I can’t figure former House Speaker Newt Gingrich out. The second-tier candidate just doesn’t know when to put his best strengths forward while tempering his enormous ego.

While campaigning in Iowa over the weekend, Gingrich apparently told a crowd in the Hawkeye State the biggest reason to vote for him over his GOP rivals isn’t his ideas or even his new Contract With America. Gosh-darnit, he’s just plain smarter than the rest.


“[I]f you watch them and watch me,” Gingrich told Iowans, “the difference in the depth of knowledge and the difference in the ability to debate Obama, the difference in actually having done it at the national level … I’m a pretty good mechanic who knows how to fix the car — and the other folks are good at selling it. They’re nice people, but they don’t have the knowledge to do something like this on this scale. This is enormously complicated.”

What humility. What demurring decency. And this guy says he’s a populist? A man of the people? Which group — the megalomaniacal society of America?

It won’t take long for voters to realize that perhaps Gingrich is the wrong man for the job precisely because he thinks he can go up against President Obama. That’s one of the president’s largest weaknesses — his propensity to talk down to average Americans; to lecture them as though he is the Omniscient One.

Gingrich is following suit, and it doesn’t suit him well at all. This is the same candidate who, by the way, railed against the Ryan Medicare plan, only to apologize in less than 24 hours with a less-than-savvy response. Yeah, that’s smart, all right.

It seems Gingrich is continuing his free-fall in this nominating race; so much so that, if he had any hopes of serving in a Cain/Romney/Perry/Christie Cabinet, even those chances are dimming.