I've been tough on Newt and to tell the absolute truth he was not even my 4th choice for the Nomination nor did I dream I'd be supporting him for President. I did lament early on to Erick of RedState that I missed the Newt of 1994 and expressed that I believe he was long gone. I was one of those hoping for Sarah Palin. I considered Michele Bachmann but after Iowa she disappeared into a campaign that muted her strengths to the point she was ineffective and plastic. I thought Perry had it locked up till he put on debates that reminded people too closely of a recent Republican occupant of the White House. Then there was Herman Cain who won me over and then just as it appeared he might be the Tea Party candidate I'd been looking for he was destoryed by allegations made fatal by his own bad judgement. Then Santorum wins Iowa a bit time delayed and he manages to look and sound Presidential for the first time in this campaign. It was easy to like a winner but then came NH which muted Santorum and now he sounds just as small as he did before Iowa. Ron Paul of course killed any fire for him with his naive moral equivalency concerning terrorists and Iran. I like a lot of what he says but he seems unfortunately more interested in making obscure points than ever winning the Presidency.
Now Cain, Bachmann, and Perry are gone while Paul and Santorum are all but irrelevant which brings me to my support of Newt. I'm not going to pretend that I believe Newt is some kind of savior certainly not like the Romney team which has behaved as if their guy is entitled to the Presidency or 'inevitable' while trying to peer pressure everyone into just going with Mitt because 'Mitt can win!". I've never responded to that kind of inanity and I wont start now. I find it insulting. Politics has never been a team sport for me though I've never voted for a Democrat for office outside of a minor office where no Republican was running. I voted for Ross Perot in my first election that of 1992 being not impressed with President Bush or Bill Clinton. I considered myself an Independent then. My Father a coal miner was and is a member of the UMWA and though politics wasn't discussed much most of my family were and are conservative Democrats. What I liked about Perot was the systematic approach, he articulated the problems with deficit spending when very few others were in any serious fashion. I also liked the fact that he was a success outside of the federal government. He had a plan and I believed he was sincere, something which I did not see in the others. That vote is the only vote for President where I do not have a sliver of regret.
Its been a long road since that vote but I still have a fairly good memory and I remember the morning where I first truly identified myself as a proud Republican. That was the morning of Nov 3rd 1994. I woke to Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, a truly unbelievable accomplishment. Newt Gingrich was a big part of that accomplishement. Some would strip him of his mantle and his accomplishments because of his personal failings and time searching for a place in public life after he did not take his house seat and effectively 'resigned' the speakership but his role is undeniable in helping to produce today's political reality where conservatism can and does take the fight to liberals in Washington DC and the msm. He and others like Dick Armey picked up the ball where GWH Bush dropped it. I remember reading about Newt long before he was speaker and his fighting against the odds in a Democrat controlled Congress but what really helped win me over was the Contract with America. A committment to a set of ideas,principles, and promises. It was impressive and it really closed the deal with me.
Some seem to have forgotten the glory of that time something only to be dwarfed by the 2010 midterm election. It is true that Newt did not come up with the Contract with America alone, he did not balance the budget alone, he did not get Welfare reform alone, and it is also true he has made big mistakes like sitting down with Nancy Pelosi for Global Warming commericals, it is true he has personal failings that aren't easily dismissed but I believe he deserves a second chance and has earned it. No one believed he was going to even get close to the nomination when this began but through his dogged determination and competence in debates and in his articulating of a clear conservative message he has earned his place as the GOP standard bearer. Some would have us coronate a NE Moderate who has not one conservative accomplishment of true note and dismiss Gingrich for his flaws while disregarding the totality of his record one which though not spotless is well worn and tested in trenches where Mitt Romney has never stepped.
I don't trust that Gingrich will never make a mistake or say something that is off the cuff that may be left better not said but I do trust him to fight for what he believes, articulate an intelligent conservative message, and also listen to us the grass roots when we disagree. I don't trust Mitt Romney to do any of those things. I don't trust him at all in that regard. Right now his campaign has been run as if he can remain ambiguous and simply ignore or take for granted the conservatives in the GOP which make up 75% of the party as well as being the largest single idelogical political group in the electorate according to Gallop. I do not want a nominee who behaves like he has no passion or conviction for the things he claims to believe. So I'll take the proverbial 'prodigal son' in Newt Gingrich whose faults I know and whose strengths I trust over someone who I have no idea where his heart or conviction really is.
That is why I endorse Newt Gingrich for President.