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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The New(t) Nixon

On the eve of Newt Gingrich’s formal announcement of his presidential candidacy, it’s worth reading Matt Bai’s assessment of Newt’s legacy:

[I]f Mr. Gingrich is looking for hopeful historical comparisons, the more apt one might be Richard Nixon. Unlike Mr. Reagan, who even in his lower moments retained a certain celebrity appeal, Mr. Nixon was humiliated and all but exiled after publicly self-destructing in 1962. He then retreated to the sidelines and watched as his party disintegrated, leaving a vacuum of leadership and gravitas on the right that enabled Mr. Nixon to make one of the great comebacks in political history.

Remember that Nixon’s comeback came after the self-immolation of George Romney, the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, the forced retirement of Lyndon B. Johnson and a powerful third-party regional candidacy by George Wallace. If Newt’s scenario for the presidency requires those kind of events, he might as well wait on the Rapture.

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