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Newt Gringrich’s Fantasy: People Power Over Money Power

The People's Emperor (image: Cain and Todd Benson)

In his ungracious non-concession speech following his thumping in Florida last night, the odious Newt Gringrich told his supporters and a captive national television audience that he would continue his candidacy all the way to the Republican Convention next summer.

Except for the sometimes truths he keeps telling about Mitt Romney, the prospect of giving this offensive man a national stage must give any sensible person heartburn; but it may give the Obama campaign their best hopes.

I was struck by Newt’s explanation of what would keep his campaign going despite the upcoming losses.   “People power,” he said.  It will be “people power over money power.”  Huh.

So, let’s see.  According to NPR this a.m., at the beginning of January, Newt Gingrich had just had a good fund raising month (for him) and had about $2 million in his war chest.  He’d benefited from $5 million from one person, Sheldon Adelson, and then received another $5 million from another person, Adelson’s wife. That’s two people.

At the beginning of January, Mitt Romney had over $20 million in his hope chest — not counting SuperPACs, and most of that money came from a small set of super rich patrons.

The principled Mitt Romney proceeded to spend those millions buying negative ads that blanketed Florida’s television and radio.  Almost all were designed to denigrate Newt Gingrich, himself a walking personification of a negative ad, following the strategy Newt had used in South Carolina.  By the end of the Florida primary, Romney’s campaign had run about 13,000 ads, while Newt had run 200.

Yes, that’s right: 13,000 versus 200.  And according this New York Times article, 92 percent of those ads were “negative.”  That means that virtually all of Romney’s 13,000 ads were negative. So, the pious Mormon Christian Republican ran over 12,000 negative adds attacking the pious Catholic Christian Republican, who countered with his own 200 negative ads, not counting both candidates’ endless attacks given personally on the stump. God help us all.

Pity Florida.  They just had the entire GOP sewer dumped on them, a sewer mostly paid for by a small handful of 1%ers on each side, one group representing the looting of America and the other its racist, self-victimized know nothings who are united mostly by their hatred of the President they see as illegitimate and often condemned for believing things he doesn’t believe or doing things he hasn’t done.  That is, they’re mostly nuts.

What’s even more astonishing is that over 78% of GOP voters — about 1,300,000 people — voted for one of these two men.   Between the two, 240,000 more people voted for the man with the money, the man who bought 13,000 ads.   So much for people power versus money power.

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley