The Gingrich political career, now at an end

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“A lot of us who were around him before and didn’t think this was a good idea from the beginning were worried this was the way it was going to end. He’s in danger, I think, of becoming a laughingstock.”

– Rich Galen, former staff member for Newt Gingrich, quoted in Politico

The sense of personal destiny that has driven Newt Gingrich throughout his life, the deep and defining belief that he was fated to do great things and write his name in large letters upon the history books, has finally run aground on the sharp shoals of reality. And that is a hard thing for the former speaker and Georgia congressman to accept.

He has no money and in fact his campaign is deeply in debt. He lacks the resources to travel, let alone buy campaign ads, and the press has abandoned him, raising the age-old question: If a man utters pearls of profound wisdom, and no one is there to hear him, did he really utter them at all? Yet still he presses on, insistent against all evidence that he remains relevant. As he told Fox this week, “I have no incentive to get out because I have a set of ideas that include $2.50-a-gallon gas, etc. So I have every incentive to stay in.”

I’m sorry: “$2.50-a-gallon gas” is not an idea, it is an ill-disguised pander inconsistent with reality. Newt’s inability to distinguish between an idea and a pander betrays a lot about how he thinks, and about why he has fallen so short of his dreams.

To give the man his due, Gingrich has fashioned a political career that by most standards would be considered a huge success. He truly did shock the political world when he led a Republican revolution in 1994 that ended the Democrats’ death grip on the House of Representatives. He was enormously gifted, possessed with a clever mind and one of the sharpest tongues in American political history. And his strong sense of personal destiny insulated him against doubts that might have haunted other men.

But a clever mind is not a wise mind. A man so easily distracted by shiny intellectual objects, flitting from one idea to the next, can never attain the depth suggested by the most prominent words in the Gingrich vocabulary, such as “profound” and “fundamental.” And those who are equipped to lead heady revolutions are almost never equipped for the day-to-day drudgery required to govern and to build.

However, the fatal flaw that ensured that Gingrich would never satisfy the ambition that burned within him was his basic lack of respect for other people. The contempt that he showered upon opponents in public life was reflected in his private life as well, and also in how he treated colleagues and staff. He showed little loyalty and earned little loyalty, and in politics as in life, that makes long-term success very difficult.

– Jay Bookman

723 comments Add your comment

Common Sense isn't very Common

March 29th, 2012
8:58 am

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 29th, 2012
9:01 am

Stonethrower

March 29th, 2012
9:02 am

He fought a good fight and kept the faith! Georgia loves him even if no other state does. Read into that as you will.

Common Sense isn't very Common

March 29th, 2012
9:03 am

I like the other definition of a panderer.

Newt be a pimp?

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

March 29th, 2012
9:03 am

JAY:

He got a lot farther than you ever did (or could have).

Doggone/GA

March 29th, 2012
9:04 am

“He got a lot farther than you ever did (or could have).”

And fell a lot farther too

Call it like it is

March 29th, 2012
9:04 am

“Yet still he presses on, insistent against all evidence that he remains relevant”

But yet you continue to talk about him, thus keeping him relevant.

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

March 29th, 2012
9:05 am

June 30, 2012

FOX NEWS RELEASE:

We are proud to announce that Fox News has hired Newt Gingrich as our newest Fair & Balanced contributor.

Adam

March 29th, 2012
9:05 am

No no no, see, it’s not at an end, it’s just TOO AWESOME FOR HUMAN COMPREHENSION

Stonethrower

March 29th, 2012
9:06 am

Please define farther and what makes you think Jay’s goal in life was to define success by Newt’s and for that matter, your standards.

Jay

March 29th, 2012
9:06 am

So a requiem for your political career proves you’re still relevant, Call It?

That’s like saying an obituary proves you’re still alive.

HDB

March 29th, 2012
9:07 am

Newt polarized too many established Republicans…..plus he polarized too many constituents….and politically…that never works!!

