Flawed Gingrich Is 'Comeback Kid' Nobody saw this coming, except Newt: Peggy Noonan By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Dec 2, 2011 12:53 PM CST 22 comments Comments Newt Gingrich speaks in Des Moines on Thursday. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Newser) – Peggy Noonan (or whoever writes the headlines for her columns) declares Newt Gingrich the "comeback kid of 2012" today in the Wall Street Journal. She is as surprised as anyone: "What happened is a better story than the establishment didn't know what the base was thinking," Noonan writes. "It's that the base didn't know what the base was thinking." Give much credit to his performances in the debates, even when most observers had counted him out. But Noonan's column is hardly full of praise. She notes that the "grandiose" Gingrich got rich off the likes of agencies such as Freddie Mac, which for too long skated without oversight because of its political protectors. "That is the great scandal of our time, and it helped tank our economy. He has been part of it." Then there's his well-known personal "baggage," and the effect of that is harder to gauge. His big hope is that things are so dire, people will look the other way. Her full column is here.