Newt Gingrich… Oscar the Grouch?

Recently, LZ Granderson wrote a rather scathing article about Newt Gingrich and his bid for candidacy in 2012. Opening the article, LZ talks about a recent scheme of Newt’s to “benefit” the children of the working class poor in the schools… His grand plan: to break up janitor unions, have one master janitor, and pay the students to clean the schools. This, Newt claims, will give the students cash in their pockets and more pride in their school. 

Personally, I agree with LZ when he states that in order to be consistent with what Newt has said back in 2009, he should be lobbying for funding designated for early childhood education and addressing the cycle of poverty. Instead, he is now focusing on breaking up janitor unions and “making poor kids indentured servents.”

One of the main points in LZ’s article is to point out the lack of compassion Newt has during this early campaigning season. He states, “I shudder to think whom he would not have compassion for if elected president. Some of the GOP candidates are too simple-minded to be president. Gingrich is just too mean.” 

To compare his scorn for this Republican potential, he compares him to President Obama. For starters, he says that the reason Obama is still so widely liked (which is arguable in itself) is that he “possesses an approachable quality that embodies the good we want the world to see.” LZ does not find this quality in Newt and he even goes farther to say that he doesn’t even think Newt cares.

This article’s content is not all bashing Newt, however (even if the main message behind it is). LZ does praise him as being the “sharpest” candidate during the Republican debates, and says that Newt is extremely smart. However, this leads to the fundamental question of, “What are the more important qualities in a presidential candidate?”

I tend to side with LZ in that personality and demeanor go a long way in helping a presidential hopeful gain support. In my opinion, the largest characteristic about a candidate that determines the amount of support they’ll gain is there political party. Minus the few swing states, red goes red and blue votes blue. Political platforms and personal beliefs also carry a lot of weight when people are deciding which in their party they will choose to support. However, I think another large characteristic that largely goes unnoticed is the candidate’s appeal. Are they approachable? Do they seem nice? For example, look at how many people supported George W. Bush because they claimed he was the type of guy they could see themselves drinking a beer with.  

I wouldn’t vote for someone just because they seem like a nice person. And I wouldn’t necessarily NOT vote for someone because I think they’re a jerk.

But when weighing all the pros and cons and trying to weed out candidates in the primaries, the “nice” factor might actually make or break somebody. 


One response to this post.

  1. I absolutely agree. I personally have been so fed up with the Republican party as of late. It seems as thought they cannot decide who they want to nominate for the 2012 Presidency. First it was Bachmann, then Perry, then Cain, and I am sure I am forgetting someone in there. It is neverending, and I am starting to think that people are taking this less and less seriously. As for Newt Gingrich, I don’t even know what to think about him. For the longest time, I felt as though he did not exist in the debates, and now he is the front-runner. What happened? At this point, I agree with your last statement about the “nice” factor making or breaking someones shot at nomination. It is the only thing that seems to be a consistent factor, even though it shouldn’t be. We should be more focused on the values and beliefs of the candidates, but at the moment, they just are not reliable enough.


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