Aren’t Republicans Done Talking, Yet?

Aren’t Republicans Done Talking, Yet?


Aren’t they done talking YET?

No, Republicans are going to talk till we all drop. And tonight, instead of say … watching basketball (thanks NBA lockout) or something else, Americans looking for something else other than a pre-Thanksgiving rerun are going to be subjected to another round of debates as CNN hosts a foreign policy debate amongst the Republican candidates.

The only reason to watch tonight’s debate is to see if the latest front runner in this presidential version of the X-Factor Newt Gingrich is ready for prime-time.

Obama’s approval numbers for foreign policy are off the chain – there’s just no other way to describe it.

So, it’s not like any of the Republicans can really make any headway criticizing him for his handling of Iraq, terrorism, Libya or Egypt. However, Gingrich – who has by far been the most interesting debater – is in a unique situation tonight. He has slipped ahead of Mitt Romney in national polls amongst Republicans even as his ground team is no more organized than it was 4 months ago.

Will he actually stay above the fray tonight? Will he choose to critique any of his opponent’s policies? Or will he retain his strategy of criticizing the press and making nice with everyone else on stage?

With the Iowa Primary only about 6 weeks away Gingrich has slipped into a very tight race with Romney for the state and this last major debate before the Holiday season (when most people will totally tune out) could be his chance to seal the deal. Ironically, the candidates who have done well in the polls in Iowa thus far seem to be the ones who spend the least amount of time there.  However, I don’t think Gingrich is willing to risk a sub – par debate performance if it looks like he can gain some legitimate traction in the first clearinghouse race of the 2012 elections.

Dr. Jason Johnson, Politic365 Chief Political Correspondent, is a professor of Political Science at Hiram College in Ohio and author of the book Political Consultants and Campaigns: One Day to Sell. You can read more at or follow him on Twitter @Drjasonjohnson