Newsflash: Newt Gingrich’s senior campaign staff just up and quit. The former Speaker of the House with a penchant for Tiffany’s, two-week vacations just as he’s beginning to campaign for president and truth-telling about Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan told the departing crew he planned to stay in the race. And he’s just issued this statement on Facebook:
I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.
But we really shouldn’t be surprised by all of Newt’s rookie mistakes on the national stage. A few weeks back on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal Constitution made an observation that is as obvious as it is overlooked. Even though Gingrich was speaker of the House, third in line of succession to the presidency, he has never run for any office bigger than his congressional district.
The lights on the national political stage are unforgiving (see Anthony Weiner). But their intensity pales in comparison to that of the spotlight involved in a presidential bid. It requires discipline. A trait Gingrich has never been able to master.