The Corner

Congratulations, and Don’t Get Cocky

Newt’s comeback, including the capstone of the Union Leader endorsement, is a truly remarkable tale. A lot of people — including many of us around here, starting with me — are eating crow over Gingrich’s return from the dead. And that’s good. It’s almost always a good thing when the conventional wisdom is overturned. It’s also good that, whether he wins or loses the nomination, he will be able to leave the field with his head held high. He clawed his way back through dogged will and ability. So again, good for him.

But I suspect and fear that Newt will interpret his comeback incorrectly and see his new front-runner status as proof he can discard all of the lessons-learned from his flame-out earlier this year. This is the moment where it’s going to be hardest for Gingrich to restrain his Newtness. This is the moment where perceived vindication breeds hubris. Already, he’s talking about teaching an online course from the White House, bragging that Obama can use teleprompters in their debates and trying to run as a general election candidate on immigration.

On their own, these are all fine even laudable. But when combined, among some Newt-watchers, they feel like omens that World Historical Newt is returning to the scene. He should fight that temptation and keep his nose to the grindstone.


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