Does Newt Gingrich’s rise in the polls make you think about inspirational feats of resurgence, the kind Hollywood clamors to put on the big screen? Does it remind you of another down-for-the-count, against all odds kind of guy who won our hearts and made us want to be more? Does it bring a tug at your heart as he’s carried off the field by his team mates? Whoa. Wait. Sorry. Maybe I’m thinking of something else. Then again, maybe that’s what his campaign wants.

See if you can recognize the background music matching the images of Americana in this new ad playing today for the first time in Iowa:

Any Notre Dame fans better turn in their shamrock shirts if the music didn’t evoke images of Irish football legend Rudy Ruettiger. That’s because it is indeed from the soundtrack and musical workings of Jerry Goldsmith.

See this clip from the movie starting about 1:45 into it:

So, is Newt’s team savvy enough that they felt subconsciously it would inspire voters to rally around the underdog like Rudy’s team mates did when he initially missed the cut for the final game of the year? That might be a stretch but they sure wouldn’t mind an entire stadium passionately chanting his name and wiping away a tear or two, especially at a venue like - I don’t know - the St. Pete Times Forum next August. (Then again, Wikipedia cites the Rudy soundtrack being played several times for the McCain/Palin campaign and we all know it doesn’t automatically bring the luck of the Irish.)


With Cain now officially out, or in his intentionally ambiguous words “suspended,” that means his former GOP opponents are now scrounging for supporters like his customers used to do for that last slice of pizza after a late night out. And in such a tight race as this, that’s no fool’s gold. There is a significant amount of traditionally conservative, Tea Party-esque, wondering where to turn.

Michele Bachmann says some has already come her way. Huntsman and Santorum are hoping for a piece of the pie. Romney’s not holding his breath (since some of the GOP faithful still see him as too moderate) and the rest will take what they can get. But the biggest windfall may just keep Newt’s sails full for a while. He’s already cashing in when reviewing polls since Cain’s departure.

An NBC/Marist Poll shows:

Gingrich 28%
Romney 19%
Paul 19%

And furthermore, now reports are out this morning that Cain may soon endorse Gingrich (just happens to be meeting with Donald Trump today-the 5th GOP candidate so far to do so).

By the way, I know I’ve had free material for weeks because of Cain’s stumbling stab at becoming President and in that respect will be sad to see him go. Although I think we all know, we’ll see plenty of the pizza man over the next 11 months espousing his views on the race and somehow being called upon for his “analysis” of the election. In the end though, I will be challenged to find such YouTube-worthy clips as his fumbles on Libya, collective bargaining and not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 but 5 full denials of wrongdoing with women who allege otherwise. For those of you who didn’t see this Saturday’s big announcement, it was a “cloud of doubt that was spun” by we the media which led to his demise. It wasn’t Cain’s actions but apparently, his detractors, that he said “hurts my wife, hurts my family, hurts me and hurts the American people.”

Can we count that as denial number 6?

Here’s one more, but likely not the last, example of, as he liked to call it so often, Herman being Herman.


On Sunday, Parade Magazine profiled Mitt Romney and showed the more human side of the man many thought (and still do) was/is the eventual nominee. Perhaps dispelling any erroneous or pre-conceived notions of which the $250 million dollar man is, a picture of him with his 5 sons and some of his 16 grandkids and multiple quotes clarifying his views on family, religion, money & more.

Regarding his life-changing mission in 1966:

I was sent to live in France among the lower middle class. Each month I received $100 or $110 from home, probably equal to $500 or $600 a month today. With it, I had to pay for everything—rent, food, transportation. The toilet was in the hall, shared by a few apartments, and the shower consisted of attaching a hose to the sink faucet, standing in a plastic tub, and holding the hose over your head.

Did it help you become self-sufficient?

Yes. I recognized my life was up to me, and what I became was function not of what my father achieved or what my mother dreamt, but what I could accomplish on my own.

If you could use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Devoted. Devoted to my family, my faith and my country.

When you’re not campaigning, how do you like to spend your Sundays?

When the whole family’s together we start with a big breakfast. Ann makes batter for pancakes and I flip them. Then we got to church for three hours. In the afternoon, we’ll watch a football game, tell stories, wrestle, read, take walks.

Read more about everything from avoiding caffeine, to views on church, his wife and D.C. gridlock here.

It was made in jest, but a humorous pic of what my column headshot should be has been circulating the newsroom and many say it should be the new look. I’ll post it tomorrow and get your feedback!