June 9, 2011

Gingrich campaign staff resigns en masse

From the Washington Post:
Among the issues, according to knowledgeable sources, was the two-week vacation that Gingrich and his wife, Callista, insisted upon taking against the advice of his top political staff. Coming as it did after one of the most diastrous campaign launches in recent memory, it raised questions as to whether Gingrich would be willing to “commit time to the grassroots,” said Tyler. 
Gingrich had returned earlier this week and visited New Hampshire but remained largely off the campaign trail. 
Carney and Johnson are longtime aides to Texas Gov. Rick Perry who has said in recent days that he is contemplating a run for president himself in 2012. The Carney and Johnson resignations will fuel speculation that Perry is moving toward the race.

I've always kind of liked Newt, but he's a flake. I remember listening to a dinner table conversation in the 1990s about Newt between two people who were much more insiders than me, so I kept my mouth shut and paid attention. The first, who I won't name, was a woman who attained some prominence in politics in the 1990s, but struck me as a flake. She was highly enthusiastic about Newt running for President. 

The other person was General William Odom, who had been Zbig's assistant for military intelligence in the Carter Administration, then head of the National Security Administration in the Reagan Administration. He was not a flake. Odom rolled his eyes at the idea of President Newt, and replied that when Gingrich had first obtained a leadership position in Congress in the 1980s, Odom had invited Gingrich over to get the two-hour NSA briefing reserved for the top few officials in Congress. When Newt showed up, however, he talked for two hours straight, giving Odom's staff Newt's two-hour tour d'horizon. Nobody left the room better informed than they had entered, except in terms of awareness of Newt's chief liability: Americans want leaders who give the impression that they know more than they are saying, but nobody could possibly know more than Newt says.

50 comments:

gfs said...

I remember perusing the Gingrich website last election. Though I can't be more specific memory wise, I was left with the impression that Newt would approach a very good idea then wander away from it again. "Flakey", yes.

Dutch Boy said...

Good riddance!!!

Thripshaw said...

a woman who attained some prominence in politics in the 1990s, but struck me as a flake

Any guesses, readers? Susan Molinari comes to mind.

Newt is one helluva blowhard, though - like world class, Olympic quality blowhard. His campaign is toast.

Whiskey said...

Some random passer-by (a Republican voter in Iowa) shouted at Gingrich in a Iowa hotel lobby that he should "get out before he embarrasses himself."

Newt made that famous commercial with Nancy Pelosi (Republican Voter's enemy #3) endorsing Cap and Trade to "fight Global Warming." He then went on to say he cheated on his wife because he was so caught up in his concern for America.

He was and is a pathetic joke. Huntsman is similarly deluded (a former Obama appointee who will not criticize Obama). He's a joke too.

Republicans have some serious people, but all have baggage. Rudy ran a lousy campaign in 2007-8. Plus he's not loved by Social Conservatives. Romney is "the guy who'd lay you off" per Huckabee. Palin and Bachman are detested by women voters. Pawlenty is a bland RINO, Santorum unknown and with a poor warchest. But Rick Perry is getting in. Generic Republican is now leading Obama, the economy is that bad and getting even worse.

Anonymous said...

How is Perry on defending the border?

I saw a yahoo story about the Texas Rangers getting into a gun fight across the Mexican border.

goatweed

Anonymous said...

Newt knows American history...and that's about it. He is a flake and a cad...like so many of them, but at least he's no Weiner. Can you believe the gall of that little perv hanging on as he has?

I guess Bill&Hilary advised him to hang on.

elvisd said...

I'm hoping, hoping that this is the nail in the coffin for this clown. He's had a 20 year exploratory committee. He's a limelight lover like Bill Clinton, but lazy like Fred Thompson. He's one of those sorta flaky,legend in his own mind types that seems to have become pretty common since the mid 90's.

Udolpho.com said...

Newt is one of those gasbags that socially maladroit nerds get behind (see also Steve Forbes), they just lack the ability to see what a hopeless fuckup he is

even Whiskey dislikes him

Anonymous said...

Pawlenty is a bland RINO

Bland, perhaps. But he's easily one of the more conservative Republicans in the race, and the only one who's decent on immigration. He's no RINO.

Dennis Dale said...

When Newt showed up, however, he talked for two hours straight, giving Odom's staff Newt's two-hour tour d'horizon.

That's positively Hitlerian.

Steve Sailer said...

Right, that's what Hitler did when he met Franco after Gen. Franco had won the Spanish Civil War: informed Franco ceaselessly of his views of military matters.

Franco decided he wasn't going to bind his fate to Hitler's the way Mussolini had done.

jody said...

after i left pittsburgh i lost touch with whatever rick santorum was doing, although i did see him speak in 2001 and he seemed ok. he doesn't have the money to be president and is not a factor.

he was a thousand times better than arlen specter, obviously. looking back, i shudder to think there was a time in the 90s when i was actually going to have to get arlen specter to endorse me to attend west point. it wasn't a big deal back then but now it would make my skin crawl.

did you guys see that recent interview the current CEO of government motors, i mean, general motors? this dan akerson guy is everything you would expect from obama's hand picked choice. "I'm a Colin Powell Republican, not a Sarah Palin Republican." oh, really? so you're a republican who voted for barack obama? please, do GTFO.

