The Washington Post

Newt Gingrich’s goodbye video: flouting U.S. flag law

Former House speaker and almost-former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich put out a warm video thank-you Tuesday to supporters a day before his official departure from the race.

In the short (105 seconds) video, Gingrich explains that he wanted his supporters “to know first because your help was vital” in the campaign. He thanked the “nearly 180,000 people who donated to the campaign” — but gave no special shout-out to casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who with his family gave $20-plus million to a pro-Gingrich super PAC — and “thousands more who worked as volunteers.”

As a result, Gingrich said, “we were able to put up a terrific campaign,” and he and Callista were “very grateful.”

But our colleague Karen Tumulty noticed something. . . something . . . didn’t seem right about the video.

Of course! The U.S. flag is on Gingrich’s left -- a major breach of protocol, not to mention Title 36 of the United States Code, which dictates that the flag be on the “speaker’s right as he faces the audience.”

So maybe it’s just as well that he’s getting out. The wheels have clearly come off the bus. In the old days, Gingrich surely would have bashed anyone for a similar faux pas.

Oh, well, it was fun there for a while.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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