If Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign has come back from the dead, it is due in no small measure to the performance that the former House speaker has been putting in at the debates.

Newt Gingrich answers a question during a debate hosted by CNBC and the Michigan Republican Party at Oakland University on November 9, 2011 in Rochester, Michigan. (Scott Olson/GETTY IMAGES)

Their names: Maggie and Robert Cushman (his grandchildren). She’s 12, and an aspiring ballerina; he’s 10, and can already beat his grandfather at chess.

When he goes out on stage, Gingrich told me Friday, he carries but one piece of paper. On it, he writes two reminders for himself--both of which come from his grandchildren.

At the top of the page, Gingrich said, he doodles a happy face, because Maggie has told him she will be counting the number of times he smiles. At the bottom are Roberts words of advice: “Shorter and clearer.”

These two may have a future in political consulting.

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