Newt Gingrich’s surge to the top of the GOP heap might not never have happened if the former Georgia Congressman had his way. According to a Newsweek article, Gingrich was all set to throw in the towel after his campaign collapsed at the end of the summer. But his wife urged him to stay in the race.

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire (ADAM HUNGER/REUTERS)

According to Newsweek:

Just a few months ago, among those who believed that Newt Gingrich’s presidential quest was doomed was the campaign’s own best political thinker, Gingrich himself. After a botched start and mass desertion by his top staff, Gingrich spent the summer struggling for money, organization, and, worse, for a man like him, relevance. “It was really hard,” he says now. “I got fairly tired of doing radio shows with people who would say, ‘Well, so since you’re dead …’”

By the end of summer, his campaign deeply in the red, Gingrich decided to quit—but was talked out of it by his wife, Callista. Entering the debate season, Gingrich focused on his advantages, and he began to see his near implosion as a gift. Among other things, the departure of the political professionals left Gingrich to become his own strategist. “Just as Clinton was,” Gingrich says.

For Gingrich, a Bill Clinton reference is a natural reflex. Each was the other man’s necessary foil in the great political dramas of the 1990s, when both made history because of their extraordinary gifts, as well as their outsize flaws....Yet Gingrich and Clinton had far more similarities than distinctions: both are possessed of voracious intellectual appetites, rare political instinct, media mastery, and a good measure of sheer chutzpah.

Gingrich namedrops Clinton with some regularity (and the former president has also praised Gingrich). Strategically, could this ultimately help Gingrich with Hillary Democrats in a general election or in an open primary? That remains to be seen.

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