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In The Loop
Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 12/09/2011

Gingrich’s personal-skills shortage, his book-signing, and a surprising White House guest (read-this roundup)


Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a business forum, Dec. 8, 2011, in Greenville, S.C. (Rainier Ehrhardt - Associated Press)
Talk about some barely minced words.

In our colleagues David Farenthold and Phil Rucker’s piece Friday about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s attacks on rival Newt Gingrich, there are some telling comments about the former House Speaker’s combative style, even from his friends. To wit: even friendly colleagues described him as “sometimes short on personal skills,” and former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), who hasn’t endorsed him but had positive things to say about him, conceded that “he’s not a real relational guy.”

And a blast from the past: as Speaker, Gingrich would have a press staffer positioned in his line of vision to nod when he was doing okay and shake her head “to signal if he was in trouble,” Farenthold and Rucker report.

And since it’s all Gingrich, all the time, we thought we’d highlight this opportunity to witness firsthand the phenomenon that our colleague Amy Gardner reported on Friday in which Gingrich’s book-selling and campaigning activities are intermingling. He’s slated, Gardner says, for a 4 p.m. book signing event Friday at Hudson News in Union Station.

Elsewhere, the Reliable Source brings us the tale caught on a video-gone-viral of FOX News host Bill O’Reilly jabbing a cameraman with an umbrella . We’re not surprised that the firey talkmeister lost his cool, but we were shocked to learn of his destination. O’Reilly, a virulent critic of the White House was headed to a White House holiday party.

Some awkwardness with that eggnog?

And here’s our favorite quote of the day, from a story by our colleagues Rosalind Helderman and Felicia Sonmez about the GOP’s new tax plan. “The fact that the president doesn’t like it makes me like it even more,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chair of the Republican Study Committee.

By  |  10:45 AM ET, 12/09/2011

 
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