What a nine-year-old boy's quest to learn the favorite superheroes of the GOP presidential candidates tells us about the field.
MANCHESTER -- Newt Gingrich taught me the harsh political truth about my nine-year-old son: He's an unrepentant flip-flopper.
With some logistical support and media training from his dad, Ari Garnick pinned down most of the major Republican presidential candidates over the past few months with a 30-second personality test: "If you could be any superhero in the world, who would you be and why?"
These conversations with the candidates, shared in our Superhero Primary video above, capture the charm of the New Hampshire Primary, which allows any kid to have access to the potential next Leader of the Free World.
Holding court in a hotel restaurant appropriately named "Speaker's Corner," former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told Ari that his favorite comic book character was Superman -- and then immediately sought to engage him by turning the question around, asking my son, "Who's your favorite superhero?"
As Ari pontificated about the merits of Martian Manhunter, an obscure extraterrestrial member of the Justice League of America, I struggled to keep my smirk from exploding into laughter. Gingrich, who's often labeled as gruff or condescending by his critics, was pretending that this Martian conversation was important -- for a few seconds, anyway. Then it became clear that he was desperate to get a question about Vladimir Putin or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as he spun his head around in search of someone who had reached voting age.