A day after Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign imploded when his senior staff quit along with numerous top aides in crucial primary states, the Daily Beast has pieced together the details of how it all happened. And boy is it interesting.
Chief among the outlet's findings is that staffers couldn't stand Gingrich's "rogue" tendencies, many questioned the candidate's commitment, and Gingrich's wife was not a fan of the long campaign hours. With those issues brewing, the "final straw" came when Gingrich decided to take a break and go on a two-week cruise to the Mediterranean. When he returned, everything came crumbling down.
Here's an excerpt from the Daily Beast's report:
The decisive moment came in a meeting at Gingrich’s Washington, D.C. office between the candidate and his top two operatives, campaign manager Rob Johnson and strategist Sam Dawson, who had hoped to convince Gingrich that his approach as a candidate—which one insider described as “appalling”—needed a drastic transformation. When Gingrich did not agree, Johnson and Dawson said they were done.
Almost from the start, Gingich’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.
One Gingrich staffer, no longer with the campaign, noted today 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.”
Read the rest here.