Tag Archives: Newt Gingrich

The Nevada Caucuses aren’t the Super Bowl, Thank God: Who will win the really big game and why

Mitt Romney may have won in Nevada as predicted, but a caucus is not a Super Bowl. It’s not even the AFC wild card game. If you’re a candidate, the best thing you can say after leaving Nevada is, at least Sheldon Adelson still likes me. And if you’re Romney, you’re happy that your Mormon homies thought enough of you to back you. And then you move on to the next state before you say something dumb about poor people.

I’ll refrain today from saying any more, except that Newt Gingrich, who lost in Nevada, was on “Face the Nation” this morning referring to what he called Obama’s attack on Catholics.

What he do? Take away their rosaries?

This is a real B.S. GOP ploy, and I’ll have more on that tomorrow.

But you know it’s B.S.GOP ploy when Bob Schieffer, the FTN moderator doesn’t take the bait. Nor should you.

The GOP sure likes to take up religious wars.

No, the only war that applies this Sunday, even among Catholics (especially those who pray to “Touchdown Jesus”) is on the football field.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. We are now in the middle-aged Super Bowls, where the Roman numerals require translation.  I remember seeing the first one on TV with my buddy Frankie Veracruz over on 18th Street in San Francisco, just down from the Castro. A lot has changed since then.

When your team(s) aren’t in the big game, it just feels like an obligatory thing. Like going to church. So my heart’s not into it, but I’ll genuflect to the NFL just the same.

Here’s my analysis:

I’ve been following the NFL more this year than in the past because I realized I needed a new mid-life addiction: Fantasy Football.

Because of this, I know the Giants well.  If Eli Manning can throw to Victor Cruz regularly, it’s a signal that his game is on and the Pats defense is vulnerable.  If you see Manning throwing more  to Nix and Manningham more, then the game will be much closer.

Cruz is the key to the air attack. When he gets open, Manning marches down the field. As the defense adjusts, then the running game does its thing.  On the ground, it’s all about Bradshaw. When he was hurt in the middle of the season, Jacobs filled the void well, so well that Bradshaw had a hard time getting back into it. If Manning establishes the run with both running backs, the Patriots defense will be struggling to keep up.

I like Brady to Welker for the Pats, and my days around Boston, as well as Brady’s local Bay Area ties to his Catholic high school, make me want to root for the Pats.

But I think the Giants will be too much for the Pats’ D.

Besides, actress Rooney Mara is a granddaughter of the Giants’ owner. Have you seen her in “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”?


The score goes 7-0, 7-7,  heavy eating ensues, 14-7, 14-14, halftime, all toilets flush, Madonna has  a career malfunction when at least half the audience wonders why Lady Gaga has tamed her act and is singing all those old songs,  21-14, 21-21, we all eat more bad food, 28-21, 28-28, drink more here,  31-28. … done. NY Giants over the Pats.

The “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” beats “Victoria’s Secret.”

Too bad, 49ers. Coulda shoulda…

What happened in Florida won’t stay in Florida for the GOP

Don’t think for a second we’ve seen the last of the mud. Did I say mud? That didn’t look like mud in Florida.


Now to bring it all home, I wished Romney knew Don Cornelius had died. Then he could have made us all feel good by saying, “You can bet your last money, it’s all going to be a stone gas, honey!”

That might have reassured me.

Latest Amok Florida Hair Poll: Cain adds nothing to Gingrich as Romney hair spikes

If you want to know the way the winds are blowing in advance of Tuesday’s Florida GOP Primary, trust the Amok Hair Poll.

Believe me, all I know about hair I learned from my TV News career and Ronald Reagan. And from my vantage point in the reddest part of the bluest state,  I can tell you that the latest development, Herman Cain’s endorsement of Newt Gingrich, does nothing to alter the race.

Cain is a …BALD  man. And the bald vote is not in play in Florida.

The best Cain could do for Newt is not endorse, but merely take away Gingrich’s hairspray and muss up the white helmet look.  Or change the helmet from an SEC football-style  to a USC Centurion-style with that mohawky spike down the middle.

Or just let your hair hang down, Newt. It might solidify the “foreclosed on and unemployed” vote you desperately need in order to win on primary day.  Until then, Gingrich needs so much hair spray to maintain his position, a victory seems unlikely.

As for Mitt Romney, he’s actually gained in the Amok Hair Poll. In a few recent photo-ops, the Mitter has appeared absolutely dishevelled– for him.  A hair out of place? How about hairs?  This is a good development which indicates Romney has actually been outdoors! Maybe even talking with regular folks. His hair in Debate II this past week was almost Brian Grazer-like spiky. This is a good trend for Romney who needs to overcome his image of “Perfect Rich Man.” I mean, the guy didn’t even claim a home mortgage deduction. He’s otherworldly. That’s why the hair is important.

As for the others, Ron Paul and Santorum look like Supercuts guys.

Santorum has an altar boy cut. I’d still question his views on the life of the human hair follicle. When does hair begin?

Paul, on the other hand, has a durable cut—a haiirstyle that should wear well on the moon.

The value of our poll is quite clear. There are no more debates to make up ground before the vote on Tuesday. Candidates can squawk from the stump and ad blitz all they want. What’s really going on? It’s in the hair.

Note to media: You may use Amok Hair Poll results with proper attribution.

Florida Debate II:While Romney and Gingrich duke it out, Santorum and Paul shine

Once again the GOP version of clash of the Titans was the debate focus, with Romney and Gingrich clashing on everything from deporting grandmas to who made more off Fannie and Freddie.

