The Seducers…I mean, Producers

From STEVE KORNACKI at OPENING SHOT at Salon:

We may be witnessing the political world’s answer to “The Producers,” the Mel Brooks musical about an avaricious showman who concocts a sure-to-flop production that somehow turns into the surprise hit of the season. It’s called the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign.

The former House speaker has rocketed to the top in national GOP polling, and with only weeks remaining until the Iowa caucuses he now has an opportunity to cement his status as the conservative movement’s designated alternative to Mitt Romney. In a month full of breakthroughs for him, Gingrich scored his biggest coup yet over the weekend, when the Manchester Union Leader awarded him the most coveted newspaper endorsement on the Republican side.

Original theatrical poster

What’s so fascinating about this — besides the simple fact that a 68-year-old man who as House speaker racked up some of the most poisonous poll numbers ever seen and who left politics in disgrace 13 years ago has at least temporarily positioned himself as his party base’s last best hope for 2012 — is that it’s still unclear whether Gingrich ever intended to run a real presidential campaign.

In fact, the evidence, at least until now, has been fairly compelling that he was mainly attracted to a White House bid because of its lucrative brand-building potential.

This would explain why, for instance, Gingrich thumbed his nose at staffers who pleaded with him to focus his energy on fundraising, organization-building and aggressive campaigning in key early primary states, the traditional building blocks of a serious candidacy. Instead, he opted for a leisurely mix of book-signings, screenings of Gingrich-produced videos, and recreational activities with this wife, prompting those same staffers to quit en masse.

That he’s frequently used the televised debates to promote those same books and videos (all of which are available for purchase through his campaign website) only bolsters this impression.

..snip…

In fact, as of this past August, when he was barely registering in polls and the political world was still laughing at him for his staff defections, vacation habits and exorbitant Tiffany’s credit line, Gingrich was openly telling Republicans that he didn’t believe he had a chance of winning the Republican nomination, but that he was intent on staying in the race anyway.

But, sort of like Max Bialystock’s “Springtime for Hitler,” the Gingrich presidential campaign is now succeeding brilliantly in spite of its apparently suicidal design.

…snip…

Gingrich’s moment […] wouldn’t be possible without the Tea Party-era GOP base’s profound lack of interest in anything or anyone that smacks of establishment Republicanism, and its thirst for ideologically pure outsiders. […] And it’s allowed one non-traditional candidate after another to spring up in the polls and vie with him for the lead. Gingrich had to wait a long time for his turn, as surges for Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Cain (again) came and went. Each one of them wilted under the scrutiny that comes with front-running poll numbers, but none of their supporters ever seemed to defect to Romney.When his turn came this month, Gingrich was more prepared. As front-runners, Perry and Cain delivered debate performances that ranged from underwhelming to dreadful, with Perry making a fool of himself and Cain fading into the background with little to say. By contrast, Gingrich showed himself in last week’s debate to be a master of political performance art (at least for an audience of conservative Republicans), projecting confidence, authority and even wonkishness (however deceptive this perception might be), while deftly addressing potential vulnerabilities.

…snip…

And it’s allowed one non-traditional candidate after another to spring up in the polls and vie with him for the lead. Gingrich had to wait a long time for his turn, as surges for Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Cain (again) came and went. Each one of them wilted under the scrutiny that comes with front-running poll numbers, but none of their supporters ever seemed to defect to Romney.When his turn came this month, Gingrich was more prepared. […] Gingrich showed himself in last week’s debate to be a master of political performance art (at least for an audience of conservative Republicans), projecting confidence, authority and even wonkishness (however deceptive this perception might be), while deftly addressing potential vulnerabilities.

…snip…

[J. Ann Selzer, who runs the widely respected and nonpartisan Iowa poll for the Des Moines Register noted] that the only Republican candidate who’s been waging a traditional Iowa campaign is Rick Santorum – who also happens to be the only Republican candidate who has never experienced any kind of surge or mini-surge in any kind of poll this year. Meanwhile, Gingrich has managed to attain polling heights that even Romney hasn’t been able to reach despite having (until recently) practically no cash, no campaign infrastructure, and no meaningful endorsements.

