National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Assessing the GOP Field

In this morning's Washington Post, two op-ed columns look at the GOP field.
Richard Cohen accuses Newt Gingrich of dishonesty, but I am not sure he makes the case. I do not perceive dishonesty in Gingrich. I think he is completely sincere, but perhaps a bit too ready to believe his own propaganda or whatever conservative item he read yesterday. What threatens Gingrich's candidacy is not any dishonesty but his lack of discipline. A presidential campaign is a kind of job interview in which voters assess not only a person's policy proposals and values, but someone's character and fitness for office. Most Americans know they want a steady hand at the rudder, and Gingrich does not appear to have the self-discipline needed to steer the ship of State. By way of contrast, if you look back at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, when President Obama made fun of Donald Trump, joking that the decisions Trump had to make on his television show were the kinds of things that would keep Obama up at night, little did we know that, while he made the joke, the President was aware that his sleep might be interrupted that very same evening, having already ordered the mission that captured bin Laden. Obama was cool as a cucumber. Gingrich is never cool.
Michael Gerson points to some of the challenges facing any GOP candidate, and how Huckabee's decision not to run may create a path for Tim Pawlenty. But, Gerson's suggestion that Pawlenty could capture Huckabee's populism is far-fetched. Just watch the two in action. Huckabee is at ease in front of a camera. Watching Pawlenty, with his small hand gestures, more calculated than a math exam, is painful. You want to run up on the stage and whisper into his ear, "Exhale." Populism is not so much an ideology as a manner and a method, and Pawlenty is the last person who will be able to evoke Huckabee's folksy charm.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.