Posted Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, at 10:35 AM
TAMPA, Fla. -- Ages ago, back in Columbia, a clump of reporters in Newt Gingrich's victory celebration got to know Vincent Sbraccia. The motorcyle repairman from North Carolina stood near the entrance of the room, shouting incessantly to declare his love for Gingrich.
When I picked up my tape recorder, intending to thumb back through the speech, I heard Vincent's outbursts louder than anything from the stage. A short guide to his commentary, with Newt in normal text, Vincent in italics.
I'd like to thank...
Hey, Newt! Hoo-rah! Tsunami!
South Carolina showed Southern hospitality.
I'm grateful to everybody for that moment of patriotism.
There's something that makes us different than any other people in the world.
Rick Santorum showed tremendous courage.
Ron Paul, on the issue of money...
He's 100% right!
about the Federal Reserve...
And the Bilderbergs!
You look at the four of us...
Better than Obama!
This is the most important election of our lifetime.
If you know anyone in Florida, please call them.
The calls are in! The calls are in!
I will challenge President Obama to seven debates in the Lincoln-Douglas tradition.
Yeah! Wipe the floor with him! Wipe the floor with him! Wipe the floor with him, Newt!
I will concede in advance that he can use a teleprompter.
You'll still wipe the floor with him! Wipe the floor with him, Newt!
You're not gonna reference 700 pages?
This election is about American exceptionalism...
... Saul Alinsky radicalism.
You forgot Bill Ayers, Newt!
Afterwards, on his way out, Vincent told me that he enjoyed the very "American" speech.