Oddly, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign began issuing
missives during the South Carolina CNN debate last night listing a
number of items regarding fellow candidate Newt Gingrich apparently
pointing to the former Speaker's "grandiose" notions about himself and
his place in American politics and history. This, after Rick Santorum
did his best to slam Gingrich on a perceived negative personality trait
(Newt's ego) in what, to this viewer, was one of the lowest blows I've
ever witnessed in political theater. But because Santorum is a
self-described Christian, he gets a pass. Of course, the former senator
from Pennsylvania who lost his seat in a shellacking and sees that as a
stepping stone to the presidency would have us believe he has an
average-sized ego and eats humble pie at every meal.
Ideally, this would cause the media to repeat the missives and provide voters with pause for concern about the high level of confidence and large ego possessed by Gingrich, resulting in more support for Romney. Or Santorum.
One of the worst presidents in history, Barack Obama has allowed that he believes he is the fourth greatest president in the history of the United States. And that is merely the starting point. That Newt Gingrich, who led the GOP to a congressional majority for the first time in 40 years, views himself as a transformational figure, is at least based in reality — you know, stuff we can look up?
To be clear, I have not decided on a candidate, but have long had it narrowed down to Romney or Gingrich. Both have qualities I look for in a nominee, and both have specific talents useful in taking on President Obama and the attack machine of the left. But having an ego and confidence — and lots of it — is a basic requirement, in my view. The Romney camp could very well have done Newt Gingrich a favor by pointing out his "grandiose" statements over the decades describing himself and his vision, and the political and historical figures with whom he compares himself. After all, we are talking about someone running for the highest office in the greatest country on the planet.
Importantly, Romney needed to perhaps take a look at how Obama has spoken about himself. Stacking up Obama's ego to Newt Gingrich puts the matter in a completely different light, and his campaign staff may have been a bit too trigger happy in hitting that "send" button.
Mitt Romney is an accomplished man. He needs to act like it. Talk about it. Make us believe HE believes it. And Rick Santorum may want to review what defines Christian behavior.
Jacobus, president of Capitol Strategies PR, has managed congressional campaigns, worked on Capitol Hill and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. She appears on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News as a GOP strategist.