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:07 am

I really think it was just bad timing. Newt obviously thought that the general public had finally dumbed down enough to where they’d believe any BS line he could throw out. Unfortunately, only SC and GA had reached the level of intelligince needed for a Gingrich victory. Maybe he can try again in 20 years.

Adam

March 29th, 2012
9:08 am

Newt as the “idea man” always struck me as more of a “man with ideas that we’re going to throw onto the wall to see what sticks”

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:08 am

Which religion and woman will Noot try next? Calista must be shaking in her pradas.

southdem

March 29th, 2012
9:08 am

Well, this born and bred Georgian hates that d—n carpetbagger’s guts. Andrew Sullivan at The Dish summed up Gingrich perfectly: “Newt Gingrich is a dumb person’s idea of a smart person.” Goodbye Newt, you won’t be missed.

Peadawg

March 29th, 2012
9:10 am

“Newt who?”

All that needs to be said…

Jerome Horwitz

March 29th, 2012
9:11 am

Darn – I was looking forward to that 2.50/gallon gas. Such disappointment.

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:11 am

Did Sheldon Adelson really think Noot had a ghost of a chance? Why would he spend so much money on him? I never have understood this.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

March 29th, 2012
9:12 am

Hey Doggone:

The other night I posted something about the shooting and you got all over me.

Sorry, but I was just reinforcing your previous post by pointing out Zimmerman’s black friends, etc. !!

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:12 am

Becky – “Why would he spend so much money on him?”

He’s planning to take the tax deduction under “Charitable Contributions” :)

ty webb

March 29th, 2012
9:12 am

Not a fan of newt but I do admire how he stirs up so much anger from the left…”so he has that goin’ for him, which is nice”

JohnnyReb

March 29th, 2012
9:13 am

“And those who are equipped to lead heady revolutions are almost never equipped for the day-to-day drudgery required to govern and to build.”

Jay, that’s a good line. Save it for Obama’s political obituary come November, it fits very nicely.

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:14 am

ty webb – “so he has that goin’ for him, which is nice”

“So I say, hey lama, how about a little something, you know, for the effort” :)

ty webb

March 29th, 2012
9:15 am

Butch,
nice!

jconservative

March 29th, 2012
9:15 am

About three hundred Republicans served with Gingrich in the years surrounding his speakership of the House. Of those three hundred about 6 supported his bid for the Republican nomination for president. That says more about Gingrich than I or Jay or anyone can write about him.

Jym Allyn

March 29th, 2012
9:15 am

You can fool some of the people all of the time….

But even Newt has discovered despite his huge ego and salesmanship (ability to tell lies while sounding truthful) that eventually most people will catch on that you are a fool and a con artist.

Thank you, Jay, for your assessment of what a sleaze-bag he really is.

ByteMe - popularity goon

March 29th, 2012
9:16 am

Which religion and woman will Noot try next? Calista must be shaking in her pradas.

I hear there will be tryouts announced in a few months.

larry

March 29th, 2012
9:16 am

anger ? More like amusment.

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:18 am

Actually I imagine Calista is out looking for her next conquest. Maybe Noot is shaking in his slippers? I sure hope they had a prenup.

HarKenToh

March 29th, 2012
9:18 am

The Big Ideas man with a Big Head and a Big Belly with a Big ego to match.

Good riddance – probably needs a cheaper #4 now that there will no historical (lobbying) advise retainerships coming his way.

How about applying for that janitor job you wanted for inner city kids, eh?

Jay

March 29th, 2012
9:19 am

Getting other people angry by calling them names is not exactly a sophisticated skill set, Ty. Most first-graders have mastered it.

Most also outgrow it, evidence on this blog notwithstanding.

Talking Head

March 29th, 2012
9:22 am

I bet if Newt started doing Zaxby’s commercials his campaign would come back to life!

GT

March 29th, 2012
9:22 am

Take that Callista Gingrich he pork barreled into this deal with him. If it was possible to make a more negative impression she insured it. The third wife of a family values candidate, just shows how weak the Republican field is to not have this slugger in the pits already. And the moral substance of a right wing southern voting block that Newt milked about as long as anyone this side of a prison cell could. Making the candidate a laughing stock is the least thing on my mind, he has insulted his party, his country and Christians who deserve a huge amount of the blame for this freak lasting this long.

