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Right Turn
Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 06/09/2011

Who goes first — Anthony Weiner or Newt Gingrich?

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) is reportedly “dug in,” refusing to resign despite the growing list of Democrats calling for his ouster. Perhaps Democratic leadership (the minority leader included) should have the nerve to kick him off his committees and publicly call for him to scram.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich’s senior staff and his Iowa crew have quit. En masse. Whether it was the general flakiness, the attack on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) or the bizarre decision to go on a cruise just when the campaign was getting underway, his staff simply couldn’t take it. Jonathan Martin at Politico reports:

One official said the last straw came when Gingrich went forward with taking a long-planned cruise with his wife last week in the Greek isles. After his bumpy start, rumors began to circulate in the political community the former House speaker’s days as a candidate were numbered. But the collective decision by his high command to quit makes it likely that his demise will be hastened. Officials like Dawson and Tyler have advised for Gingrich for years. And Johnson, who ran Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign last year, was seen as bringing a measure of stability to the organization. Now, speculation will immediately begin as to whether Johnson and Carney, Perry’s chief political adviser, will start planning a presidential campaign for the Texan.

But Carney insisted that his decision was unrelated to Perry.

Gingrich insists he is staying in the race. He’s all about the issues you see, just like when he was House speaker. His organizational skills, lack of discipline and leadership deficiencies have always been his undoing.

But why, at least for now, do these two hang on? I mean, just about everyone can see Weiner will be lambasted and suffer continued humiliation once Congress gets back next week. Probably not even Gingrich’s wife now thinks his campaign can continue. Yet they won’t let go.

It would seem to be a mix of denial (“It’s just the media!”), humiliation (“If I leave, everyone will know that I know I messed up”) and identification with their public persona (“Who is Anthony Weiner if he’s out of politics?”) But sooner or later both will disappear from the scene; the only questions is how quickly and with what further damage to those around these failed public figures. (And in case there is any doubt, Weiner goes first.)

By  |  05:00 PM ET, 06/09/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign, Media

 
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