Thursday, December 08, 2011

Is Newt Like Churchill?

There is an interesting article today at the National Review online website comparing Winston Churchill with Newt Gingrich. I support Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination but could support Newt if he were to get the nomination. I don't view either as Conservative as I am, nor one being more conservative then the other. In fact, it could be argued that both are "Rockefeller Republicans." The difference is in their style and temperament. Mitt is the "conservative" safe choice. He is a thoughtful organized manager who would appeal to the majority of "moderate" Americans. Newt, on the other hand is exciting and dramatic. He with his oratory and ideas could inspire the country. The issue is whether he could manage the job of President. He didn't do a very good job when he was the Speaker of the House. Most of his Republican colleagues, from his time as Speaker, are not supporting him for President and don't in fact like him. He did a great job getting a Republican majority in the House but was a failure once in the majority. Yet, I have for some time, seen in Newt a Churchillian quality and parallel that is also seen by the author of this article.

In his National Review article Steven Hayward writes:

But before becoming prime minister, Winston Churchill was often dismissed in similar terms by members of his own party, who complained that “his planning is all wishing and guessing,” that he was “a genius without judgment,” and that he had been “on every side of every question.” His many non-fiction books were even characterized as “autobiographies disguised as history of the universe.”

Two questions must be asked in order to judge whether Newt might have Churchillian qualities (both good and bad) once in office, or whether Romney’s predictable managerial qualities are more suited to the present moment.

The first question is whether we require someone utterly unconventional to match up to the circumstances of the moment.

the second question. While Churchill never shed his weaknesses and defects, he did bring with him to office important lessons of his earlier failures in World War I, along with his serious study of history during his wilderness years. Though Newt wrote a book called “Lessons Learned the Hard Way,”

The next couple of months may well prove out the unplanned logic of our long campaign process. The debates, Newt’s strong suit so far, are about to give way to real voting, and to the week-by-week ground game that requires focus and consistency. Newt has a chance to prove conservative skeptics wrong about his constancy — the chance to win over skeptics in the face of so much evidence against him. The course of John Colville’s evolving assessment of Churchill in the 1940s is suggestive. Colville wrote in his diary the night Churchill became prime minister on May 10, 1940: “He may, of course, be the man of drive and energy the country believes him to be and he may be able to speed up our creaking military and industrial machinery; but it is a terrible risk, it involves the danger of rash and spectacular exploits, and I cannot help fearing that this country may be maneuvered into the most dangerous position it has ever been in.”

If you like history, Winston Churchill and politics click on the title for the complete article...... it is very good.

Will Newt Gindrich be called by to power from his "Wilderness years" ?