Keep Up--Te gusta losing woofinpoofs?

March 29th, 2012
9:22 am

History is full of those who grasped for the brass ring ultimately only to fail in their attempt. It often happens when you go over to the dark side like Newt.

JamVet

March 29th, 2012
9:22 am

A philandering, immoral little man that earned the respect of other immoral little men.

And other than that his legacy of a despicable crap tossing narcissistic who, more than any other single human being, sent civility and compromise in Washington down the neocon toilet, who cares?

Georgia’s Dumb and Dumber dual candidates of dipstickery merely confirm what the rest of the nation already knows – the best of this state’s GOP is laughably abysmal…

Attack Dog

March 29th, 2012
9:27 am

Newt’s ego is the reason that Willard is the frontrunner and not Santorum.

ty webb

March 29th, 2012
9:27 am

Jay,
I didn’t say people…I said the left.

marty

March 29th, 2012
9:27 am

Becky
It was worth $10 million to Mr. Adelson for Newt to throw “the Palestinians are a contrived people” into the political discussion. Besides, there is a lot of money in Roulette tables.

Road Scholar

March 29th, 2012
9:28 am

Jerome: The people in hell want ice water also.

I wonder how long his ego …er…he will last on FOX? Glenn Beck’s replacement?

Don't Forget

March 29th, 2012
9:29 am

He presided over the most shameful political witchhunt in American history, wasting over $200 million of taxpayer dollars in an attempt to sieze power for his part and override democracy.

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 29th, 2012
9:29 am

Did Ty make a funny? I think Ty made a funny! Not a very good one, but at least he tried. Way to go, Ty. :)

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:30 am

Newt is at the end of his political career but he is not a young man. What will Santorum do now? His home state already threw him out. He will be the one to be on Fox News I think or he will join up with that other creep Ralph Reed and continue spewing his filth.

JF McNamara

March 29th, 2012
9:30 am

Stay classy Jay. I don’t care much for him either, but there is no need to kick dirt on the grave.

TaxPayer

March 29th, 2012
9:30 am

But who will the GOP constituency in Georgia vote for! They cannot vote for those other candidates. I suggest a write-in campaign for the Newt. Scout can head up the effort.

ZoSo

March 29th, 2012
9:32 am

“Getting other people angry by calling them names is not exactly a sophisticated skill set.”

Great line Jay. I wish your regular bloggers would take note, and I mean both left and right.

ty webb

March 29th, 2012
9:34 am

being a philanderer may make one a bad person, but it’s hardly a disqualifier for being a good(effective) politician…history has taught us that.

Jay

March 29th, 2012
9:34 am

Me too, ZoSo.

On both the left and right.

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:34 am

Geez, Georgia really has a hard time picking winners. First the Confederacy, then Herman Cain and now Newt. Might want to re-think your position in the next election Georgia.

Newtiepewtie

March 29th, 2012
9:36 am

Maybe the stench from the Stinkrich Fog is finally dissipating. The only one under its spell, now, is Newt and Calista. Once Calista wakes up, she’s probably gonna lose interest in Newtron and go for “greener pastures.”

HarKenToh

March 29th, 2012
9:37 am

“So it ends for Gingrich without even a whimper. He will go through the motions of campaigning while visiting zoos (I suspect the Milwaukee County Zoo will merit a pre-primary visit) and dining in plush hotel restaurants with Callista. ”

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/101976/newt-gingrich-presidential-campaign-eulogy

ty webb

March 29th, 2012
9:37 am

Butch,
now now, you failed to mention that at least Georgia has had one of their own elected president…oh wait…nevermind.

Contrarian

March 29th, 2012
9:37 am

Wingfield got taken in the by Newtster. Hook, line and sinker. Just sayin’.

ByteMe - popularity goon

March 29th, 2012
9:38 am

Might want to re-think your position in the next election Georgia.