Romney gets the edge for looking less perfect, and a little disheveled (hairs out of place) all while standing his ground.

Gingrich looked like he was working hard, trying to be nice. I want more “Angry Newt.”  He’s going to have to unleash a little of his fury to get back some of that  mo’ he gained in S.C. “Civil but assertive Newt” isn’t working for me.  Could it be that his “not nice” side is his more likeable side.

All the tit-for-tat seemed to help Santorum, who had his big moment when he seemed to scold the two, as he urged everyone to get off the personal attacks and talk about the real issues. Like health care, on which Santorum got the best of Romney.  I’ve been feeling a Santorum surge in the offing. I think others in the media saw what he could do tonight.

I thought Ron Paul was very thoughtful and folksy. He was the best on the religious question, putting it in its place. Meanwhile, Romney dodged his Mormonism, Gingrich his un-charitable ways toward dying wives, and Santorum his pro-life views.

Paul  often was used nicely by moderator Blizter as an antidote to the “Romrich” clash. How did he feel about Gingrich’s lunar colony idea? He’d send a few politicians to the moon.

Overall, I’d say the best candidate tonight was Santorum, but he’s so far behind in Florida, it really means Romney is the likely winner on Tuesday. Gingrich did not score much tonight to make much of a difference.  

And Paul? He’s  ready for a 25-mile bike ride through Texas.

It was good to see more color in the room. Puerto Ricans, Palestinians, Cubans, Republican Americans all. The GOP showing a little more diversity is a good thing

Romney’s taxes, Gingrich’s lobbying, and Santorum’s above it all talking about us

I don’t care about Romney’s taxes. If H&R Block didn’t do them for him he made too much money, and he likely paid less tax  proportionately than any of us.

Indeed, to make $43 million  over two years, paying $6.2 million in taxes, with $7 million to charities, puts Romney at an effective rate of 14%.

Right in there with the school teacher and fire-fighter.

They don’t have a lot in common. And that’s all you need to know about tax fairness.

When Obama takes on the issue of tax equality in his State of the Union address tonight, the contrast between the Democrats and the Republicans should be pretty stark.

It’s the reason why Romney and Gingrich going after each other makes great entertainment, but exposes their candidacies as vanity matters and ego affairs.

It’s about them. Not about us.

Last night’s debate

There’s something to be said when the audience is taken out of the debate. In South Carolina, they were like the 12th man on a football field.  And that’s what fueled Gingrich last week. It was much different In Florida Debate I, where it was like a tennis audience, so quiet you can hear the grunting.

Gingrich seemed flat as he tried to generate some anger and dictate what he would and wouldn’t talk about. Hey, he doesn’t feel like “chasing Romney’s misinformation.”  Without the crowd roar, it was just a dodge.

Romney was actually good in exposing Gingrich’s ethical gaffes from his departure from Congress, to the million dollar contract with Freddie Mac and all his other lobbying activity.

Gingrich continues to insist he was an historian, non-lobbyist citizen advocate. Or something like that.

But Romney got him, especially on Gingrich’s Medicare advocacy:  “If you’re getting paid by health companies, if your entities are getting paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation, and you then meet with Republican congressman and encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you like. I call it influence-peddling. It is not right. You have a conflict.”


Of course, Romney blew it on immigration. Trying to match Gingrich, by saying he was for the Dream Act—if it focused on military service, not college. Though last week in South Carolina, there was no doubt, Romney was 100 percent against the Dream Act, without reservations.

Said Romney in the S.Carolina Jan. 17 debate: “And I have indicated I would veto the DREAM Act if provisions included in that act to say that people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become permanent residents. I think that’s a mistake. I think we  have to follow the law and  insist those who come here illegally, ultimately return home, apply, and get in line with everyone else.”

Romney can’t seem to help himself. It’s in his DNA.

And then there was the issue of “self-deportation.”

As pointed out, we sort of have that already. People can go back to their country of origin any time they want. Some do, some won’t.

But to rely on self-deportation as a policy?  Why not get rid of the Border Patrol too and all the laws and go on some open border honor system!  Self-deportation?  He must have been self-medicating when he thought of that one.

The reality show battle between Gingrich and Romney could take its toll on both the candidates and the audience.  The Situation does not run for president.

So who’s left on the Right?  Ron Paul doesn’t seem to have the energy or the suits to be president, though as a fiscal conservative he does stand out.

That leaves Santorum to try to remain above it all and get the alienated Republican vote tired of the bickering front-runners.

Last night, Santorum, the social conservative, was mostly quiet compared to  Newtney.  Santorum did flex his  fiscal conservative muscle when he exposed both Romney and Gingrich for their support of corporate welfare through the bank bailouts.  Neither could come back at Santorum when he suggested a better course would have been to let capitalism work by allowing the weak companies to fail, or letting stronger ones buy them out.  But the stronger companies sit back and watch the carnage if they all know the government will step in.

And then he suggested that those underwater in their mortgages should get to deduct the losses. The guy is not a bank guy, he’s a people guy.

I’m no conservative, but those are the kind of ideas that resonate among the unemployed and underwater in Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and California. 

If voters tune out of the Romney Gingrich fight, the relatable people-oriented Santorum could surprise everyone.

Can’t stomach Gingrich but still want that conservative taste? Maybe the GOP needs Rick Santorum, “Gingrich Lite”

I don’t know what was more disturbing: a Gingrich victory  in South Carolina or a New York Giants victory over my San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers will be back. So unfortunately will Gingrich. But that just gives the rank-and-file Republicans  the chance to find another conservative who is slightly more palatable.

Isn’t Rick Santorum Gingrich Lite?