Newt's 'Cheerful' Comment Sheds Light on His Character

Moment of brevity allows Gingrich to show an unexpected side of himself.

By + More

Viewers could have easily gotten lost in all the Washington buzzwords and personal bickering by the Republican presidential candidates in last night's debate in Arizona.

But a moment of clarity—and blessed brevity—came when the four rivals were asked to describe themselves in one word.

It revealed a lot about their self-images and the messages that their campaigns are trying to convey.

Representative Ron Paul of Texas said, "Consistent."

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania replied, "Courage."

Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts: "Resolute."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: "Cheerful."

Gingrich's answer was the most interesting because it was so unexpected. He was trying to play against type—he is known as a fighter and a firebrand—yet he succeeded in coming across, for that moment at least, as the most light-hearted of the candidates.

  • See pictures of Rick Santorum.
  • Social Media Analysis Predicts Big Romney Win on Super Tuesday.
  • Obama Feels Your Pain at The Pump.