Newt's campaign isn't dead. It is wounded, but not in a "Monty Python Black Knight" sort of way, but rather in the sort of "if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger" way. Newt is taking a beating for his Meet the Press remarks that took aim at Paul Ryan's Medicare reform package, but after some broadcast penance, he will be back in Iowa arguing again to audiences that cannot ignore his charisma or his very big brain that the next president will have to be willing to think far outside of any known box and will have to be willing to take risks to bring public opinion along with him.
Newt's an intellectual, and swings with abandon at ideas and initiatives in a way that we have never seen before in a serious presidential candidate. This leads to pratfalls like this past weekend's fiasco, but it also allows for quick recovery and a great deal of earned media coverage. What Newt knows is that he has to generate buzz because he cannot match the Romney or Huntsman fundraising machines.
"If the only issue is money," Ginrich told me on my radio show Monday, "I think that Mitt Romney, or Governor Huntsman, who I should have mentioned earlier, they both have such massive personal resources, I doubt if any of the rest of us can keep up with them."
"Luckily," Newt "added, "as Ronald Reagan used to say, votes actually count, too."
The very first of those real votes won't be cast for eight months, by which time a hundred big stories and a dozen debates will have intervened between "social engineering" and "radical right" and the Iowa Caucuses. Voters will have met most of the candidates and Newt is nothing but tireless and his campaigning will be sure to draw crowds and intense interest.
The Manhattan-Beltway Media Elite doesn't like Newt. It doesn't like Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum either, and it probably won't like Tim Pawlnety as it gets to know him as the deep and genuine conservative he is.
Media elites don't like conservatives. They especially don't like those conservatives with the best chance of toppling their president, and make no mistake, President Obama was and remains a creation of the MSM, who blocked for him throughout 2008 and is doing so again now.
The only good news is that MSM cannot stop the GOP base, powered now by Tea Party activism, from actually choosing the nominee, even if the MSM does bend the opinion curve some in Iowa and New Hampshire. This race will either be won quickly by Romney or go very long indeed as the rules of the GOP primaries have changed to prevent the sort of narrow but decisive blitz that John McCain mounted in 2008.
What matters this year is not one-day bungles and fumbles, but the steady ability to show up the day after and gamely press on and press flesh and press ideas.
What really matters, far more than anything else, is a plan to tackle the fiscal crisis --a detailed, coherent, optimistic plan to bring morning back to America and unleash the productive power of the country again as it has been so often in the past.
Newt is an apostle of such dynamic opportunity society policies, so he won't be going anywhere, no matter how mad some folks are and no matter how much the Clinton-era MSM nurses its grudges.