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December 01, 2011

Newt Gingrich Accuses Obama of Left-Wing Alinskyite Tactics

From Truman North, in the sidebar, Newt played to the party's anger at the media and Obama.

On the campaign trail, Newt Gingrich is trying to make some new inroads on President Obama by reviving an old charge, suggesting that the president’s past as a community organizer ties him to a “radical” tradition.

“Obama believes in a Saul Alinsky radicalism which the press corps was never willing to look at,” Gingrich told a standing room-only crowd at Tommy’s Country Ham House here. “When he said he was a community organizer, it wasn’t Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. It was radicalism taught on the south side of Chicago by Saul Alinsky.”

Why is this smart? I think the media will cover this, and will try the "extremism" card and all that rot with Gingrich.

And what effect will this have? Well, the immediate effect is to electrify the Republican base, isn't it? The media will be essentially running primary campaign ads for Gingrich if the media takes the bait. (And can they resist it?)

And if they think that this will poison the general electorate against Obama-- not so much. The middle doesn't really like Obama, and are not going to be making decisions not to vote for Gingrich based on him talking smack about someone they don't particularly like (and may in fact feel they've been sold a bill of goods about). At worse, it's an arrogant guy doing some smack talking about a really arrogant guy who doesn't know what the hell he's doing.

And what's even more clever than this? Well, this is the time when the media turns to vetting Gingrich and trying to take him out. And they are doing so. And of course his rivals turn to him as well, as we saw with the Ron Paul ad.

I don't know if it's going to work, but if Gingrich's "intemperate, extremist" statements do crowd out the stuff about him lobbying for Fannie and Freddie, it's win-win-win for him. The base likes the allegedly "intemperate, extremist" attack on Obama -- who is in fact a disciple of Alinsky, and that is not even in question -- and he knocks the lobbying stuff out of the consciousness of the party as it goes into its "Are we really sure about this guy?" phase, it's "Maybe we should take a closer look before we commit" phase.

I don't know if it will happen that way. But it could. It seems a decent likelihood this will be much yapped about in the next 48 hours.

And I don't know if Gingrich calculated that he needed a nice juicy bit of red-meat chum for the dumb sharks of the media to snack on, but if he did -- pretty clever.

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posted by Ace at 01:48 AM

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