Earth calling Newt: When the biggest news of your presidential campaign is the penguin biting your hand at the zoo, it’s probably time to pack it in.
Even though Newt Gingrich’s odds of winning the Republican nomination were about as long as those of realizing his dream for a moon colony, the 68-year-old seemed to enjoy himself to the end. “I never got the sense that he was quote-unquote down,” said adviser Charlie Gerow. “I got the sense on a couple of occasions that he was tired. Really tired.” And really in debt. His campaign spent $4.3 million more than it brought in.
For all his offbeat ideas, Gingrich did bring a dose of seriousness to this campaign. With some stellar debate performances and a deep knowledge of politics and history, he probably made Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum study more and work harder to win support.
Members of the media, targets of some of his most vicious attacks, may not miss Newt much. But there’s no denying that, for the world of news, Gingrich was the gift that kept on giving, right up to his encounter with a penguin.