View Full Version : The Newt Campaign Implodes

June 10th, 2011, 10:18 PM
Wow, that was quick.

How Newt Gingrich's Campaign Imploded

Peter J. Boyer Thu Jun 9

NEW YORK – The former speaker's top aides bolted en masse Thursday, leaving his campaign in tatters. Peter J. Boyer on staffers’ complaints about Gingrich’s rogue inclinations, the Greek cruise with wife Callista that was the final straw—and whether the candidate has any chance of recovering.

Newt Gingrich’s troubled campaign for the Republican presidential nomination finally imploded Thursday when the core of his political team, vexed by the candidate’s own erratic performance, quit en masse (http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheat-sheet/item/gingrich-aides-resign-en-masse/disaster/). The decisive moment came in a meeting at Gingrich’s Washington, D.C. office between the candidate and his top two operatives, campaign manager Rob Johnson and strategist Sam Dawson, who had hoped to convince Gingrich that his approach as a candidate—which one insider described as “appalling”—needed a drastic transformation. When Gingrich did not agree, Johnson and Dawson said they were done.

That began a cascade of defections, including Gingrich’s longtime and trusted aide, Rick Tyler, that effectively ended the former speaker’s run for the presidency, which began less than a month ago (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-18/newt-gingrichs-disastrous-rollout/). By the end of the day, campaign staffers in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, and Georgia, also had jumped ship, along with Sonny Perdue, Gingrich’s national co-chairman, who said he now supports the candidacy of Tim Pawlenty.

On his Facebook page, Gingrich promised to start his campaign anew, with another launch Sunday in Los Angeles. But the common view in political circles was expressed by former Gingrich aide, the conservative commentator Rich Galen, who said, “This campaign is over.”

Almost from the start, Gingich’s campaign team had fretted that their candidate lacked the patience and discipline to accommodate himself to the exacting process of running a presidential campaign. The first sign of his inclination to go rogue was his May 15 appearance on the NBC broadcast, “Meet the Press,” during which he entangled himself in a controversy over the House Republican budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, which he criticized as “right-wing social engineering.” The Ryan plan has become Republican orthodoxy, and Gingrich found himself having to explain, and then apologize for, his remarks.

“It’s not a hobby. This is a full-time, 80-hour-a-week job.”

One Gingrich staffer, no longer with the campaign, noted today that the “Meet the Press” appearance, which came just four days after Gingrich announced his candidacy, was booked by Gingrich himself—and was hardly the ideal venue for a candidate trying to win conservative hearts.

The final straw for some in the campaign was Gingrich’s decision to suddenly absent himself from the fray earlier this month to take a luxury Greek cruise with his wife, Callista—an odyssey one Gingrich insider called, “the Greek tragedy.” Some on Gingrich’s campaign staff had strongly urged the candidate not to abandon the field for an opulent vacation.

Gingrich’s insistence on taking the cruise reflected the deep disconnect between his staff’s idea of what was required to win the nomination, and Gingrich’s own. Gingrich sometimes “seemed almost annoyed at the process,” one top staffer said.

Some of the blame for that disconnect has been laid at the feet of Callista Gingrich (http://www.thedailybeast.com/spin-cycle/2011/5/10/newt-and-the-callista-factor), who didn’t appreciate the demands that a presidential campaign places upon the candidate and his family. “It’s how much time that his wife thinks that he should spend on this,” the staffer said. “It’s not a hobby. This is a full-time, 80-hour-a-week job.”

Over the winter, when Gingrich was still mulling a presidential run, I asked him what role Callista, who has been Gingrich’s full partner in their documentary productions and other projects, would play in his decision. “Callista has a deciding vote,” Gingrich said. “It would be impossible to run without Callista’s active support and enthusiasm. You just couldn’t do it.”

Callista has been a constant rhetorical reference point (http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheat-sheet/item/callista-gingrich-key-to-newts-campaign/dynamic-duo/) for Gingrich (“Callista and I…” was a standard refrain), but Mrs. Gingrich has balked at the reality of a campaign. “She didn’t have any idea what it takes to run for president,” the adviser said. “She couldn’t understand why it takes so much time and commitment, and it was, ‘Why can’t we go on vacation? We work hard.’ Well, you do, and you deserve to go on vacation. But that’s not how this works.”

At times, the rough-and-tumble of the campaign affected Callista personally. She was at Gingrich’s side at a book signing when a protester showered her husband with glitter and confetti. And, she was implicitly the target of criticism over Gingrich’s maintenance of a $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-28/newt-gingrichs-tab-at-tiffanys-what-was-the-presidential-hopeful-apologizing-for/).

If Gingrich does not manage to revive his campaign, it will be another shake-up in what is proving to be a very fluid Republican field. Potential contenders such as Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and entrepreneur Donald Trump have declared themselves out of the race, while others, such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are still considering entering. It had been supposed that Gingrich’s snagging of Rob Johnson and David Carney, two close Perry associates, was proof that Perry would not run. But two weeks ago, Perry told Newsweek/The Daily Beast that he would consider a presidential run at the conclusion of this year’s Texas legislative session

That legislative term was extended earlier this month when Perry called legislators into a special session, which will last until the end of the month. Perry’s spokesman, Mark Miner, told The Daily Beast today that Perry will consider his options at the end of the session.

“He’s thinking about this, as he is a number of other issues,” Miner said. “But what happened today does not have any impact on that. His focus remains on the special legislative session.”

Asked about reports that Perry has already had talks with Carney and Johnson, Miner said, “I’m not going to comment on any personal conversations that the governor might or might not have had.”

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

June 13th, 2011, 07:42 PM
Actually, the fact that his campaign imploded is less important than when it imploaded, because he has the ability to draw attention to himself that might otherwise go to other candidates that might actually have a chance to win. Less so than Sarah Palin, but he has the same affect. So if Newt drops out early, or otherwise becomes irrelevent early, it helps candidates trying to establish themselves nationally like Pawlenty, and also opens a spot for some other candidate that might fill a similar rhetorical slot (although I am not sure what slot that might be at the moment).

June 13th, 2011, 07:59 PM
Looking forward to the New Hampshire GOP talk fest tonight. CNN 8PM

June 14th, 2011, 07:50 AM
Saw a bit on highlights this morning.

All the Republicans getting up to say how Obama has failed miserably and the country is going to hell without even a handbasket.

Typical. When you do not have anything really solid to propose, just say that everything that is going on now is bad and the fault of the President (ignoring the control of the House....).

(PS, the new spellcheck button does not seem to be working....)

June 14th, 2011, 09:04 AM
Good. Now we can take a spelling vacation and act like toothless hillbillies for a while. :)

June 14th, 2011, 10:58 AM
That is SO anti-hillbilly!!!!!!! How DARE you criticize hillbillies when your group has so much to be criticized about... :confused:

June 14th, 2011, 11:02 AM
I'm actually an honorary hick. :) So is lofter!

June 14th, 2011, 02:00 PM
Full blown hick, here.

Interesting to hear from GOP-ers last night how Obama in his first 2.4 years has destroyed NASA all by his self.

June 14th, 2011, 03:06 PM
It all his fault, I tells ya!

June 14th, 2011, 06:36 PM
Actually, the fact that his campaign imploded is less important than when it imploaded, because he has the ability to draw attention to himself that might otherwise go to other candidates that might actually have a chance to win. Less so than Sarah Palin, but he has the same affect. So if Newt drops out early, or otherwise becomes irrelevent early, it helps candidates trying to establish themselves nationally like Pawlenty, and also opens a spot for some other candidate that might fill a similar rhetorical slot (although I am not sure what slot that might be at the moment).

I never thought Newt was much of a threat... he doesn't connect well with his audience. Believe it or not, I think Palin could win (as horrific as that may seem). Her negatives are high but not with GOP leaners and she has charisma in a George Bush sort of way. I am way more worried about her. I don't see Pawlenty gaining much traction; his people skills are lacking.

June 15th, 2011, 12:42 AM
He never had the faintest chance of winning, so this really doesn't matter.

June 16th, 2011, 01:46 PM
From ABC News

By HUMA KHAN (http://abcnews.go.com/author/huma_khan) and AMY BINGHAM
June 14, 2011

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's comments comparing Muslims to Nazis (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/newt-gingrich-compares-muslims-nazis-13833848) at the GOP debate (http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/06/the-note-obama-remains-the-bogeyman-as-gop-candidates-pull-punches-for-now.html) Monday night have sparked a firestorm in the blogosphere, where liberals, and even some conservatives, have pounced on the former House speaker for what they view as excessive fear mongering.

"Of course Newt is taking it too far. He is appealing to the basest instincts of a very small minority of folks," said Matthew Dowd, ABC News consultant who served as chief strategist on George W. Bush's 2004 re-election team. "Either he is doing this for political purposes to distract people from a campaign in disarray, which is bad, or he actually believes it, which is scary."

At the New Hampshire debate (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/michele-bachmann-mitt-romney-obama-republican-debate/story?id=13834141) Monday night, Gingrich responded to questions about loyalty tests for administration officials, saying, "The Pakistani who emigrated to the U.S., became a citizen, built a car bomb which luckily failed to go off in Times Square, was asked by the federal judge, how could he have done that when he signed and when he swore an oath to the United States. And he looked at the judge and said, 'You're my enemy. I lied.'"

"Now, I just want to go out on a limb here. I'm in favor of saying to people, if you're not prepared to be loyal to the United States, you will not serve in my administration, period," Gingrich added to applause.

But Gingrich didn't stop there, despite an attempt by moderators to interject. He compared hiring Muslims to how Americans dealt with Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in

"We did this in dealing with the Nazis. We did this in dealing with the Communists. And it was controversial both times and both times we discovered after a while, you know, there are some genuinely bad people who would like to infiltrate our country. And we have got to have the guts to stand up and say, 'No,'" he concluded.

Many people have chastised Gingrich, whose senior aides resigned en masse (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/newt-gingrichs-top-campaign-aides-resign/story?id=13804210) last week, for invoking 1950s-era McCarthyism, a time during which free speech came under assault amid a heightened threat of Communism.

Muslim groups expressed outrage, saying Gingrich was merely exploiting Muslims for personal and political gain.
"It's really reprehensible when you have a mainstream presidential candidate equate Muslims with Nazis and communists," said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director at Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It is what we've come to expect from the right wing of the political faction."

CAIR also assailed GOP candidates Herman Cain and Rick Santorum for their comments on the question of sharia law taking over the U.S. court system.

Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather's Pizza, raised eyebrows earlier this year when he said he wouldn't allow Muslims in his cabinet. Cain clarified the remark Monday, saying he might want to ask a Muslim person certain questions during a job interview about their loyalty to the country, a comment that Gingrich defended.

Although he might have created a firestorm, this isn't the first time Gingrich has made such a comparison and, to many, his most recent comments are anything but surprising.

Gingrich spoke fervently in August against the proposed mosque and community center to be built near Ground Zero, saying that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to do so just as "Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington," or "we would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor."

Gingrich brought up the same example of the attempted Times Square bomber's loyalty at a debate in February, saying he "lied [about his loyalty to America] to get American citizenship."

"Your generation is going to face a long struggle I believe at least as long as the Cold War," Gingrich warned students during a debate with Howard Dean at George Washington University. "It is going to be extraordinarily dangerous and I think if our opponents get either a biological or nuclear weapon we are in real trouble and we are not today having the national dialogue that we should be having about how dangerous this is and how bad it could get."

Although his comments from Monday have come under fire, observers say they are unlikely to significantly affect his already-fledgling campaign.

The comments Monday night are "not surprising coming [from] Newt in that he seems to have been born with a limited filter between his brain and his mouth," consultant Dowd said. But "it's hard to say it will really hurt his campaign when it was already taking on water and listing in the waves."

Rep. Michele Bachmann on 'GMA': 'Will Repeal Obamacare'

In a sign that the campaign was taking a turn for the worst, a number of Gingrich's top aides resigned last week, citing conflicting opinions about the direction of the campaign and what they perceive as a lack of motivation on the part of Gingrich and his wife, Callista, to do heavy, time-consuming fundraising and campaigning.


[URL]http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/gop-debate-newt-gingrichs-comparison-muslims-nazis-sparks/story?id=13838355&page=2 (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/#)

June 16th, 2011, 10:13 PM