There’s some typically solid and insightful analysis of the US Republican race on Politico. A good article on the dual nature of Newt Gingrich’s relationship with the ‘working press’ in Newt’s secret press pals by Ginger Gibson is worth a read:

The same candidate who on Thursday decried “the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media” shows another face to the cadre of reporters who follow his campaign day-to-day. He jokes with them, publicly celebrates their birthdays, teases them about the early hour they are often forced out of bed to cover his events.
It’s not unusual for Gingrich to chat with reporters, off-the-record, in the hotel restaurant at the end of a long day on the campaign trail — and he engages them to a degree that’s unheard of on the other campaigns.

Gibson points to Gingrich’s experience and familiarity with how those in the news media (and political reporters as a subset) actually work — and, let’s face it, an apparent greater ‘comfortable in his own skin‘ factor.

As I said in my post Media bias: In the eye of the beholder

Journalists usually respect someone who is competent at dealing with ‘da-meed-yah’ (‘feeding the chooks’ Joh Bjelke-Petersen used to say) up to a point. But we HATE it when someone is ‘using’ us, or lying or obfuscating …

And this very good article about the persistent, stubborn, good faith resistance front runner Mitt Romney faces from his rivals for the Republican candidacy, Mitt’s Night of the Living Dead by Alexander Burns:

“I’m not quite sure why either Newt or Santorum will give up while they are still landing jabs on Romney along the way,” said Florida-based strategist Ana Navarro, a former Jon Huntsman supporter who’s now unaligned. “Why should either of these two guys throw in the towel and accept Romney, when there are still significant numbers of Republicans looking for an alternative? Republicans are entering into an arranged marriage with Romney, one lacking love and passion, because so many voices are trying to convince us it’s for our own good.”Explained Navarro: “Voters, candidates, staff who dislike Romney will not be demoralized easily because their disdain for him fuels the fight and keeps them going. It will be over if they run out of money or opportunities to beat him.”

I’m feeling the stirrings of my addiction to American political coverage awakening again. Oops.
– P