But lately Newt seems to have hit his stride. Did you happen to catch him on the “Center Seat” segment of Fox News’s “Special Report” last night? It was Newt at his best, and reminding us that then he is on his game there is no one better.
But beyond handicapping the primary campaign dynamics, Newt is doing something interesting and maybe profound: he is trying to run for president according to an older model that stresses substance over sound bytes and gimmicky, targeted campaign strategy. (Hence the emphasis on Lincoln-Douglas style debates that de-emphasize the place of the media questioners, among other things.) It is a bid to see whether presidential politics can still be conducted along the line of the old republic that would be more familiar to the Founders, to the style of public argument more akin to what Hamilton had in mind in talking about “refining and enlarging the public view” through “reflection and choice” in Federalist #1.
Whenever I think he is off his rocker, I remind myself that Newt was practically alone in thinking, from the first moment he arrived in Congress in 1979, that Republicans could take a majority in the House if it was sufficiently aggressive. Even as late as the eve of the 1994 election the conventional wisdom among political scientists and most journalists was that Democrats had a permanent majority in the House that the GOP could never break.The full post is here.