You’ll never guess who I saw on the train up to New York City this afternoon. Newt Gingrich! Yep, the former speaker of the House. Yep, he’s still running for the Republican nomination for president. Tomorrow is the Delaware primary. According to the Associated Press, Gingrich is headed to a “meeting of the Brandywine-Wilmington Regional GOP Committee at state party headquarters in Wilmington.”
So, when the Acela rolled into the station, Gingrich got up. So did an aide — and four Secret Service agents. I spotted at least two more waiting on the platform, plus an Amtrak police officer. All this for a guy whose campaign is barely on life support?
Dave Weigel wrote a nice piece in Slate last week that explained how and why the candidate got Secret Service protection. But the headline to the piece asks the relevant question: “Why Is the Secret Service Still Protecting Newt Gingrich?” Weigel writes that once granted, Secret Service protection doesn’t end until the candidate’s quest does. After what I saw this afternoon, Gingrich is nowhere near facing reality. Truth be told, I felt like Haley Joel Osment in the 1999 film “The Sixth Sense” and the Gingrich campaign was the Bruce Willis character. Everyone can see that the Gingrich-for-president campaign is dead, except Gingrich.
Gingrich is hoping a Delaware win tomorrow night will catapult him back into relevance — for a third time. But with Mitt Romney already being called the presumptive nominee, his huge money advantage and Gingrich’s $4.3 million debt, the chances of Gingrich being successful are slim to none.