Nah. Their faith in their infallability is strong.

ragnar danneskjold

March 29th, 2012
9:38 am

I thought the Speaker’s political career was over more than 10 years ago, and at least two other times during the past year (most notably when he disparaged the Paul Ryan budget one year ago.) Suspect there will be an appointed position in the Romney administration. I think he would be good at FCC or NLRB.

Mick

March 29th, 2012
9:38 am

Jay – nice column, your perspective is fair and balanced concerning his career…

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:39 am

Newt and Calista may be dining in fine restaurants and staying in lovely hotels but apparently they aren’t paying the bills. Oops.

ragnar danneskjold

March 29th, 2012
9:39 am

Or FTC – yes, FTC.

ByteMe - popularity goon

March 29th, 2012
9:39 am

Wingfield got taken in the by Newtster

It really is hard to know which sociopathic politician to believe.

RB from Gwinnett

March 29th, 2012
9:39 am

Jay couldn’t bring himself to write anything good about Newt even if he found the cure for cancer. Nothing but hatred spewed on the man from that keyboard week after week after week.

Tell us, Jay, what “journalism” class do they teach hatred in?

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:39 am

ty – “now now, you failed to mention that at least Georgia has had one of their own elected president…oh wait…nevermind.”

LOL, I still stand by my original statement. :)

Doggone/GA

March 29th, 2012
9:40 am

“being a philanderer may make one a bad person, but it’s hardly a disqualifier for being a good(effective) politician”

It’s not the philandering that’s the problem, it’s the claiming the high ground on “family values” WHILE philandering Or to make it easier: it’s not the mistress, it’s the hypocrisy

GT

March 29th, 2012
9:40 am

Talking about FOX when does Murdock get off the bus too. PBS this week went inch by inch on how he has controlled and contrived the British government dictating winners and losers in the political arena from his offices in Australia. He uses the raw soap opera emotions of the population, feeds them raw meat and hacks victims telephones, in a criminal display of arrogance that rivals Newt’s. This makes so little sense until you add FOX to the picture and then you see a monkey in a show making money for his handlers. Cane did the same thing for WSB. These people have put on a blind campaign for the polyester crowd to tune in for a reality show that is making them millions, and our government a mockery.

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:41 am

RB from Gwinnett – “Jay couldn’t bring himself to write anything good about Newt even if he found the cure for cancer.”

Okay, if Newt finds a cure for cancer, I’ll stop making fun of him.

ByteMe - popularity goon

March 29th, 2012
9:41 am

Jay couldn’t bring himself to write anything good about Newt even if he found the cure for cancer.

And RB once again can’t bring himself to write anything good about Newt either except to point out that he didn’t cure cancer. :)

ragnar danneskjold

March 29th, 2012
9:41 am

Federal Agencies and Ambassadorships are where political careers go to die. Newt Gingrich – Ambassador to Russia.

ty webb

March 29th, 2012
9:42 am

doggone,
hypocrisy like Clinton signing DOMA?

JamVet

March 29th, 2012
9:42 am

One of the great tragedies of Leroy was how he started out so solidly but then lost his way not long into his political career.

The young political candidate sought support from labor unions. He castigated corporations for “raping” the environment.

Local newspaper coverage from the time shows that Gingrich was endorsed in 1976 by the state affiliate of the National Education Association and, his former supporters say, the Communications Workers of America.

At times, Gingrich made statements that might be cheered today by Occupy Wall Street protesters. For example, he denounced the corporate profits accrued by oil companies and said the companies needed to open their records for inspection.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/gingrich-once-ran-gop-moderate-early-career

Obviously, something went, very, very, very wrong with him…

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:42 am

ragnar – “Newt Gingrich – Ambassador to Russia.”