Who knows, maybe this is all the result of a brilliant plan that Gingrich has been faithfully executing and that no one else was smart enough to appreciate. But it seems much more likely that Gingrich’s candidacy is the perfect expression of the absurdity of modern Republican politics: He set out to sell some merchandise only to accidentally discover that he had the perfect formula for a credible campaign in the Tea Party-era.

39 Comments

Filed under humor, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, parody, politics, Republicans, Rick Santorum, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

39 responses to “The Seducers…I mean, Producers

  1. i didn’t get home until 7, and i hadn’t even picked out a poster yet. sorry for the rush job, kids.

  2. Pjevs

    It’s a lovely rush job Nonnie. I really like how you depict Cain like a thief in the night.Newt for president?What are americans thinking of? I do feel sorry for America these days.

    • thanks, pj. i saw the poster, and i fell in love with it. i wanted to have callista coming out of the window, but there wasn’t enough time to figure out how to do that. i figured that hermie was the next best thing, since he only entered the race in order to make more money, just like newtie.

  3. The Producers was the exact analogy I thought of about Cain’s campaign — how can something so blatantly ridiculous be a success? but now that you mention it, that fits for all the rodeo clowns; no chance of leading the nation but lucrative speaking gigs, Fux talking bobble-head spots, sell some books,etc…I think that’s the aspiration for all of them, except Mittsie who just needs his own echo chamber.

    • i wish there was some kind of filter they had to go through so that running for president isn’t just a way to get famous and make more money on books or speeches or to get a job as a talking head on tv. i don’t know if what’s been going is a worse reflection on the candidates themselves or the imbeciles who would actually vote for them.

  4. John Erickson

    I figured, with the title, you were going to cover Cain’s latest sex scandal – the alleged affair. (Or has it been confirmed by now?)
    Am I a bad person if I admit I am quite fond of “Springtime For Hitler”? (Kinda reminds me of, I think it’s, “To Be Or Not To Be” with “All I Want Is Peace” – another fave.) :D

    • i didn’t hear about hermie’s latest news until i got home, and it was too late to find an article and a movie.

      i think springtime for hitler is hilarious (or heil-arious?). i had lots of fun with it when the rich iott story was hot.

      • elizabeth3hersh

        I saw the show here in Vegas! As to Cain…as soon as wifey comes around to believing or the equivalent of a “blue dress” is submitted for evidence, we may be looking at a whole new pizza chain: Godmother’s!

        • like i said before, i think gloria was fully aware of hermie going elsewhere to get his dinky stinky. there are some women who are okay with that as long as they get to live their comfortable lifestyle. i don’t think, though, that she was prepared to be embarrassed so publicly. i feel sorry for her and her kids.

  5. John Rocker

    Leave it alone, your comments are mute since you will not be voting in the primary. You should really spend time thinking how in the world your boy is going to talk his way out of the last three years.

    • my boy? why don’t you take your racist ass somewhere it will be appreciated? i suggest red state or glenn beck’s site or fox news. don’t bother to respond, because any further comments from you will be deleted.

  6. @ John Rocker — your “boy”?!?! best crawl back under your rock(er) the 21st century has rendered you obsolete

  7. Bill Clinton was talking up Newt as a nominee. Of course he would be; he knows exactly what Gingrich is and how to beat him.

    Meanwhile, Jon Huntsman is shaking his head and saying, “I’m losing to these clowns?”

  8. Cain is such a piece of work! His latest deal is a 13 year affair. His spokespeople said “besides if it was a consensual relationship amongst adults, therefore nobody’s business”.

    Right! When Clinton had folly in the oval office it was considered an impeachable offense.

    Maybe that should be Cain’s campaign slogan “Nobody’s Business”

    • i don’t think hermie needs a slogan anymore. he needs a doghouse to sleep in. then again, maybe he already has a separate bedroom. i get the feeling that gloria knows that her hubby has been gettin’ his dinky stinky with other women for years.

