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Newt Gingrich promises nation eight years of hell

Meet the new number one, Republicans.

Meet the new number one, Republicans. The latest PPP poll has Newt Gingrich in first with 28 percent, over Herman Cain (25 percent) and then Mitt Romney (18 percent). CNN has Mr. Romney still in first, by two points over Mr. Gingrich.Mr. Gingrich celebrated his new poll numbers with a speech today at GuideOne Insurance in Des Moines, Iowa. He told the crowd:

I believe we're in real trouble. I don't think this is Barack Obama. This is bigger, deeper, harder than Barack Obama. In all honesty, I don't say this with any sense of pride, it worries me about the system, in all honesty, I don't think there's anybody else with the range of experience, the range of background, the willingness to take the beating that I've exhibited in 53 years. I find it very formidable to think that I might win and that with your help, we might go through eight very difficult years. I don't know any other way for this country to get back on track except to be willing to do that. It can't be about me. It has to be about the American people.

Does anyone know what that reference is to his being the toughest guy in "53 years"? Technically, he'd be talking about 1958, and as Mike Yarvitz points out, Mr. Gingrich is a historian (he's promoting another of his projects tonight). Fellow history buffs?