The Fix gave a behind the scenes look into Newt Gingrich’s campaign meltdown. A couple of items jumped out at me. One is apparently we have a Chinese swing vote in Iowa that Newt was gunning for.
Gingrich became convinced that one of the keys to his winning in Iowa was in targeting the Chinese community living in the state. Apparently, he had been told by a Chinese man at a campaign event that as many as 10,000 Chinese Americans lives in the state, one source explained.
So because one Chinese man told him there were 10,000 Chinese Americans living in the state he made that a key to victory? I’m not disputing the number, but really? What made him think they would even vote Republican let alone come out in droves for him?
I’m curious why he wasn’t at CelebrAsian last month in Des Moines then. Oh, I know it’s because he didn’t actually have to do silly things like campaign and fundraise so he’d have money to compete in the Ames Straw Poll.
Gingrich was determined to proceed with the trip (Greek cruise), however, telling advisers that he had to do so for his wife. That exposed a broader problem, according to one source, which was that Gingrich and his wife were functioning as the de facto schedulers of the campaign and simply refusing to put the basic finance and grassroots events on the calendar that the senior staff deemed necessary.
Will Rogers, Gingrich’s former Iowa Political Director, noted this problem as well in a recent article in The Des Moines Register.
Rogers, who headed grassroots effort here, said dozens of Iowa GOP activists and business leaders were asking for Gingrich to make an appearance.
“I’d say, ‘Oh, great. Thanks for inviting us. We’ll get this sent up to the Washington, D.C. folks,’” Rogers said. “And then I’d send it to the D.C. folks and it would be radio silence. A few days later, you’d ask again and you’d ask again and you wouldn’t hear anything back. At first I thought it was the staff. And then I came to find out it was the candidate.”
None of this surprises me. My experiences with him at event in Iowa I noticed a reluctance to retail politick with people. At the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event he left pretty much right after he was done speaking and didn’t mingle unlike the other candidates. His visit to Des Moines shortly after announcing his exploratory committee he was late coming into the event at the Embassy Suites, he spent very little time talking with supporters and most of the time after his speech he spent with a reporter from CNN before he was whisked away for another interview. That isn’t how you win in Iowa.
His new spokesman, Joe DeSantis, said “Going forward, we’re going to build a strategy around Newt, rather than fit Newt into a strategy.”
Because evidently his ego is too big to fit into one. Good luck with that.
Photo by Dave Davidson