Newt Gingrich has about as much chance of winning the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination as I have of being named spokesperson for the Kosher Cheese of the Month Club. Nevertheless, America’s Most Self-Aggrandizing Amphibian is headed to North Carolina to campaign. Hide your barbecue plates, Tar Heels, unless you want to wash your pork down with a tall glass of unsweetened Newt.
In a wide-ranging interview with WRAL news, Newt proclaimed: “I like barbeque well enough I’m prepared to eat the right barbeque in the east and the right barbeque in the Piedmont. As a Georgian, I think I can lay some claim to barbeque, and so I’m happy to come and eat both kinds.” A solid answer from the Newtser, assuming the ‘q’ spelling of barbecue is WRAL’s doing and not his. However, Newt missed an opportunity to push for the environmental benefits of wood-cooked pit barbecue: a step toward homegrown energy independence and less controversial than natural gas given the fracking issue. (It occurs to me that “frack-free” barbecue might be the South’s answer to gluten-free cornbread.)
Certainly Newt’s BBQ credentials are better than his yankee-competitors, Rick “No Google Stock in My Portfolio” Santorum and Mitt “Don’t Call Me Mittens” Romney. If Newt can avoid a Rick Perry-sized barbecue gaffe, he has a good chance to dominate the Republican primary’s barbecue voting bloc.