by Benjamin J. Kirby
I said once before that Newt Gingrich never worried me as much as some of the other candidates who have entered and exited the GOP primary conflagration clown car. And you have to give him credit -- for as crazy and weird as a lot of the other candidates have been, he appealed to the conservative base (or he tried to, anyway), and yet was of the establishment.
Don't get me wrong, he was crazy and weird, too. A moon base? Really? Weird, crazy, out-of-this-world (heh), sure. But at least he's not joking about his father laying people off and how they used to get a good hardy-har-har out of that. You sort of have to understand where he's coming from when he says Romney's a weak candidate.
At any rate, he's cutting staff and scaling back public appearances, which is the political campaign equivalent of hacking off your arms and legs. Of course, he'll claim it's all part of the strategy -- only a flesh wound! -- but anyone who's seen a campaign up close and personal knows this is the beginning of the end.
That being said, let's remember that the man has said he's planning to go all the way to the convention in August -- and he's got 135 delegates, barely under half of what Santorum has, as of today (Santorum, by the way, has less than half of what Romney has). It would be a difficult (at best) path to the nomination, but the former Speaker of the House isn't empty-handed.
To be honest with you, there's a little piece of me that's sorry to see him go. Not because I care about Newt Gingrich -- I don't. At all. But for me, he was reminiscent of a time in the 1990s when he was the political Bad Guy to President Clinton's good guy. I miss those days, sometimes, and for better or for worse, he was a part of it. Mostly worse, I guess.
Newt Gingrich is a mean, self-important has-been. Will Romney -- who, again, will be the nominee -- need him for something at the convention in Tampa this summer? They'd better hope not.