Newt Gingrich, who, next to Herman Cain, was the Republican presidential field’s most colorful candidate, finally read the writing on the wall — or at least the delegate numbers — and conceded defeat today. But little Gingrich does is ever simple, and in true form, the former House speaker announced last week plans to suspend his campaign this week — and then delayed it for another day.
"Today I am suspending the campaign, but suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship," he said.
Eager to cement his reputation as the Republican with the biggest and boldest ideas, Gingrich listed resume highlights and set the table for all of the things he wants to focus on moving forward, including a balanced federal budget, Social Security savings accounts and energy independence.
Gingrich's campaign was doomed almost from the start. And between news of a $500,000 line of credit at the posh jeweler Tiffany’s; the mutiny of top campaign aides; his call for low-income children to work as school janitors; and an accusation from wife No. 2, on whom he cheated with wife No. 3, that he wanted an open marriage, Gingrich was sometimes his own worst enemy.
Often, just when he was up, he'd shoot himself down with grandiose and sometimes ludicrous pronouncements, such as his calls for $2 gas and moon colonies. The final straw may have been when he had to resort to charging $50 to take photos with supporters and then bounced a $500 primary contest filing fee.
Gingrich is the first Republican to win the South Carolina primary and lose the nomination, but he did it his way and had a ball, sometimes spending more time at zoos along the trail than actual campaign events.
He will be missed. Comedy Central has published a seven-page picture book called Goodnight Moon Colony, a spoof of the children’s story Goodnight Moon and some of Gingrich’s most memorable campaign moments and ideas.
"Our storybook farewell to Newt Gingrich's campaign, which we'll always remember for its nuanced policy positions and bold vision of ... ah, screw it. We'll remember the moon colony thing,” reads the introduction to the book's online edition.
Goodnight, Newt — for now.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)