Regardless of whether Newt Gingrich succeeds in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the former House speaker has restored himself to the national stage. And Gingrich probably will stay there, as long as he doesn’t go down in flames, launching vitriol at likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Politico
There’s no guarantee Gingrich will bow out with grace. But for now, “the only downside for Gingrich is quitting,” Craig Shirley, a public relations executive whose firm is working for Gingrich, told Politico.
“His options are: A, he’s the nominee. B, he’s not the nominee but he’s a major presence at the convention and gives a dominating speech. C, Romney’s the nominee, loses to Obama and Newt’s a major presence in the party. There are three or four options for Gingrich and they’re all good.”
Others see the terms as more balanced. “If he continues moving forward with ideas and as the alternative messenger of the conservative movement, he will be accepted as that,” former New York Rep. Tom Reynolds told Politico. “If his race and his campaign turn into just burning down the Romney campaign, I think that will be viewed as just that — kind of a revengeful campaign and a circus, versus a man who is trying to promote his ideas.”
In any case, virtually no one except Gingrich himself would have predicted all this six months ago, when his campaign looked to be dead.
Gingrich has shown once again that he’s a man of substantive ideas, though naysayers question some of them, such as colonizing the moon. This gives him the opportunity to embrace the role of wise man for the GOP’s conservative wing should he fall short in his presidential bid.
“Regardless of how Gingrich ultimately fares, his comeback is remarkable and his reconnecting with conservatives and conservative organizations has an almost prodigal quality to it,” conservative strategist Keith Appell told Politico.
“After private meetings with Newt over the past few months, a number of conservative leaders who have had issues with him in the past have defended him, saying the equivalent of, ‘We’ve had family disagreements with him from time to time, but he has always been family.’”
To be sure, “These sentiments say as much about Mitt Romney as they do about Gingrich,” Appell said.
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