GOP candidates are easy to label…except Newt.

It’s fairly evident that anyone with a blog involving their name and politics is both cheesy and a junkie.  Political junkie, that is.  I tried to avoid that title in college, but there is no denying it.  Seriously, who walks around on a random Tuesday trying to figure out how to fit a comparison between Mitt Romney and the color beige into a coherent post? This guy.  That’s who.  But let’s be honest…

Mitt Romney is beige.  He does not take chances on policy.  He does not (really) think for himself.  He tries to be the perfect candidate to all corners of the GOP.  But as a former Governor of Massachusetts, the author of Romneycare, a highly paid management consultant and a Mormon, Romney cannot be a dynamic candidate without running into opposition from some conservative group.  Instead, he says nothing of substance or interest.  He sticks to his talking points and bores everyone.  Granted, the buffoonery of the other candidates (I’m looking at you, Bachmann) seemed to support Romney’s strategy.  Play it cool and let everyone fall away.  So far so good.  First, Bachmann in Iowa.  Now she’s gone.  Next, Rick Perry’s decision to run.  Now he’s in trouble.  Following Perry (or during the Perry run), Herman “the Godfather” Cain.  Now he’s falling in the polls.

Meanwhile, the walls of the GOP nomination are still painted beige.  It’s a stable color, really.  Not too institutional.  Just pleasant enough to set off a nice wall-hanging or picture.  Don’t want to turn too many heads.  Play it safe.

Who’s next?  According to all the commentators and columns this week…It’s

 For example, Daily Beast declares Romney and Newt Gingrich the sole, legitimate choices left for the GOP nomination.  RealClearPolitics has polls confirming Newt’s sudden rise.  So, how do we neatly label Newt?

Romney is beige.  Rick Perry is half Romney and half Bachmann.  Ron Paul is Ron Paul.  Bachmann is Far Right and unpopular.  Herman Cain is Howard Dean from 2004 (you know, the candidate that is looking good but then provides an insight that confirms all our fears – for Dean it was that he’s unstable and reactionary and for Cain it is that he’s an amateur and cannot be Presidential).

Next Gingrich is like a cross between a mid-level European bureaucrat and a political science professor at a liberal arts college.  He’s served in Congress.  He’s gone toe-to-toe with President Clinton.  He has questionable personal failings (typical politician stuff, see President Clinton).

Is he for real?

Oddly, the debate rages around how smart he is instead of how electable.  But the media has moved him to the front of the pack.  Are they buying a few more weeks/months of story line until the primaries begin? Is he?

He “contracted” with America on the tax issue.  So, the Tea Partiers like that.  He’s been in Washington and understands foreign policy.  So, the traditional conservatives will like that.  What about the Religious Right?  He talks of prayer, values and the Christian ethic of the Founding Fathers.  Plays well in NH, but what about South Carolina?

If nothing else, at least he’s interesting.  He’s not beige.  I don’t think anyone in the GOP race can beat Obama in 2012.  But as an Independent who voted for Obama in 2008, an Obama-Gingrich horse race offers much more interesting conversations and debates.  I’m not sure if Gingrich could win my vote, but who votes for beige anyway? You settle for beige, you don’t pick it.

Am I nominating Gingrich? No.  Is he at least interesting? Yes.  And that’s about all a political junkie can hope for these days.  In the coming days, some in the media and GOP operatives against Gingrich will move quickly to label him and knock him off “first contender” status.  So, the labels are coming.  Let’s see what sticks.

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