"Watching Newt Gingrich's graceful and low-key withdrawal from the presidential race Wednesday, it was hard not to think back to January, in Columbia, S.C., when he drew a wall-to-wall, fired-up crowd to celebrate his blowout victory in that state's primary."Speaker Gingrich's debate/discussion with Herman Cain was one of the most interesting and educational campaign events of this campaign or any recent campaign.
. . .
"Gingrich simply ran circles around Romney in South Carolina. On the stump, Gingrich paid his audiences the respect of speaking to them seriously, sometimes in quite a lot of detail, about serious things. Romney, in brief, sometimes frantic-feeling appearances, ran through a list of platitudes, often ending with his recitation of 'America the Beautiful.'"
. . .
"In an organizational sense, Gingrich never really had much of a campaign. But he is a serious man who has accomplished big things in his life, and his presence made the race a more substantial affair. And it's fair to say Romney became a better candidate after facing the Gingrich challenge. Even those Republicans who never wanted Gingrich to win should be glad he ran."
Again, Byron York shows why his analysis towers above most of the conservative press and pundits both in fairness (he hasn't trashed any of the candidates) and insight. Gingrich did elevate this campaign because he was serious about the issues and gave well thought out proposals. (Herman Cain did too.) York is the only major journalist I know to point this out.