Mutiny on the ‘Gingrich’

Fellow contributor Patrick Edaburn has just reported on the breaking news that Newt Gingrich’s Presidential campaign top staffers have resigned en masse. (Other news sources call this an “implosion” of his campaign—the end.)

While Edaburn gives a couple of possible reasons for this collapse—a badly timed two-week Greek vacation and a possible Perry run—the media is awash with other possible reasons:

The Washington Post:

* Expanding on the two-week Greek vacation: “Coming as it did after one of the most disastrous campaign launches in recent memory, it raised questions as to whether Gingrich would be willing to ‘commit time to the grassroots,’ said Tyler, his longtime spokesman.”

* Gingrich’s near fatal foot-in-mouth denouncement of Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans for a huge Medicare overhaul as “right wing social engineering”.

* His “largely” remaining off the campaign trail.

* Reports that Gingrich had carried a six-figure debt at the Tiffany’s jewelry store and his refusal to “explain what accounted for such a large debt, stoking further questions and extending the story’s life.”

* The early March snafu on a supposed announcement that Gingrich was going to run, “evidence of the lack of coordination even within Gingrich’s inner circle.”

* Tyler’s blaming the media for Gingrich’s problems: — “the literati sent out their minions to do their bidding,” which made “matters worse.”

* Gingrich’s inability to “fully disentangle himself from his vast American Solutions organization — a vast fundraising and idea generation factory.”

The New York Times:

* Gingrich’s lack of focus.

* “A rough campaign roll-out.”

* Disagreements about the “direction of the campaign.”

* Campaign managers’ worries about expenses: “In a three-day swing through Iowa last month, Mr. Gingrich spent $40,000 on a chartered Citation 10 jet, the aide said.”

* More on the Greek cruise: “Several advisers pleaded with Mr. Gingrich not to go on the trip, an aide said, but Mrs. Gingrich wanted to go. ‘We have a spouse who controls the schedule,’ said the aide, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal workings of the campaign.”

* Again, “The bad publicity over a gaffe Mr. Gingrich made about Medicare on “Meet the Press” and [again] the revelation that he once owed Tiffany a six-figure sum had also discouraged donations.

* Disagreements on decision about how and when to campaign:

“The team that left had a different idea of what it would take to win,” Mr. Tyler said in a brief telephone interview on Thursday. “Everyone agreed there is a path to victory, but there was a disagreement about what that was.”

In particular, Mr. Tyler said that he and other senior advisers believed that a significant investment of on-the-ground time in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire was needed to repair the damage from Mr. Gingrich’s stumbles last month.

“Take all those things together, you are in a handicapped position,” Mr. Tyler said. “Given the state of the campaign and the press, the campaign needed to recover. That was going to require a lot of time in the states. The schedule did not reflect what I would say was required.”

Finally, both the Times and the Post mention the possible Perry run for president and Carney and Johnson being longtime aides to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Tyler’s last words: “I hope he does well. He’s a great intellect…It’s sad. But it’s time to move on.”

Gingrich’s latest words (on Facebook, of all places): “I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”

Anew, again?

Stay tuned.

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist