Here's even Mark MacKinnon succumbing to the nonsense:
Newt Gingrich came off as the smartest guy in the room as usual.
No he didn't. He came off as a petulent, pompous, pseudo-intellectual prick. He is simply not that bright, and as out of his depth as his insecure pronouncements of self-described world-historical profundity suggest. He belongs on Dancing With The Stars, not a Republican debate, even of this poor caliber.
Or maybe it's best put another way: having constant stupid and half-baked ideas that you believe are world-altering is not a sign of intelligence. It's a sign of narcissism, wrapped in a constant, angry snarl.