GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's recent rise in the polls has less to do with his viability as a candidate than the so-called anybody-but-Mitt movement, Clarence Page writes in his Chicago Tribune column. Still, he writes, Mitt Romney has the best chance to capture the nomination because ultimately Gingrich has too much baggage.
And now it's Newt?
Why has former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suddenly surged in the polls from near oblivion to the top tier of Republican presidential hopefuls? Credit short memories in the ABM, the "Anybody But Mitt" movement.
The ABM faction of the Grand Old Party has road-tested so many alternatives to persistently high-scoring former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney that it appears they apparently have forgotten all of the perfectly good reasons why they didn't go for Gingrich months ago.
After all, the man has baggage, personal and public, of the sort that conservatives would decry in Democrats. Twice divorced, Gingrich left his first wife following her treatment for cancer. He left his second wife for a staff member who is now his third wife, Callista. Social conservatives don't like that.
Gingrich also is viewed by many as ethically challenged, having been the only speaker of the House to have been disciplined for ethics violations.
Read Clarence Page's complete column at the Chicago Tribune.