I’m sure he’d love it, Russia has some pretty hot women! :)

ByteMe - popularity goon

March 29th, 2012
9:43 am

This makes so little sense until you add FOX to the picture and then you see a monkey in a show making money for his handlers

It only works in low-turnout or close elections. Otherwise, the tabloid journalists don’t affect anything except blood pressure.

zeke

March 29th, 2012
9:43 am

Say what you will, he is one of the sharpest minds when it come to the Constitution and the farce of U.S. foreign policy!! $2.50 gas is not an illusion, in fact, in the last months of the W. administration gas was actually in the $ 1.80 range!!!!

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:44 am

Jamvet-I think we all know that money corrupted Newt.

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:45 am

zeke-really? really?

JamVet

March 29th, 2012
9:45 am

Arguably, Newt was a cancer on American politics…

ragnar danneskjold

March 29th, 2012
9:46 am

Dear Butch @ 9:42, good morning, I don’t know – when I think of Russian women, I think of Wendy’s youtube.com/watch?v=DWAKtYGJZSM&search=wendys%20%20commercial

Don't Forget

March 29th, 2012
9:46 am

I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty.

Newt Gingrich

No one has contributed more to the dysfunctional environment of today’s politics.

Doggone/GA

March 29th, 2012
9:47 am

“hypocrisy like Clinton signing DOMA”

Clinton was gay? Who knew?!

Don't Forget

March 29th, 2012
9:48 am

Like the gulf oil spill, newt’s toxic vitriole will linger under the surface causing continued damage for decades.

ty webb

March 29th, 2012
9:49 am

no, hypocrisy like a serial philanderer defending marriage.

Recon 0311 2533

March 29th, 2012
9:49 am

I’m not a supporter of Gingrich but you can’t take away his accomplishments. As it appears that Romney is headed to the Republican nomination, Gingrich could help him considerably in the campaign if he chooses to do so. It should be interesting to see if he does.

JamVet

March 29th, 2012
9:49 am

Becky, likely so. But the incredible thing to me, is how those young Republicans, who had so much promise, turned so badly so quickly.

Now, in their self-created post-Bush apocalypse, they are so far removed from the reasoned and reasonable center, one cannot see them without the Hubble telescope…

Paul

March 29th, 2012
9:49 am

Jay

I like to start off the day with good news. Thanks!

“the fatal flaw that ensured that Gingrich would never satisfy the ambition that burned within him was his basic lack of respect for other people.”

Karma.

You reap what you sow.

What goes around comes around.

The concept’s explained lots of ways in lots of folk sayings, philosophies and religions. And they’re all true.

JamVet 9:22

That had a certain poetic appeal.

Or maybe it’s like describing a train wreck.

Both work.

Jay

March 29th, 2012
9:50 am

$2.50 gas is not an illusion, in fact, in the last months of the W. administration gas was actually in the $ 1.80 range!!!!

Of course, in the last months of the W. administration the stock market was in the process of losing more than half its value and the global economic structure looked like it might collapse into a heap. Yeah, let’s go back to that, shall we?

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:51 am

I would be interested in reading a list of Newt’s accomplishments Recon. Please continue.

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:51 am

zeke -” in the last months of the W. administration gas was actually in the $ 1.80 range!!!!”

Hey zeke, this also was in the last months of the W. administration:

The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And like the Great Depression, the 2008 version began in the United States, but soon spread around the world.

With the bankruptcy of the large investment bank Lehman Brothers. More banks failed. World stock markets plunged. Panic selling ensued. Companies collapsed or laid off workers — more than 500,000 jobs were lost in the United States in November alone.

The former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, put the unfolding drama into perspective in September when he called it a “once-in-a-century type of financial crisis.”

Iceland’s banking system collapsed in October, forcing it to ask for help from the International Monetary Fund.

The collapse of the U.S. auto industry, one of the backbones of American industry.

In the United States alone, it’s estimated that the government’s bailout effort has cost $8.5 trillion…and counting.

Thanks for highlighting the $1.80 a gallon though.

ty webb

March 29th, 2012
9:51 am

Recon,
I don’t think Newt will help Romney..his feelings are too hurt.

