CNN's Southern Republican debate last night in Charleston, South Carolina, began with fireworks as host John King attempted to get former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to address a televised claim by his second wife that he had requested an open marriage, and Gingrich heatedly attacked King for what he described as the despicable act of beginning a Presidential debate with such a scurrilous charge, much to the delight of the audience. It was great political theater and couldn't have played better into Gingrich's hands, combined with Newt's master stroke of releasing his tax returns. Meanwhile, nominal Republican front runner Mitt Romney has refused to disclose his tax returns and badly fumbled his response to King about when he might do so. This once more reinforced the idea that Romney is a bumbler. Mister Vanilla Ice Cream.
Last night's debate performance and the associated political theater will put Gingrich in a good position to win Saturday's South Carolina primary, considering that he was already rising in the polls based on a likewise solid debate performance in last Monday's debate. Romney's candidacy meanwhile received another blow when it was announced early yesterday that a final count of votes in the Iowa caucus of a couple of weeks ago shows that Rick Santorum and not Romney had won the vote, although by an extremely narrow margin. Whoops. Also with Texas governor dropping out yesterday and backing Gingrich, the momentum has seemed to go to Newt.
Romney might still go on to win the Republican nomination but Gingrich will certainly have given him a scare. Coming as he does from the South, from neighboring Georgia, the ex-House Speaker might have been expected to have an advantage, as almost a favorite son, just as Romney was anticipated to have an advantage in New Hampshire, right next to the state of Massachusetts where he had served as governor and instituted the "Romneycare" so controversial today among the Republicans he will need to win the presidency. Whether any Gingrich surge and possible win in South Carolina will vault him to the nomination remains to be seen. There's a long, long way to go, it seems.
MSNBC’s Bill Press has stated, “Newt is a GOP Suicide Bomber.”
In honor of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, I have begun a new blog on the war at http://chrisgeorgewarof1812.blogspot.com/. There I intend to share news of upcoming events on the War of 1812 including speaking engagements in which I will be featured as well as my views on the conflict. It is one of the most significant events in the history of the United States but a war that has been woefully overlooked. Hopefully we can remedy that in the next three years.
Not a new line-up of Republican candidates but Chris, right, as a presenter at the "Flag Making in the Early Republic: The Fourth Annual Symposium" hosted by the Star Spangled Banner Flag House Association, Inc., March 31, 2001. From left to right: Marilyn Zoidis, Sally Johnston, Stephen W. Hill, Fenella France, Earl P. Williams, and Christopher T. George. Photograph by Richard R. Gideon.