Election 2012

Will the real GOP candidate please stand up?

Peter van Agtmael / Magnum for TIME

Former Speaker of the House, and Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, greets supporters at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Anderson, South Carolina on Primary Day, Jan. 21, 2012

Let's see if we have this straight.

Heading into the Florida Republican presidential primary on Jan. 31, surging outsider Newt Gingrich was threatening to knock off Establishment front runner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. By channeling the anger of the Tea Party movement, Gingrich roared to victory in South Carolina in time to thwart the Romney coronation.

Clear enough. Except the "outsider" is a guy who has been around Washington for 30-plus years and was just two heartbeats away from the presidency during his service as Speaker of the House. And the "front runner" is a fellow who not...

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