Lynn

March 29th, 2012
9:52 am

Newt Gingrich is an intellectual lightweight. He’s a great talker, and this ability to spew ideas rapidly and with great confidence manages to persuade a lot of people that Newt is actually smart. In reality, his ideas rarely hold up when you examine them closely. In truth, Newt is a Narcissist — charming and manipulative, bright enough to get people to support him but too nasty to keep them around for long. He lacks empathy, and he truly believes he’s the brightest — and the most important — person in the room.

JamVet

March 29th, 2012
9:52 am

$1.80/gallon gas? Sign me up?

What?!

We have to have another $3,000,000,000,000.00 corporate-foisted economic implosion that was second only to the Great Depression to cause that?

Oh! Never mind…

Fetus on a stick

March 29th, 2012
9:52 am

His presidential run yes, career, no.

Doggone/GA

March 29th, 2012
9:52 am

“no, hypocrisy like a serial philanderer defending marriage”

Since DOMA has nothing to do with philandering you’re point falls just a tad (try a LOT) short

mm

March 29th, 2012
9:54 am

It takes weak minded people to fall for these charlitans. And based on the GA primary results, GA is full of them.

TaxPayer

March 29th, 2012
9:54 am

Wow. Republicans are really sharp. They know that Newt can give them $2.50 per gallon gas, just like Bush did. :lol:

Recon 0311 2533

March 29th, 2012
9:54 am

Becky, Jay did a good job of describing them.

massachusetts refugee thug

March 29th, 2012
9:55 am

wouldn’t newt have to shake up his own etch-a-sketch to support romney?

Butch Cassidy

March 29th, 2012
9:55 am

JamVet – “We have to have another $3,000,000,000,000.00 corporate-foisted economic implosion that was second only to the Great Depression to cause that?”

Yes, but on the upside, we can enjoy driving our SUVs again. World economic collapse is a small price to pay for the unbridled joy of tooling around in a brand new Hummer.

Paul

March 29th, 2012
9:56 am

RB

“Jay couldn’t bring himself to write anything good about Newt even if he found the cure for cancer. Nothing but hatred spewed on the man from that keyboard week after week after week. ”

Jay gave him credit for leading the Republican revolution of ‘94.

What else you got to credit Newt with?

timbo

March 29th, 2012
9:56 am

I just read the opinion piece and inserted Obama’s name for Newt. For instance;

I’m sorry: “Obama Care” is not an idea, it is an ill-disguised pander inconsistent with reality. Obama’s inability to distinguish between an idea and a pander betrays a lot about how he thinks, and about why he has fallen so short of his dreams.

Adam

March 29th, 2012
9:56 am

It is not JUST the left or JUST the right that calls people names. That does not, however, make both sides equivalent across the board. It just so happens the side of truth is on the left side regarding most arguments in the past 4 or so years.

Let’s be clear – if you base your entire platform, or most of it, on having to LIE in order to get your way, that’s built on a house of cards. It will come down eventually, no matter how skilled you are at stacking those cards. Let’s also be clear, I’m talking about THE RIGHT. If you want to make such a claim about the left, show me your evidence and I’ll show you mean.

Let’s start with “Who started the contraception debate?” For my evidence, I present first, Rick Santorum on October 2011. When did Stephanopholus (sic) ask his “famous” question?

Let’s then move on to the “most Americans don’t want the health care law” argument, for which I present this as evidence that they actually do: http://m.static.newsvine.com/servista/imagesizer?file=steve-benen7E111609-608B-74FC-7167-F305002B5963.jpg&width=600

Becky

March 29th, 2012
9:57 am

Recon-I reread Jay’s piece above and still don’t see a list of accomplishments. Please tell me more or admit there aren’t any. k thanks.

too little time

March 29th, 2012
9:58 am

His run for Prez was DOA. It would be like Nancy Pelosi running for Prez. A Speaker of the House (or head of the Senate, for that matter) is a magnet for hate and discontent. If you do your job right, you engender enemies on both sides of he aisle. It is why the mayor of large cities rarely move into state or national politics. You make deals and twist arms that, while successful in that position, leaves you unelectable for higher office.