Posted on | March 27, 2012 | 49 Comments
“I have no talent. I have nothing to offer.”
— Kendra Wilkinson
“Look, clearly we’re gonna have to go on a fairly tight budget to get from here to Tampa.”
— Newt Gingrich
It would be terribly mean-spirited to use the phrase “big fake boobs” as a cheap excuse to make fun of Newt Gingrich again. According to the latest Wisconsin poll, however, Gingrich is on his way to yet another fourth-place finish, while refusing to admit that his campaign has lost whatever actual political rationale it had before he lost Tennessee, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
So as long as Newt wants to keep pretending that he’s still a viable candidate, the ridiculousness of his make-believe campaign — as fake as a Bunny’s boobies — is legitimate news, just like the latest idiotic quotes from Hef’s ex-girlfriend Kendra are legitimate news. The Gingrich pseudo-campaign crossed a bold new frontier of hopeless desperation in Delaware yesterday:
Monday’s event, held in a state that doesn’t vote for another three weeks, also seemed to signal a new phase in the campaign. Event attendees were allowed to take pictures with the candidate for $50 per photo. Before tonight, supporters took photos with Gingrich for free.
Charging for photos, in addition to news that the campaign canceled a trip to North Carolina, contributes to the narrative that Gingrich is struggling to stay afloat financially.
Despite its high-rolling ways, the Gingrich campaign recorded exactly one victory (South Carolina, Jan. 21) during that 60-day period, along with two second-place finishes in Florida (Jan. 31) and Nevada (Feb. 4), third place in Colorado (Feb. 7) and Arizona (Feb. 28), fourth-place finishes in Iowa (Jan. 3), Minnesota (Feb. 7), Maine (Feb. 11) and Michigan (Feb. 28), and fifth place in New Hampshire (Jan. 10).
Not exactly the kind of strong performance you might expect from a serious contender burning $146,000 a day, you see. When we learned on March 20 that Newt’s campaign was essentially bankrupt — with $1.5 million in debt, slightly more than its cash on hand as of the end of February — it was only a matter of time before the whole phony sham collapsed under the weight of its own expensive fraudulence.
“It is hard to identify a spot on the remaining primary map where Gingrich would be a stronger challenger than Santorum.”
— Walter Shapiro, The New Republic
“Gingrich’s status as a Republican primary candidate has slipped from longshot to sideshow.”
— Molly Ball, The Atlantic
“There is no path for Gingrich. . . . His strategy has come and gone and that’s the bottom line.”
— G. Terry Madonna, Franklin and Marshall College Poll
Yeah, I’m collecting quotes like that these days, because everybody can now see what I’ve been describing ever since Newt melted down at his Feb. 4 Las Vegas press conference: The Neutral Objective Fact that Gingrich’s campaign was falling apart right in front of our eyes, even while he was on TV every night telling everybody he was going “all the way to Tampa.” The Bernie Madoff approach to “viability,” as it were.
On March 19 — the day before his February FEC report exposed his bankruptcy — Gingrich published a Red State column attacking Rick Santorum and insisting that he, Newt Gingrich, was the “only . . . candidate in this race who can offer the change our country desperately needs.”
Now Newt’s hustling folks for $50 a photo.
If he can find about 2,900 people a day to pay that much, he can afford the kind of campaign he was running in January and February, when he won exactly one primary out 10 contests.
And good luck with that, huh?
UPDATE: Wow. Talk about timing. Latest news from Politico:
Newt Gingrich is cutting back his campaign schedule, will lay off about a third of his cash-strapped campaign’s full-time staff, and has replaced his manager as part of what aides are calling a “big-choice convention” strategy . . .
Which is to say, it’s over.
And as Allah says, any suggestion that Newt will get the nomination at a brokered convention is “pure fantasy.” If Republicans go looking for a candidate who can make the case for fiscal discipline, I’m sure they’ll pick the guy who spent his campaign into bankruptcy.