June 10, 2011

HOW'D HE FIND A WIFE WITH WORSE JUDGMNENT THAN HIS OWN?:

How Newt Gingrich's Campaign Imploded: The former speaker's top aides bolted en masse Thursday, leaving his campaign in tatters. Peter J. Boyer on staffers’ complaints about Gingrich’s rogue inclinations, the Greek cruise with wife Callista that was the final straw—and whether the candidate has any chance of recovering. (Peter J. Boyer, 6/10/11, Daily Beast)

Almost from the start, Gingrich’s campaign team had fretted that their candidate lacked the patience and discipline to accommodate himself to the exacting process of running a presidential campaign. The first sign of his inclination to go rogue was his May 15 appearance on the NBC broadcast, Meet the Press, during which he entangled himself in a controversy over the House Republican budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, which he criticized as “right-wing social engineering.” The Ryan plan has become Republican orthodoxy, and Gingrich found himself having to explain, and then apologize for, his remarks.

“It’s not a hobby. This is a full-time, 80-hour-a-week job.”

One Gingrich staffer, no longer with the campaign, noted Thursday that the Meet the Press appearance, which came just four days after Gingrich announced his candidacy, was booked by Gingrich himself—and was hardly the ideal venue for a candidate trying to win conservative hearts.

The final straw for some in the campaign was Gingrich’s decision to suddenly absent himself from the fray earlier this month to take a luxury Greek cruise with his wife, Callista—an odyssey one Gingrich insider called, “the Greek tragedy.” Some on Gingrich’s campaign staff had strongly urged the candidate not to abandon the field for an opulent vacation.

Gingrich’s insistence on taking the cruise reflected the deep disconnect between his staff’s idea of what was required to win the nomination, and Gingrich’s own. Gingrich sometimes “seemed almost annoyed at the process,” one top staffer said.

Some of the blame for that disconnect has been laid at the feet of Callista Gingrich, who didn’t appreciate the demands that a presidential campaign places upon the candidate and his family. “It’s how much time that his wife thinks that he should spend on this,” the staffer said. “It’s not a hobby. This is a full-time, 80-hour-a-week job.”


Posted by at June 10, 2011 6:21 AM
  

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