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the national interest

Newt Is Alive. Aliiive!

SPARTANBURG, SC - JANUARY 21:  Republican presidential candidate, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich speaks during a live television interview during a campaign stop at the Grapevine Restaurant on January 21, 2012 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Voters in South Carolina will head to the polls today to vote in the primary election for the U.S. presidential candidate.  (Photo by John W. Adkisson/Getty Images)

Buzzfeed reporter McKay Coppins asked an anonymous Mitt Romney adviser tonight if he’s worried about the South Carolina primary results. "Oh God, no," he sneered. "I mean, to face Newt Gingrich?"

The man has a point. Newt Gingrich? Tubby, philandering (and note that the most famous philandering pols, unlike Newt, generally have the compensating trait of physical attractiveness) has-been, unelectable, distrusted by conservatives Newt Gingrich?

But if you turn the same thought around, it leaves you wondering: How can Romney be in a dogfight with this guy?

My view all along has been that any remotely plausible candidate could beat Mitt Romney. My current view is that there are no remotely plausible candidates, which leaves us with Newt. So we have the immovable object meeting the irresistible force, except the exact opposite. Like almost everybody outside Gingrich's immediate family, I had already written him off twice. But he really seems okay. If some really crazy rich conservatives decide to write him some seven- or eight-figure checks, who knows?

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Photo: John W. Adkisson/2012 Getty Images