There's been plenty of punditry on the topic of Newt's "surprise" win in the Palmetto State, but I think it's really quite simple. Bill Clinton won because he felt our pain. Newt Gingrich wins because he channels their hate.
My fellow South Carolinians hate a lot of things, including their prevailing belief that expressing one's hatred in public has been unfairly prohibited by political correctness. There are costs in 21st century America for publicly and explicitly hating blacks, gays, atheists, illegal immigrants, intellectuals and liberals, and so Southern conservatives have learned to speak in code: birth certificates, grades, teleprompters, food stamps, welfare, socialism. The code words express the outlines of their complaint, but not the seething anger that animates their politics.
Not only does Newt understand the immense power of repressed hatred, he also grasps that the one group Americans can still hate publicly without fear of reprisal is "The Media." Newt ran in South Carolina as The Guy Who Really Hates The Media, demonstrating to standing-ovation crowds that when it comes to hating, he's the man.
Of course, Newt has this one little problem nationally, but you know. Politics.
Next stop: Florida.