Ed Driscoll

You Better, You Bet

As Ken Gardner said on Twitter tonight, “ABC hyperventilates about Mitt’s $10,000 bet to Perry, but doesn’t mention Obama’s $30,000/plate fundraisers.”

That said, at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin adds, “Romney’s Gaffe Helps Gingrich Stay on Top:”

Romney’s flippant reminder of his wealth — he bet $10k as easily as most people would wager a $10 bill — at Saturday night’s ABC News/Des Moines Register debate was the most memorable moment at an event in which his goal was to put the heat on frontrunner Newt Gingrich​. But instead it was Romney who looked shaky and Gingrich relaxed and confident. Every time the former Speaker found himself in the cross hairs of either his opponents or the moderators, he held his own easily. Though he was pressed hard on his record on health care, the Middle East, immigration and his marital infidelity, Gingrich never faltered. Coming as it did after two weeks in which his poll ratings had soared and Romney’s declined, Gingrich could not have asked for a better evening.

The debate illustrated again that the “new Newt” is a formidable debater. Though he is still capable of getting off message and saying controversial things, rather than fly off the handle, the former Speaker’s steady demeanor and cool ability to hit back every time he is challenged has served him well. And on Saturday night, it was Romney who looked flustered, not Gingrich.

Though the debate began with a discussion of economics, this latest edition of America’s favorite political reality show sometimes got bogged down in odd sidebars. Among the most curious was the lengthy discussion of whether or not Gingrich was right to say that the Palestinians are an “invented people.” Romney tried to position himself so as to seem to agree with Gingrich’s pro-Israel opinion but at the same time claim that his opponent was acting irresponsibly and causing unnecessary trouble for both Israel and the United States.

But true to form, Gingrich doubled down by asserting that he was merely stating a historical fact. Even better, Gingrich compared his willingness to tell the truth to the Arabs to Ronald Reagan’s calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” That was a bull’s eye with Republican voters even if Romney might be right that it was not a prudent thing for a potential president to say. Though Gingrich may not have gained many votes on this issue other than with the hard-line pro-Israel community and evangelicals, by standing his ground, he won the point.

Daniel Pipes explores that last topic at the Corner, in both the long and short form — “For details, see a long article of mine from 1989 on the topic or a short one from 2000.”

Or as Roger L. Simon writes at the Tatler, “Gingrich Tells Truth about ‘Palestine’—MSM Goes in a Dither.”

GDS could well be running rampant over the next 11 months — can the New Newt return fire while still appearing calm under the ultimate pressure?

Related: Great moments in DNC-MSM (but I repeat myself) hypocrisy: “Former Clinton Adviser Stephanopoulos Asks Presidential Candidates if Infidelity Should Be an Issue.”

I wonder who helped George with his debate prep tonight.