Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Frontunner madness stops with Gingrich

In recent months, Americans have seen numerous Republican presidential candidates rise in the polls, be lauded by pundits as “the one that will challenge Mitt Romney,” and then falter amid a bored base or sketchy scandal.

When Michelle Bachmann entered the race, she was polling well and even won the highly coveted Iowa Straw Poll. But as politics would have it, Bachmann caved to media scrutiny and some of her statements and missteps to the press led to her being trampled by the party’s leading candidates.

Bachmann now stands as a fringe candidate, struggling through debates and attempting to portray her ultra-conservative mentality as mainstream Republican thought. Her campaign seems over.

As hard-line conservatives were scrambling to find a candidate who could challenge the Romney campaign, they found everything they were looking for in Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry’s record was hard to overlook.

Since taking office after George W. Bush moved into the White House, the Texas economy has consistently created jobs. In fact, Texas – the world’s 15th largest economy – has been responsible for approximately 40 percent of the nation’s job growth since June 2009.

With an impressive state executive resume, many begged for Perry to consider a run for president and donors were lining up for Perry in droves.

But, like Bachmann, Perry was not fully prepared for the national spotlight. After several flops and several detrimental debate performances, Perry’s campaign seems unsalvageable.

In the beginning of the Republican race, many voters and pundits saw Herman Cain as a joke candidate with many tongue-in-cheek references to his career as the chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza.

But surprisingly, Cain began to surge with his simple plans for the economy and was able to capitalize on being a Washington outsider.

During the height of his rise to the ranks of Mitt Romney for frontrunner status, Cain was slammed with allegations of sexual harassment. His peculiar flip-flop on the specifics of the allegations made Cain seem as though he had something to hide.

Recently, another woman has come forward alleging a thirteen-year affair with Cain. His campaign is now reevaluating its next step, but many voters – including this one – now believe Cain should leave the race.

This odd trend seems to have been played over and over again across newspaper and cable news headlines with Romney effortlessly, it seems, holding strong in his position as frontrunner – until recently.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has now emerged as the arguable party frontrunner, and his ideas and vision seem to resonate well with voters who are skeptical of Romney.

Gingrich has the political intuition and ability to work across the aisle in the pursuit of true compromise – a quality now lost in Washington.

During his tenure as speaker, he was known for his tough principles but also for his friendship with his adversary in the White House, Bill Clinton.

The Gingrich campaign has already seen its fair share of obstacles. During the summer, Gingrich had most all of his campaign staff abruptly quit amid questions of his dedication to running for the presidency.

At the time, pundits declared the campaign over and said Newt should drop out of the race. However, Gingrich pressed forward, saying that he believed that he was the candidate to turn the country around.

Gingrich proved everyone wrong, and according to a Rasmussen poll released this week, he polled higher than Obama among likely voters.

Gingrich’s personal life will likely be mentioned in arguments against his candidacy, but voters should steer away from that mindset. We don’t elect presidents because they are perfect; we elect them to lead America toward a better future.

The Romney campaign should be terrified of Gingrich’s surge in the polls, but seems to be still hiding under the imaginary guise of the frontrunner status.

The spring-loaded frontrunner position will stop with Gingrich, who is a seasoned politician, and a series of presidential debates between him and Obama would be like Christmas to political hacks like me.

The Romney camp should go on the offensive, before the Gingrich train puts the nomination out of reach.


Austin Gaddis is a junior majoring in public relations and communication studies. His column runs on Thursdays.  

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