I despise Newton Gingrinch, but I despise this kind of crap too:
For all the talk about Newt Gingrich and his grand, big ideas — most of which are neither big nor grand — a vision doesn’t get voters to the polls; a campaign ground game does.
There’s a reasonable debate underway in many circles as to whether Gingrich’s recent rise is meaningful, a mirage, or a miracle — or perhaps some combination therein — and for what it’s worth, count me among the skeptics who still find it very hard to believe the disgraced former House Speaker is the likely nominee. But one of the factors driving my doubts is the fact that Gingrich’s entire campaign lacks basic, necessary components.
In an embarrassing display of organizational weakness, for example, Gingrich recently failed to qualify for the ballot in Missouri’s primary. The campaign structure, such as it is, simply didn’t follow through. Similarly, the Gingrich team was supposed to provide New Hampshire officials with a list of 40 committee volunteers who would represent the campaign as Republican National Convention delegates — but Gingrich’s staff couldn’t track down 40 willing supporters. Instead, they submitted a hand-scrawled, typo-ridden list of 27 people.
And there’s Iowa, where Gingrich is considered a very strong contender, despite the fact that he opened his very first campaign office in the state this week, just five weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
What’s going on? Politico reports that Gingrich has a “skeletal campaign operation,” which resembles a “mom-and-pop political operation.”
And if Gingrich somehow manages to do well despite the bare-bones operations in the early nominating states, how will the campaign manage once the race becomes a national contest against the well-organized Romney team? Neither Gingrich nor his aides have the foggiest idea.
Independent of whether Gingrich self-destructs and destroys his own chances, if his campaign falters down the stretch, this is likely to be a key reason why.
If Steve Benen wants to spend his career as a party hack, he’s on the right track. If he wants to be a journalist instead of a journolista, he needs to be more professional.
It is not the media’s job to be gatekeepers of our elections. It isn’t up to them who gets to be a candidate. First it was Palin, then Bachmann, Perry, Cain and now Gingrich. As each one rose in the polls the journolistas swarmed to drag them down, leaving Obama’s preferred opponent (Romney) alone.
I find it ironic that the same people who praised Obama for his use of the internet and who decry the role of money in politics are criticizing someone who is campaigning on a shoestring and doing it effectively.
What Newt has done in this campaign is similar to what I envisioned Sarah Palin doing – using debates and free media to move into the front of the pack. It should be a blueprint for candidates we like and support.
There is a ton of stuff to use against Gingrinch. This isn’t it.
BTW – I saw something recently where someone referred to Gingrinch as the latest “Flavor of the Month,” and someone retorted that this is the month you want to be Flavor of the Month.
It doesn’t matter who was leading the pack back in June. It’s a turtle race.
I bet those Newt staffers that bailed on him to work for Rick Perry are feeling pretty stupid right now.