Peggy Noon writes that everything you've heard about Newt is true (ea).
Ethically dubious? True. Intelligent and accomplished? True. Has he known breathtaking success and contributed to real reforms in government? Yes. Presided over disasters? Absolutely. Can he lead? Yes. Is he erratic and unreliable as a leader? Yes. Egomaniacal? True. Original and focused, harebrained and impulsive—all true.
....Those who know him fear—or hope—that he will be true to form in one respect: He will continue to lose to his No. 1 longtime foe, Newt Gingrich.
He is a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, "Watch this!"
Here's one thing the Obama campaign will have if the GOP nominates Gingrich -- a massive collection of Republicans who've attacked Newt's leadership.
That's a different beast from ideology, and potentially, far more damaging, because the very first test you have to pass is the qualification one.
Right now, Gingrich scores well on the question. In a CNN poll, he leads Romney by 16% on who's more ready to be commander-in-chief.
But in a general election, indies and Reagan Democrats might be swayed when conservatives like Noonan are calling Newt "egomaniacal" and a "human hand grenade."