Political Animal


April 25, 2012 8:51 AM Where’s the Wooden Stake?

By Ed Kilgore

You’d figure that last night’s dismal performance would be the last act of the saga of Gingrich ‘12. After choosing Delaware as his make-or-break state—one so small that even a campaign deep in debt and with no visible means of support could have a chance—Newt came across the finish line there a heart-breakingly close 29 points behind Mitt Romney, racking up well over seven thousand votes. In the other primaries held yesterday, he finished third behind Ron Paul.

Yet Gingrich didn’t drop out, and instead is spending time in North Carolina, where he’s lashing his campaign to the cause of Amendment One, the bid to make the Tar Heel State the unofficial intolerance capital of America. It’s as though he’s nostalgic for the salad days of his presidential run, when he was setting South Carolina on fire with his attacks of Barack Obama as the “food stamp president.”

Since his campaign earlier survived two or three near-death experiences, no one expected Gingrich to withdraw until the creditors were hammering on the door trying to repossess his microphone and Adam Smith ties. But it’s getting ridiculous now, particularly given the publicity around the reported $40,000 a day his Secret Service detail is costing taxpayers. He’s light-years away from having the five state delegations in his column that are necessary for his name to be placed in nomination at the Convention; Delaware was his last real shot. So if he won’t finally bury his candidacy, party leaders may soon be looking for a wooden stake.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • kevo on April 25, 2012 9:09 AM:

    But he just can't quit his presidential book sales tour! What's an idea man to do?

    Poor Newt, his head may explode any day now! -Kevo

  • Sean Scallon on April 25, 2012 9:14 AM:

    At least Ron Paul costs taxpayers nothing to keep campaigning.

  • jpeckjr on April 25, 2012 9:23 AM:

    I hear he's got a new campaign slogan: "I will not be irrelevant! And you can't make me!"

  • TC on April 25, 2012 9:27 AM:

    $40,000 a day sounds like a lot.

    $10,000,000 a year sounds like more.

  • delNorte on April 25, 2012 9:29 AM:

    Maybe the Secret Service protection and the continued campaigning gives him a sense of self-importance that will disappear like smoke when he calls it quits.

    Or maybe these things are the only things that confirm the smug self-assurance he seems to possess. He's hooked on them (and hooked on himself) like an addict. And I'm sure he's milking every last penny out of the operation.

  • Kathryn on April 25, 2012 9:31 AM:

    Saw his daughter flaking for him on MSNBC yesterday or Monday (can't remember which), obviously he can't afford paid staff. What a hideous man, wonder which Sunday talk shows will book him this weekend? That this grifter is welcome in polite society, treated as if his judgement and ideas have value says all you need to know about the media, he should be a pariah.

  • ComradeAnon on April 25, 2012 9:36 AM:

    Kathryn-he just can't get anyone to speak well of him.

  • T2 on April 25, 2012 9:39 AM:

    $40,000 a day??? That will buy lots of hookers in Columbia. But I regress...on to Newt.
    Newt Gingrich, as has been said many times in this cycle, was not in this to be president, rather to ensure himself continued face time on Meet the Press, and to make enough money to keep his robot wife in hairspray and Tiffany diamonds. In his mind (which is the most intelligent on the planet) he has been very successful in both goals. You gotta hand it to the boy. For a thrice married cad to campaign on Family Values,etc., he's set the standard for GOP low-lifes.

  • stormskies on April 25, 2012 9:43 AM:

    $40,000 would be a basic salary for a public school teacher for one year. But of course to pig Gingrich that means nothing. It's more important for his ego inflation to be 'protected' than to hire teachers for our kids.

  • pol on April 25, 2012 9:46 AM:

    stormskies, you are so right. Republicans care absolutely nothing about public schools, so Gingrich thinks the money is well spent...

  • gelfling545 on April 25, 2012 9:47 AM:

    If he dropped out now he's have to look for honest work.

  • SYSPROG on April 25, 2012 10:01 AM:

    Having Secret Service protection is the closest Newt will ever get to the Presidency...don't you remember the Presidential plane incident? He's going to milk it until he is FORCED to give it up. Right now, he can live in his delusion that he's WORTH the taxpayers money.

  • DRF on April 25, 2012 10:06 AM:

    So why does he still have Secret Service protection?

  • Just Dropping By on April 25, 2012 10:32 AM:

    DRF, he still has it because apparently there's some congressional committees that have to approve withdrawing protection and they've basically said they have no plans to withdraw it.

  • sduffys on April 25, 2012 10:42 AM:

    40k a day? Good thing he doesn't belong to a political party that purports itself as THE Party of Fiscal Responsibility.

  • exlibra on April 25, 2012 11:04 AM:

    Only a quarter million smackers left in that titty, apparently:

    Craptcha is in superb form: "length orseenc". S'right; he wants to see NC and that'll be all the length he'll go to.

  • biggerbox on April 25, 2012 11:11 AM:

    9-1-1? There's an old man wandering around the countryside, and he's shouting all kinds of nonsense and acting real crazy. I think he's disoriented, and may not know where he is? Maybe he wandered away from his home, or something?

    I'm just worried he's going to hurt himself... He's not acting rationally, and he might just wander into traffic, or something. A little while ago he was talking about living on the Moon! Can you send someone out to check on him soon?

  • MuddyLee on April 25, 2012 11:25 AM:

    Hey Newt - we all wish you were as smart as you think you are. Just please don't come back to SC thinking the people love you here - the Church of the Right Wing has now told its members that it's ok to vote for a Mormon, so forget about it. We just need a farewell swan song for your campaign - maybe to the tune of Hey Jude...Hey Newt, don't make it worse, take a pathetic song and make it less pathetic...Remember, you were Speaker of the House, and they can't take that away from you......etc ad nauseum

  • rrk1 on April 25, 2012 2:06 PM:

    There is no one that holds the Newt in higher esteem than the Newt himself. No amount of defeat, rejection, or criticism is going to change that. An ego that big can't be deflated since the source of hot air is so much greater than the holes in the gasbag.

    Callista should worry that he's going to trade her in because that's what he does when he loses.