JONATHAN CHAIT JUNE 3, 2011
Newt Gingrich has figured out the best way to stop doing things that make Republicans hate him -- go on vacation:
Following a bumpy debut as an official candidate which included fumbling an answer about his support for House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan and a report that he carried as much as $500,000 in “revolving charge account” at luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co, the former House speaker has set off for a vacation with his wife Callista. ...
They had long scheduled time off early in the campaign,” said Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler. “They spent a long time, really with no break, preparing for the campaign. This week was an opportunity to get away together, and they decided it was important to stick to that schedule. We’ll be back next week.”
I think it will help, but of course it's not fullproof. Gingrich could wind up backing his RV over Ronald Reagan's grave or something.
While Gingrich reloads, Amy Sullivan has some outside the box strategic advice for him:
Republican voters say they’d be less likely to vote for a candidate with an affair in his past (57%) than a candidate who was gay (52%). Now, obviously, there’s no openly gay candidate running for the Republican nomination. But there is Newt Gingrich, who is known for (in no particular order): leading the 1994 Republican Revolution, cheating on his first wife before divorcing her, and cheating on his second wife with his now-third wife. I’m not saying that means Gingrich has no chance. But is it simply a coincidence that he just let the world know that his ringtone is ABBA?
It would certainly be awkward for Gingrich to suddenly announce a change of sexual orientation, but not dramatically more awkward than him attacking Paul Ryan for "right-wing social engineering" and then raising money to defend Ryan. He would need some kind of explanation, such as he spent some time alone with his wife, and he realized his inexplicable decision to attack the sainted Paul Ryan stemmed from a deep-seated unhappiness that he now understands arose from living a lie...
Wait -- is there a chance that this is what Gingrich is actually planning?