Posted on | April 2, 2012 | 31 Comments
Being without means of transportation at the moment — thanks to the vigilant police officers of Livonia, Louisiana — I couldn’t have attended this, even if I’d wanted to, but I’m actually kind of glad I missed Newt Gingrich’s appearance today in nearby Frederick, Maryland. Byron York was there to witness Newt’s disgrace:
Strapped for cash and struggling to stay in the game after a series of losses in Southern states he thought he could win, Gingrich has in the last few days come up with a strategy to “redirect” his campaign. . . .
Almost daily, Gingrich is sending out signs that he ultimately expects Romney to win the delegates required to secure the nomination. . . .
Gingrich appears to concede that, barring some unforeseen happening, Romney will win the nomination. And Gingrich is also plainly recognizing that his own campaign is a shadow of what it was during his two hot streaks, in Iowa and South Carolina. The big blue NEWT bus is gone, the crowds are smaller, the staff is smaller. . . .
Dude. Not even a bus? Less than two weeks ago, Team Newt was rolling across rural Louisiana in a 10-car motorcade.
And I remember being in Fort Myers the day before the Florida primary when Newt flew in on his custom chartered jet.
That was barely two months ago, when Newt was burning through campaign cash at a rate of $190,000 a day! (Dividing his campaign’s January expenditures of $5.9 million by 31.) The obvious problem was — although the hired geniuses at Team Newt didn’t seem to see it this way — Florida was winner-take-all, so there was no consolation prize in delegates for second place, and being on the receiving end of a 14-point ass-kicking by Romney was an expensive embarrassment for Gingrich.
While he was jetting around the Sunshine State and blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars a day in that doomed effort, of course, Newt was failing to build even the rudiments of a campaign organization in Colorado and Minnesota. So once he imploded in Nevada — heeding the misguided advice of his personal staff instead of his Nevada coordinators, blowing off an appearance with Gov. Brian Sandoval and otherwise auto-destructing his campaign in what was aptly described to me by one of his Nevada supporters as a “clusterf**k” — there was never any real chance of a Gingrich comeback.
Fourth place in Minnesota? And never mind, of course, that Newt placed third in Colorado, which Santorum won with a shoestring campaign operation that was little more than two guys in the basement of somebody’s house in Colorado Springs.
Anyway, the last time I saw Newt — in Baton Rouge, two nights before the Louisiana primary — I sat in the back of the room and listened quietly while he talked about how he had “helped design campaigns that won huge elections.” And then of course, he got 16 percent of the vote that Saturday, after he’d already secretly met with Romney in New Orleans, yet Gingrich still has the gall to show up in Frederick and accept $50 checks from little old ladies?
Good thing I missed it. It probably wouldn’t be ethical for a professional journalist to laugh out loud at a candidate. Or spit on him, either.