Commentary: Happy Trails, Newt

Why Newt Gingrich’s loss is a win for the whole country.

Posted: 05/04/2012 02:00 PM EDT

After suffering a bone-crushing defeat in the Delaware primary, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich reassessed his campaign. Realizing his snowball chance in Hades of being the president of the United States of America had melted and evaporated, Gingrich called in the dawgs, packed up his campaign paraphernalia and called it quits.

Although Gingrich’s head was bloodied by the political blows he received in the first state, it certainly wasn’t bowed. In his own enigmatic way, he stood tall in the saddle as he delivered his concession speech on Wednesday.

"I think you have to at some point be honest with what's happening in the real world, as opposed to what you'd like to have happened," said the conservative stalwart. "I think obviously that I would be a better candidate, but the objective fact is the voters didn't think that." 

Given the fact that Gingrich only won two out of the 36 states that voted in the Republican primary, I’d say his assessment of voters' feeling was a gross understatement. Truth is that Gingrich should have bowed out of the race a long time ago. According to a polls conducted by NBC, the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Reuters and others Gingrich would’ve lost to President Obama in a general election.

“Among independents, his numbers are 33 percent positive and 48 percent negative, and among moderates, they are even worse, 30 percent and 52 percent,” write The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza. “Even 28 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of conservatives rate Gingrich unfavorably.”

Needless to say, many moderate Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief now that Gingrich has seen the light.

Although I am the last person to agree with a Republican politician on anything political, I’d be at fault if I didn’t say that I, too, am breathing a sigh of relief now that Gingrich is gone. I do so not because I want to see Mitt Romney win the presidency — that’s not the case. It’s just that I had grown tired of Gingrich’s smug and cavalier attitude toward the poor and working class as well as his anti-union, anti-feminist, racially charged rhetoric.

Since entering the race for the presidency, the Georgia politician has done nothing but spur racial division with some of his more inflammatory rhetoric. Gingrich's departure from the presidential race and his permanent departure from American politics in general would not only be a small boost for the Republican party, it would be a giant leap for the majority of the American people.


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