Are members of the "elite liberal media," as Newt Gingrich would put it, secretly rooting for him? That's the claim of New York Magazine's John Heilemann. And, says Heilemann, this covert sympathy for Newt "may turn out to be a crucial asset--especially if, as seems likely, he falls short in the Florida primary and is forced into survival mode."
It isn't that many journalists actually want Newt to be president, says Heilemann. Some just want the horse race to continue, since they are, after all, in the horse race covering business. For others, there's something fascinating about the spectacle of Newt, and their lives would be poorer without it.
I have to admit that I fall into the latter camp. The horror I feel when I imagine Newt assuming a position of responsibility can give way to melancholia if I contemplate the prospect of life without the feisty, aging smurf. Here are some things I'll miss should anyone ever succeed in driving a stake through Gingrich's heart:
1) The bizarre hyperbole. In his famous dressing down of John King, Newt said that the media's focus on his previous wife's testimony about his character was "as close to despicable as anything I can imagine." Anything you can imagine? Come on, Newt, think harder. Jeffrey Dahmer? The Jonestown Massacre? Stop me when I get to something closer to despicable than John King.