Taking Newt Personally

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 6 2011 @ 1:20pm

Byron York explains the broad consensus among Washington insiders that a Gingrich nomination would be an utter disaster:

Of course it's the Washington insiders who have the most actual experience dealing with Gingrich.  Just look at what Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who served with Gingrich in the House in the 1990s, said about the former speaker on Fox News Sunday.  "I'm not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich's having served under him for four years and experienced personally his leadership," Coburn said.  "I found it lacking often times."

"Outsiders," on the other hand, remember things differently: 

When outsiders talk about the Old Newt, they're mostly talking about his personal life — the man who had affairs and is now on his third marriage.  "I was all for Newt during the Gingrich revolution, but when he had his affairs, I swore I would never vote again for him for dogcatcher," said South Carolinian Gene Bustard after a Gingrich town hall last week in Greenville.  "But as much as I try not to like him, I love what he says."

The Tea Party has latched on to Gingrich almost entirely.