If for some reason you don't recall, over the weekend, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich seemed to be close to conceding the race for the 2012 GOP nomination to Mitt Romney. He went on "Fox News Sunday" and said as much, adding that he also happens to be in a staggering amount of debt. This led many to conclude that Gingrich was all but quitting his presidential campaign. Here's a report from ABC News, in fact, titled, "Gingrich All But Quits Presidential Campaign."
But you really wouldn't expect it to be that easy, did you? Of course not. As it turns out, Gingrich is "quitting the campaign" with the same level of decisiveness that he got into the campaign -- which is to say, "no decisiveness." And just hours later, on another Fox program, Gingrich explained that everyone had gotten his previous remarks all wrong, telling Sean Hannity that his "Fox News Sunday" comments "got somehow translated almost instantly into something I didn't say." We remind you, what he said was this:
Well, I think you have to be realistic. Given the size of his organization, given the number of primaries he's won, he is far and away the most likely republican nominee. And if he does get to 1144 delegates, I'll support him. I'll do everything I can this fall to help him defeat Obama. Because the primary goal of the entire Republican Party has to be to defeat Barack Obama. So, it would make this maybe the most important election of our lifetime.
What happened in the meantime? Well, Gingrich sat down and watched some golf, and got inspired:
I found it remarkable because yesterday afternoon, I joined millions of Americans in watching the Masters. And the two guys who ended up in the sudden death were neither one in first place when the last round began. Now neither of them dropped out. And yet, I have been since June of last year, the elite media has said over and over and over, you know, I'm dead. I should get out of it. When am I going to quit? When will I recognize reality?
I am in here, I'm thinking about getting it tattooed up here. "All the way to Tampa." OK?
Yes! How crazy was it that Bubba Watson refused to drop out of the sudden death round, despite the furious attack ads launched by the pro-Louis Oosthuizen super PAC?
Gingrich wasn't finished with the sports metaphors, either.
Don't you find usually by this Super Bowl, the teams are better than they were the opening week?
Well, sure, if we're talking about the two teams that are actually still playing by the time the Super Bowl happens. If we're talking about all the other teams that played opening week, many of them failed to get better. Right, Washington Redskins fans? (Of course, in 1995, the San Francisco 49ers decimated the San Diego Chargers 49-26. Gingrich had just become the speaker of the House, so it's possible that he missed this game and extracted the wrong lesson about the Super Bowl.)
Well, if Gingrich is wavering on dropping out because of the sports he watched over the weekend in lieu of campaigning, Texas Rep. Ron Paul is still chugging along in his own resolute way, campaigning in his home state and running a new ad that ridicules his competition, Texas-style:
As the voiceover goes, "Let's get this straight: We're debating between a big-spending, debt-ceiling-raising fiscal liberal. A moon colony guy. A moderate from Massachusetts. Or a Texan with a real plan to balance the budget." An Etch A Sketch also makes an appearance, proving that we are not yet done with that, either. Of course, Paul's efforts at this late stage in the 2012 nomination competition are every bit as quixotic as Newt's, but Paul does happen to have two things that Gingrich lacks: a real campaign with an actual infrastructure, and leverage.
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