Newt Gingrich, the man who knows too much

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Some persistence is merely doggedness. Newt Gingrich’s persistence is a form of confidence — the firm belief that, given enough time and enough debates, his skills will prevail. He knows how to probe an opponent’s weakness, how to humiliate a journalist, how to employ an applause line and how to parry an uncomfortable question. The anti-Romneys who came before him were chosen more or less at random. Gingrich has earned his surge that produced a 13-point victory in South Carolina on Saturday. Yet Gingrich is more than a performer. He is the GOP’s chief diagnostician, specializing in the vivid explanation of public challenges. Other candidates struggle to recall three…

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Gaddafi loyalists launch offensive on key oil town as counter-insurgency grows

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