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Guest Thinkers

A Brief Note on the Gingrich Campaign

Accidents happen. Their causes are physical, and it’s our actions that make them likely or unlikely, not the names we call them. I know this. Yet the inherent biases of the human mind are such that it is very, very hard to resist the feeling that the British guy who named his new boat the Titanic II was tempting fate. Especially given that it sank.

And speaking of infamous disasters, I want briefly to hark back to this post May 13 about leadership—in which I noted an interesting study suggesting that people see facility with ideas as incompatible with leadership qualities. I thought it might explain what puts voters off about Newt Gingrich: That feeling that “he’s sure got a lot of ideas, but he’s never really stuck with an idea for very long,” as his one-time colleague Dick Armey said about Gingrich last month. I also wrote that this might help explain what I expected would be the imminent implosion of Gingrich’s campaign—the sort of sentence, which, as you write it, makes you think, boy, I’m going to be eating crow if there’s a Gingrich inaugural.

Why did I worry? I nailed it.


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