Barack Obama should take Newt Gingrich out for a beer. Heck, maybe even dinner. Newt is unleashing a scorched-earth campaign on Mitt Romney with such ferocity that Obama's re-election campaign could well be on its the way to victory before the Republican Convention even takes place.
Obama gets two benefits: First, he can use for his own campaign Newt's more rational reasons why Mitt is not presidential material. Second, as an added bonus, Gingrich and his super PAC are blasting away at Romney's reputation with accusations and innuendo that Obama wouldn't touch with a 10--foot pole.
Mitt could have avoided this whole mess just by waiting for Gingrich to drop out along with the other underfunded Republican candidates, but nooooooooo. Romney was in a hurry to get to the Republican coronation, so he used his unlimited money to squash and humiliate Newt in Iowa. The result? An angry Gingrich more interested in revenge than getting elected, with a super PAC funded by people who seem to prefer the Obama devil getting re-elected rather than a Mormon devil carrying the Republican banner.
So far, Romney has treated Gingrich like an annoying mosquito that can be swatted away, but the Republican establishment is getting awfully nervous. Perhaps this discomfort was best expressed by Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who called Newt "a delusional presidential candidate" and a "political assassin."
All this has the potential of permanently tarnishing Romney's reputation and losing the chance to win the White House. Already, thanks to a fact-free documentary funded by Newt's super PAC, Romney's Bain company is slowly being converted in the public's perception from a job-creating role model for America to the poster child for job-destroying vulture capitalism.
It gets worse. Gingrich's spewing of angry accusations against Romney could split the Republican Party so thoroughly that Tea Party conservatives and evangelical Christians could stay home on Election Day and deny Mitt the margin needed for a victory against Obama. And if these people stay home, the Tea Party congressmen running for re-election could lose their voter margins needed to win, and potentially hand the House of Representatives back to the Democrats.
Republicans had better fasten their seat belts; it's going to be a bumpy ride. But at least Newt will get something out of it: free beers and thanks from Obama, his new Best Friend Forever.
Follow Mark W. Schleisner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/markschlei