Ross Douthat thinks this is a boon for Romney:
Instead, all Gingrich will be able to do is argue – as he did recently – that his ex-consultant rival is just a “competent manager,” whereas he’s a true “change agent.” For Romney, that’s a far less devastating attack than others he might have faced – and what’s more, it actually dovetails perfectly with his planned general election campaign, in which he wants to be perceived as the competent alternative to Barack Obama’s failed attempt at revolutionary change.
Obviously, Romney’s ideal primary scenario would be one in which all his rivals somehow self-destruct and he coasts to victory in every primary or caucus. But seeing Newt Gingrich emerge as his most plausible challenger comes a pretty close second.
Dana Milbank doesn't think Newt will last, either.
His problem, rather, is that he is entirely too moderate in this field — and, therefore, in no position to establish himself as the conservative anti-Mitt Romney. The ideas that made him a conservative revolutionary in 1994 make him squishy in 2012.
There were lists all over the internet yesterday about Newt's "squishy" positions. Like, who didn't see that coming?
Watch Legal Insurrection today. Professor Jacobson is moving into Newt's camp.
I am, too. Is he my perfect candidate? Of course not. My perfect candidate isn't running. Yet.