Gingrich facing opponents, past in route to nomination

The Washington Post and Politico both ran analyses this week on whether former House Speaker Newt Gingrich can overcome his own personal history to remain a viable alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries.

The Washington Post and Politico both ran analyses this week on whether former House Speaker Newt Gingrich can overcome his own personal history to remain a viable alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries.

Gingrich has surged to the top of some primary polls, taking advantage of sexual harassment accusations against Herman Cain, as well as the Godfather's Pizza CEO's own inarticulateness in a recent editorial board interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

As unlikely as Gingrich's rise seems, the former House speaker could take advantage of voters' short memories, according to Politico's John Harris and Jonathan Martin:

β€œIt could be that people supporting Gingrich in recent polls only dimly recall that he made himself the most unpopular man in American politics while House speaker in the mid-1990s. Or that his own GOP colleagues, weary of his melodrama and impatient with the party's poor midterm election results, pushed him out of that job in November 1998. Or that nearly the entirety of his campaign staff, including longtime aides, declared themselves fed up by his decision making and inconstant attention when they quit en masse earlier this year.”

Gingrich's path to the nomination, or at least one competitive showing in a primary, has already met increased scrutiny. His campaign was forced to explain a Bloomberg News report that he had received between $1.6 million and $1.8 million for advising Freddie Mac – the housing organization demonized by many, including Gingrich, as a root cause of the 2008 financial crisis.

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