  9. Well at least the apperance of the first troll, like the first leaf falling, marks the true begining of the political season. A surge of Santorum!?! For god’s sake, get a towel! NBC news did a piece today showing how in highly illiterate Egypt they issue pictures to be used by the candidates, which will appear on the ballot to identify the candidate. Were we to go to that system, the Grinch could have a picture of a sack of shit. And a worthless one at that! Meanwhile, Cain’s campaign keeps “inching along”….

  10. jeb

    Newt and Hermie should easily make the grifters hall of fame for their ability to carry their scams as far as they have.

  11. A rushed job? Wow … you are quite the talent! Meanwhile, Herman will continue to be a nonfactor as Newt will continue to win the anti-Romney vote. This campaign season has been a real circus – which only be enhanced by the growing roar of We Want Sarah!

    • i don’t know if i’m getting any better, frank, but i know i’m getting faster. :wink:

      it really is a circus. i think, instead of another debate, they should all have to try to balance a ball on their noses or keep a bunch of plates spinning at once.

  12. Pingback: Lassie, Lassie, Go Save Timmy! | A Feather Adrift

  13. OK, i AM senile and it HAS been a while. Hey, that rhymes! But I forgot how to insert a damned image here. So, here is the link instead.

    fwiw

    • latte!!! it’s been way too long since you’ve been here! how are you? so happy to see you. :D

      wordpress doesn’t allow images in comments. there’s an exception, but i forget what it is.

      i wish i had thought of doing that photoshop. hilarious! i wonder if white ginger snaps goes well with black walnut.

  14. at the end of the producers – Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom start producing Prisoners of Love in jail – i think Newt would make a great lead in PoL — and you can imagine what the showstopper song would be

  15. elizabeth3hersh

    Faux News at its best (from today’s Neil Cavuto business show):

    Neil Cavuto asks Cain why he has provided money to Ginger White. Cain responds he has given money to a “lot of people.” Cavuto delves further and asks Cain about the ~61 calls/texts some of which are at 4-5 am. Cain replies he was helping her out with rent and car payments. Cavuto asks if others will come forward that he has “helped.”

    Cavuto: “Can you say unequivocally that there will not be any others coming forward?”

    Cain: “There is no way I would say unequivocally.” “Ginger White was having financial problems and I was trying to help her…then BOOM, out of nowhere, she decides she is going to go public.”

    Cavuto presses on (the best question I have heard anyone ask Cain): “Why would she say…she has known you for 13 years…a friend…someone you were helping, a non-amorous relationship according to you…why would she say out of the blue that you are not fit to be president?”

    Cain: “I was only trying to help her out financially…trumped up charges…”

    Cavuto: “You are the only one (candidate) that seems to gather or collect these types of charges…whether it is harassment, whether it is womanizing, whether it is inappropriate relationships, they tend to pile up around you…why is that?”

    Cain: “I don’t have an answer…I’m the Democrats worst nightmare…when I was low in the polls nothing…only when my polls rose did these allegations come out.”

    Cavuto then talks about a recent Richard Cohen post where there seems to be a double standard whereby Gingrich gets a pass for his extra-marital affairs.

    Cain responds with more of his nine-nine-nine-nein-nein-nein…”I’m a work in process.”

    So there you have it: he was merely helping a friend and was bushwhacked (bushwhacked…get it?). Hahahahaha!

    • what’s really floors me is how the women who were sexually harassed didn’t seem to bother anyone at faux whatsoever. they just called the women names. i don’t really care if hermie was having a consensual affair with someone for 13 years. i don’t really care if he’s boinking someone every other night, as long as there is consent.

      as for cain, you can tell when he’s lying (no, not the old joke that his lips are moving, though that’s pretty close). it’s his body language. he tenses up when he speaks when he’s lying. he thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, but he can try to bullshit as much as he wants, and nobody is going to believe he was texting this woman in the wee hours of the morning just to make sure she made her car payment.

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