Anonymous said...

Pawlenty and Bachmann are the best on immigration. Gingrich and Huckabee were probably the worst.

Anonymous said...

One GOP contender down, 37 to go.

Anonymous said...

"I guess Bill&Hilary advised him to hang on."

They may want him and his wife close to Washington in case they need them for anything.

Anonymous said...

"Franco decided he wasn't going to bind his fate to Hitler's the way Mussolini had done."

If you absolutely have to have a Fascist dictator then Franco is probably the best option.

I wonder how things would have worked out if Hitler had been more like Franco.

Kudzu Bob said...

Susan Molinari sounds plausible, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say Virginia Postrel.

Sheila said...

Perry is a decent enough governor, but I don't know about president. Given that campaign aides seem to be far more mainstream/RINO than the candidates for whom they work (frequently some work for both dems and repubs), Perry taking on Grinrich's staff makes me less confident in his judgment, not more.

Anonymous/goatweed - Perry talks out of both sides of his mouth regarding the border. Sometimes he talks tough, other times it's Jorge Busheron-type compassionate conservatism. If he really is running for President, I would expect him to ramp up the campaign rhetoric, but if elected to go even mushier and do nothing of substance.

When it comes to demographics, immigration, and the border, trust none of them.

josh said...

General William Odom. Isnt his son Lamar married to Khloe Kardashian? As for the mystery "flake" woman,really,what woman in politics isnt at least a bit flakey? I am guessing you're refering to Peggy Noonan,who has always struck me as,to borrow from Liz Phair,an everyday sane psycho. I am glad Newt is finished,it bodes well for Sarah Palins campaign,which we hope will have a similar fate.

Anonymous said...

My feeling is that Gingrich is much better suited leading a party in a proportional representation multi-party type government vs. running for or being President in a winner take all like we have. He is way too caustic to not have large numbers of people hate him. At the same time, he can champion big ideas that have more than a 5 minute time horizon. His advantage in a multiparty system would be that he could have influence for a few of his better ideas without having to subject the rest of the population to his bad ones.

DCThrowback said...

Rick Santorum is running at GWB-2 in this election.

He has literally has no chance.

Henry Canaday said...

My impression of Odom from a book talk he gave is that he was very fond of his own opinions and voice too. This might have been a case of dueling gas-bags.

Steve Sailer said...

No, none of those ladies.

Anonymous said...

"Pawlenty is a bland RINO"

Why so?

Anonymous said...

RE: Rick Perry

Fair or not, the country is not ready for another Pres from Texas.

headache said...

Funny how Whiskey purposely leaves out Ron Paul. I guess that cutting of foreign aid which Paul proposes would hurt his tribe.

none of the above said...

Henry Cannaday:

Perhaps, but if you're being briefed by an expert on something you don't really know all that much about, you probably do better to listen to what he has to say, rather than tell him your own clever ideas. You may later come to believe he's mistaken or lying, but it's almost got to be a win for you to hear him out, first.

Steiner said...

"Right, that's what Hitler did when he met Franco after Gen. Franco had won the Spanish Civil War: informed Franco ceaselessly of his views of military matters."

Considering that Hitler and the Condor Legion saved Franco from a grisly fate at the hands of the Bolsheviks, I'd say he could well have put up with a long lecture from the "little corporal".

Newton Leroy McPherson said...

Gingrich was a professor of history at West Georgia College (1970-78) before he began his politcal career in 1979. I believe he has played the professorial role later in life as well (1993 Kennesaw State College).

This academic connection probably explains in part his blowhard ways. It also shows that he's not by nature a particularly high wattage guy like Clinton or Nixon.

Black Sea said...

Odom's analysis of the Iraq invasion/occupation was among the most lucid, clear-eyed, and entirely unsentimental appraisals of the previous decade. If you go to the Charlie Rose website, you can find his interview with Odom, who, as I recall, dubbed the Iraq adventure as the worst foreign policy blunder in American history.

As for Newt, 20 years ago, I worked with a woman who was friends with his daughter. For what it's worth, she told me that Newt's staff (with his blessing) bullied the daughter into making campaign appearances with her father, something she didn't really want to do because she didn't particularly like her father. I realize it's just second-hand anecdote, but I do have the feeling that the more you got to know Gingrich, the less comfortable you'd be with the idea of him in ANY position of real consequence. Just another water spaniel who fancies himself a wolf.

Brent Lane said...

Auster nailed Newty a year or so ago in this posting.

I actually had a measure of respect for Newty back in '94-'95, when I thought he was serious about changing DC politics for the better. By 1997, when his Republican Revolutionaries turned on him, I had long since shed any such illusions.

Offhand I'd say Tom Tancredo has a better chance of winning the GOP nomination than Newty. Which is to say none whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Although I would have never voted for Newt as President because of what he has done over the past 15 years, let's not forget the huge debt conservatives, republicans, democrats and all Americans owe this guy. Newt, through the force of his own egocentric personality, led the republicans from the wilderness into the majority of the House for the first time for over 40 years.

