Is This the Return of 'Bad Newt'?

Gingrich's comeback is threatening to unleash his ego
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2011 8:01 AM CST
Is This the Return of 'Bad Newt'?
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, appears at a news conference before a tea party rally on Staten Island yesterday.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

(Newser) – Flushed with pride over his unlikely comeback, Newt Gingrich is letting his ego out again, and with it we're beginning to see the return of the unlikable blowhard Gingrich from the mid-1990s, reports Politico. In the past week, Gingrich has boasted of his role in defeating communism, said he didn't need his big Freddie Mac contingency fees because he was pulling down $60,000 a pop for speeches, and took credit for the surging American economy while he was speaker of the House in the 1990s.

“Gingrich [is] always a fine a line between charming and brilliant on one hand, and eccentric and borderline dangerous on the other,” said one political scientist. Observers say Gingrich has tried hard recently to keep his grandiose style in check, be more nonpartisan, and project more humility. But with Gingrich now leading GOP primary polls, after his campaign was dismissed as dead and buried by most analysts earlier this year, many fear that "bad Newt" is returning. “He’s going to blow up at some point, and I’m just hoping it comes before he gets the nomination,” said one Republican insider. (Read more Newt Gingrich stories.)

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