Ed Driscoll

In the Future, Everything will be Pearl Harbor for 15 Minutes

“The attack on September 11 was a 21st century Pearl Harbor committed by a 21st century enemy, and launched a 21st century war.”

— Newt Gingrich, “Principles for Victory — Defeating terrorism is an enormous task” in National Review, September 28, 2001.

Newt Gingrich’s campaign director said the candidate is viewing the setback in Virginia, in which he failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the state’s primary, as an “unexpected setback” similar to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941,” campaign director Michael Krull wrote on the Gingrich Facebook page. “We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action. Throughout the next months there will be ups and downs; there will be successes and failures; there will be easy victories and difficult days – but in the end we will stand victorious.”

“Gingrich camp likens Virginia ballot setback to Pearl Harbor,” The Hill, yesterday.

Ed Morrissey quips, “I’ve spent this morning trying to come up with a “Tora! Tora! Tora!” reference for this claim, and I just can’t quite make it.”

Too bad Newt could, particularly since so many of us remember hearing his remarks on TV a decade ago on the day of September 11th, when the comparison worked to help place that horrible day into context. But comparing Newt’s primary woes to one of America’s darkest hours — sadly, because of the inference and who made it, it makes it a reference in a way to two of America’s darkest hours — cheapens Gingrich’s words of a decade ago more than  a little. Since, as his campaign director noted above that ““Newt and I agreed” on the analogy, that’s rather explicitly saying that Newt signed off on using that analogy.

As Ed adds, “I’m curious as to who the Japanese Empire is in Team Gingrich’s Pearl Harbor scenario.”

Related: “Very Interesting…Recent Change in the Rules May Have Knocked Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich off the VA Primary Ballot,” Bryan Preston writes at the Tatler. “And by recent, I mean November of this year,” Bryan adds.

More: Which isn’t to say that Team Romney doesn’t have communications issues of their own

Update: “Gingrich’s organizational failure in Virginia is rightly seen as indicative of a key character flaw that has long dogged his career,” Jonathan S. Tobin writes at Commentary. “He’s great at speeches and debates and promoting ideas, some of which conservatives like very much. But his campaign management style appears highly reminiscent of his largely incompetent leadership of the House of Representatives.”