about intelligence?
Gingrich might just be the most intelligent presidential candidate we’ve ever had. Not just in an egghead kind of way like Adlai Stevenson. But also in a street smart way like Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt. Newt has a master’s degree, a PHD from Tulane in European History and has written 24 books on a variety of topics including religion, history and energy policy. Obama’s written two books on the same topic: himself.
Joe Biden got in trouble for claiming Obama was clean,articulate and intelligent. He might be clean and he reads a mean teleprompter, but upon further review, he may not be so smart. He won’t release his grades from college or a copy of his college thesis so it’s hard to tell. But, think about it for a minute. If your teenager refuses repeatedly to show you his report card, what kind of grades do you think he’s getting?
Obama did graduate Harvard Law so he’s no dummy. But he’s probably not too much smarter than George W. Bush who graduated from Harvard’s legendary Business School. Wouldn’t it be fun to sit the two of them down for an IQ test and see who gets a better score? I’m betting on Barack, but by no more than 2-3 points.
If intellect is a factor in 2012, the White House has to be sweating out the battle between the geography professor and the young President who thinks we have 57 states.
What about patriotism? Shouldn’t it be a given that a president loves his country?
Gingrich recently wrote a book called “A Nation like No Other: Newt Gingrich’s Manifesto of American Exceptionalism.” Obama, on the other hand, when asked if he believed in American Exceptionalism said “I believe in American Exceptionalism just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British Exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek Exceptionalism.”
Wow! Let’s imagine somebody asking Obama if he loved Michelle. “Sure, she’s a decent person. But I’m sure Joe Biden and Bill Clinton have good things to say about their brides as well.” When somebody is in love it’s obvious, and Obama clearly doesn’t love America.
At this point you may be asking if I’m questioning Obama’s patriotism. Yes I am! Webster defines a patriot as, “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.” Obama has had chances since he took office to “vigorously defend” his country against “detractors”, how has he done?
When former Communist dictator Daniel Ortega slammed America for sixty minutes over the Bay of Pigs invasion, Obama’s response was “I’m grateful President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.” While certainly the Bay of Pigs was not our finest hour as a nation, if Barack truly loved America he would have fought back a little harder. How about putting the invasion in historical context by slamming Castro or the Soviet Union? Or he could have taken on Ortega for the atrocities the Nicaraguan committed while in power. Instead, all he could do was make it about Obama. Let’s say your father has a drinking problem and somebody walks up to you and calls him a worthless alcoholic. Are you going to respond by saying, “you are correct, sir, but I myself don’t drink.” Love sometimes means defending the object of your affection even when they fall short. Obama needs to learn to show a little love to the country that elected him.
So in one corner we have Newt Gingrich: the brilliant Jingoist with a history of philandering. In the other corner we have Barack Obama: the semi-intelligent family man who hates his country and loves himself. Who will win?