Doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time, for the wrong person requires a particular aptitude for homing in on a coalescing mix of unfortunate events and latching on. It would seem that few people have a knack for enjoining themselves to such perfect storms the way J.C. Watts does.
Just as Newt Gingrich’s numbers begin to bottom out, J.C. Watts pulls up from the flank, almost out of nowhere, to endorse him. We should call Watts Black Magic. Because who in their right mind would come out of political hiding to endorse a lightning rod of a candidate with no establishment or on the ground support?
Even though Watts effectively served as water carrier for Gingrich’s duplicitous leadership, he was never rewarded with a House leadership position (although he did serve as Chairman of the House Republican Conference). He should’ve been. One has a hard time imagining a young white upstart with the particular background and talent of Watts not being rewarded with a leadership position (see the much less stellar and less accomplished Eric Cantor).
So, unless there are back door dealings here that I’m unaware of, Watts doesn’t owe Gingrich anything. Coming out of retirement just to carry a bit more water has a kind of somber sadness to it. Maybe I’m being overly perceptive, but I just get the feel that Gingrich, for whatever reason, felt he could wrangle Watts into his corner, even though he had no real basis for such an assumption.
Either way, it worked. J.C. Watts popped out of private life to add his name to a half dead, zombie campaign. No matter how you twist it, that sucks.