03/27/2012 11:15 am ET Updated Mar 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich Back To Selling Branded Merchandise As Indebted Campaign Stumbles On

Newt Gingrich's campaign, now deeply in debt and forced to resort to what amounts to Internet trolling as a way of maintaining anyone's interest, is basically circling the drain. After his press secretary, R.C. Hammond, expressed a desire to "push" the "traveling press corp. [sic]" into the ocean, those few remaining print reporters who had been embedded with Gingrich travels took their leave. Even before that happened, Walter Shapiro beat everyone else to the punch and penned the essential Gingrich political obituary.

So while Gingrich may yet expend an effort to bollix the Republican National Convention, the truth is that his campaign is closer than ever to ending. And on his way out, Gingrich is returning to what he does best -- mine his likeness for merchandise. As Sarah Huisenga of the National Journal reports:

In a sign that his campaign is in need of fresh funds, Newt Gingrich on Monday began charging $50 to have a photograph taken with him following a campaign speech to Republican groups here in the northernmost part of the state.


It was the first time that the former House speaker has charged those attending one of his public speaking events to pose for a photograph with him. Lately, a member of his campaign staff has been snapping photos of any interested attendee and later posting them online at the campaign’s website, Newt.org.

Yes, apparently the Gingrich campaign is like a log flume at Six Flags, and once you've joined him, dripping with moisture, at the bottom of the ride, you can buy a picture of yourself experiencing the magic. All you need to do is go to his website and enter your credit card information. Of course, let's all keep in mind that the Gingrich campaign has begun paying off the loudest and angriest of its creditors, so this is probably not the best time to be handing Newt your credit card information.

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