Prior to 1994, I had never seen the House as anything but a democrat controlled institution. Republican leaders like Bob Michel were passive and resigned to their fate as permanent minority leaders. It was Newt in the late 1980s who started pushing the republicans into believing they could win the House.

Wining the House opened up a whole new opportunity for republicans. It even shook House democrats who had atrophied from too many years without any meaningful opposition.

The fact that republicans pissed away their opportunity to make changes to immigration, border security, spending and a host of other issues is another story. But give Newt his due. He made the House a contested place like the Senate and White House.

Mitch said...

Susan Molinari comes to mind.

I know Steve has said it wasn't her, but that was my guess, although the exact thought was "the blonde ditz representative who quit to go on TV."

Mr. Anon said...

"Steve Sailer said...

No, none of those ladies."

Mary Matalin?

Mr. Anon said...

Flake, Blowhard, Cad, Gasbag, F**kup.

I concur with all of these assessments of Newt Gingrich, and would only add "weasel", "charlatan", and "slimy little toad".

Anonymous said...

Ariana Huffington.

Anonymous said...

Helen chenoweth?

Steve Sailer said...

Nope.

I'm probably not going to keep updating these Nopes so don't take my future non-denial as a confirmation of subsequent guesses.

Dutch Boy said...

Franco had been warned by Admiral Canaris (head of the Abwehr, the German intelligence service)that Germany was going to lose the war so he naturally refused to throw in with Hitler.

Truth said...

""I'm a Colin Powell Republican, not a Sarah Palin Republican." oh, really? so you're a republican who voted for barack obama? please, do GTFO."

Jody, you used capital letters, please proofread more carefully.

MQ said...

That's positively Hitlerian.

Actually I've read some military historians who went through diaries and table talk and said that Hitler was pretty sharp in questioning his generals. The problem is that he almost never let himself get overruled (unlike even Stalin, who realized after June 1941 that he was out of his depth and ended up handing significant decisionmaking control over to his best generals). Hitler obviously ended up making lots of disastrous decisions.

Ray Sawhill said...

Partisan politics, blech.

CJ said...

I remember even in the 1990s before he became Speaker other Republicans like Dick Armey used to call him "Newtron".

David Davenport said...

... My feeling is that Gingrich is much better suited leading a party in a proportional representation multi-party type government vs. running for or being President in a winner take all like we have.

Something like France or contemporary Germany?

To Hell with your proportional representation.

AllanF said...

Meh. To his credit The Oregonian's liberal hack opinion writer called it a month ago:

The profitable pastime of hinting about running

"But being a reluctant presidential possibility is a great job, with lots of media attention, no need to go anywhere you don’t want to, and people elbowing each other to pay you for speeches, buy your books and sponsor your TV shows. You can see why Sarah Palin is also opting for this career, and why the Republicans actually running for president resemble a “Happy Days” reunion episode.

Of course, you have to insist that you were serious all the time. That’s why Trump also assured the advertising people that if he’d run, he would have won, and Huckabee explained that he would have been a fine president. It was like someone saying the Olympics would have been fun, but too easy.

And now, instead of worrying about people using name recognition to run for president, we see people hinting at running for president to build their name recognition."

AmericanGoy said...

Bears quoting again:

"When Newt showed up, however, he talked for two hours straight, giving Odom's staff Newt's two-hour tour d'horizon.

That's positively Hitlerian."

Exactly what I was thinking.

Jack Aubrey said...

Given that Newt was an open borders, in-the-back-pockets-of-Sheldon Adelson kinda guy, I can't say that I'll miss him much. On immigration he's easily the most liberal in the Republican field. Good riddance.

"And now, instead of worrying about people using name recognition to run for president, we see people hinting at running for president to build their name recognition."

Indeed. This is most definitely what Jon Huntsman Jr. is doing. The man is polling 9th out of 10, ahead of only Rick Santorum and well behind Rudy Giuliani, whose 2008 campaign sucked eggs. He claims he can win, but he's not willing to spend any of his own considerable fortune (est. $25-90 million) to get there. But as a liberal Republican he's getting all kinds of SNR from the MSM, and loving it.

ATBOTL said...

"I've always kind of liked Newt"

Seriously? He is a text book example of the kind of person who shouldn't be in politics. He's a major Hispanderer too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Newt knows American history...and that's about it. He is a flake and a cad...like so many of them, but at least he's no Weiner. Can you believe the gall of that little perv hanging on as he has?"

Lol, that "little perv" hasn't done what most Americans haven't done already, i.e., cheat on his girl for somebody else.

"I guess Bill&Hilary advised him to hang on."

I fail to see how this has to do with Bill and Hilary. If anything, Hilary has got nothing to gain by being associated with him. Moreover, she is close to his wife, so she probably has a sense of de javu and hates his guts. She probably wants to do to him what she could not to Bill.

Anonymous said...

David Davenport said...

"To Hell with your proportional representation."

So what do you not like about proportional representation? America is just way too big and diverse for a two party system. All you end up with are Clinton Democrats and Compassionate Conservative Republicans.