Would you like to read the 156 reviews Newt Gingrich wrote on Amazon.com?

Would you like to read the 156 reviews Newt Gingrich wrote on Amazon.com?

Summary: Among other things, Mr. Gingrich talks about why the Presidential campaign of Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, failed back in the 1960s.

TOPICS: Amazon

As it turns out, the former Speaker of the House and winner of this weekend's South Carolina primary is an avid -- a surprisingly avid -- Amazon.com book reviewer. Gingrich has reviewed a total of 156 reviews.

Perhaps the one that may give us the most insight into the workings of the Gingrich campaign brain is his review of "A Glorious Disaster: Barry Goldwater's Presidential Campaign and the Origins of the Conservative Movement". In this review, Gingrich discusses positive campaigning:

Middendorf repeats a story I first heard from Tim Russert about Goldwater and Kennedy agreeing that in 1964 they would tour the country on Air Force One holding a series of debates and proving that there could be civility and collegiality even in presidential politics. Building on the debates of 1960 and enjoying each other's company a Goldwater-Kennedy contest would have led to a much healthier America.

Gingrich also talks about how party power can change rapidly:

Middendorf also reminds us that results can shift with remarkable speed. The Goldwater defeat was seen as the beginning of the end for the GOP yet two short years later in 1966 there was a remarkable rebound. The GOP lost 529 legislative seats in 1964 and gained 700 in 1966. The GOP lost 37 house seats and gained 47 in 1966.

Most interesting, though, given the battle he's about to enter this week, is his discussion about why George Romney's presidential campaign failed back in the 1960s. George Romney was Mitt Romney's father and given how intense Newt will be fighting Mitt this week, it's a fascinating observation:

After the 1966 elections Governor George Romney was the front runner and polls showed him beating President Johnson 54 to 46, After he said "the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get when you go over to Vietnam....they do a very thorough job" his campaign collapsed.

Obviously, the 1960s culture of the Vietnam war isn't something everyone today is familiar with. The important take-away here is how aware Gingrich appears to be that a misstatement can derail an entire campaign. The irony, of course, is that the contemporary Mr. Romney has been making quite a few of them over the last few weeks.

Over the next few weeks, we'll see if Mr. Gingrich has taken the lessons of the failed Goldwater campaign to heart, and doesn't repeat the mistakes he's written about.

If you'd like read all of New Gingrich's reviews, just visit the link below:

Further reading: All 156 of Newt Gingrich's Amazon.com reviews

Topic: Amazon


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Yep ... Newt's brilliant. That's why ...

    ... his opponents are scared to death of him, and throw everything - including the kitchen sink - at him, in order to stop him. Newt's got almost transcending intelligence and heart. I certainly hope he wins the Republican nomination and general election. I don't believe anyone even comes close to him. Go Newt!
    P. Douglas
    • Now why...

      @P. Douglas <br>...would Republicans try so hard to defeat a Republican candidate that's as brilliant as you say? Is there any chance that they know something you don't?<br><br>I've already said at least twice that I wouldn't vote for Mr. Gingrich for any office under any circumstances (and I've split my ticket in every election but one since I turned 18). My opinion hasn't changed.<br><br>Reply to P. Douglas:<br><br>My visceral reaction to Mr. Gingrich (going back 25 years), which I suspect is shared by others, is that he's an unscrupulous demagogue, opportunist, and the most important architect of our current dysfunctional politics (his role in the Jim Wright affair, which catapulted him into the Republican leadership, is one of the things that turned me against partisan politics in 1989). A more measured assessment is that he reminds me too much of Richard Nixon, but without the latter's charisma or personal virtues (that should give lots of people pause).
      John L. Ries
      • Re: Now why...

        @John L. Ries,

        [i]Now why...

        ...would Republicans try so hard to defeat a Republican candidate that's as brilliant as you say? Is there any chance that they know something you don't?[/i]

        Because they have vested interests in the other nominees, and some believe Newt's past marital issues would sink his campaign if he became the Republican candidate. But Newt's past marital issues have been vetted, and he has long since apologized for them, and most Americans are able to get past past indiscretions, after suitable lengths of time. Gingrich is also a great communicator in his own right (though different than Reagan) and most people after listening to him, find him to be very likeable and compelling.

        So I think Newt is the best Republican candidate, and would make the best president.
        P. Douglas
  • RE: Would you like to read the 156 reviews Newt Gingrich wrote on Amazon.com?

    It's unbelievable that the Republicans have fielded such incredibly bad candidates for the top US job. Surely there's one conservative who is intelligent, honest and not some immoral, unethical, woman chasing, rich guy who made their wealth by ripping off others. Well there is - Ron Paul and he's crazy.

    I think this all proves that conservatives have no place in government as they appear to face real modern problems with cant and spin and an inability to understand science and technology.
    • Doesn't prove anything of the sort...

      ...but it does suggest that the wrong Republicans are running for their party's nomination.
      John L. Ries