well, i got better

Comments stalwart Dave passes along a piece that matches well with my (limited) personal experience with one Mr. Gingrich of Georgia:

And while he may understand the kinds of hot-button issues that get to people, what he does not understand is how he, Newt Gingrich, comes across to people. The answer: not well...Newt Gingrich never received more than 100,000 votes in his life. He'll never be president.

Back in 2007, it fell to me to entertain a colleague visiting from New Hampshire. In an effort to talk about something other than science for a few minutes, I (jokingly) asked him how many presidential candidates he had met. He paused for a moment, then said, "Pretty much all of them."

It took me a second to realize that he was serious.

Whatever you think of the disproportionate influence Iowa and New Hampshire have on the nominating process, one feature of this particular quirk in our system is that candidates have to actually meet a substantial portion of the electorate in those states, and make a meaningful impression on them to win. Clearly, this isn't a foolproof way to weed out the sleazy or the possibly unstable, but considering the stakes involved, it's probably better than allowing candidates to campaign solely via the media and at a great remove from real people. Or at least people who care enough to vote in primaries and caucuses.

I met Newt Gingrich twice: once as a middle school student, when his district still encompassed the south side of Atlanta (he decamped for Cobb County along with most of the other white people in the 90's), and a second time when I was a student at Georgia Tech. I don't think my impression of him either time was unduly influenced by politics, since in the first instance I was 12 or 13 years old, and the second time would have been right around the time I voted for Bob Dole for president.

Long story short: Newt is an asshole. One of the most off-putting, arrogant, condescending personalities I've ever encountered. To meet him is to dislike him.

His run will be mercifully short once the good people of Iowa and New Hampshire get the chance to realize this.

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