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BREAKING: Newt Gingrich Staff Resigns

Reports are breaking out everywhere that Newt Gingrich’s entire senior presidential staff has resigned. No details as of yet but I can’t conceive of any explanation that would constitute good news for Gi ngrich.

UPDATE: AP‘s David Espo:

Newt Gingrich’s campaign manager and numerous other key aides have resigned together, a strong blow to his hopes for the Republican presidential nomination.

Gingrich press spokesman Rick Tyler told The Associated Press that he’s resigned along with campaign manager Rob Johnson, senior strategists and aides in key early primary states.

Really, that’s just the breaking news report with names filled in.

AJC’s Jim Galloway offers the following speculation:

No doubt Gingrich’s decision to go on a seven-day Mediterranean cruise was a factor. Larry Sabato of Crystal Ball fame posted the following this morning:

    At the end of May, Gingrich took a previously scheduled two-week vacation while other candidates campaigned. All told, one can not only question the execution of Gingrich’s campaign, but also the commitment of the candidate to it. 

    Remember when failed Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley took a vacation between her primary victory and the special election against now-Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)? Inviting comparisons to Coakley, who shockingly lost Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, is obviously not any campaign’s objective.

That’s not good. Whether it has anything to do with the staff resigning, though, I haven’t a clue.

UPDATE (Doug Mataconis):  Jonathan Martin reports on some of the details:

Sources said Gingrich was staying in the race.

The mass resignation was, one source said, “a team decision.”

“We just had a different direction in which we wanted to take the campaign,” said a second source.

Gingrich was intent on using technology and standing out at debates to get traction while his advisers believed he needed to run a campaign that incorporated both traditional, grassroots techniques as well as new ideas.

One official said the last straw came when Gingrich went forward with taking a long-planned cruise with his wife last week in the Greek isles. After his bumpy start, rumors began to circulate in the political community the former House speaker’s days as a candidate were numbered. But the collective decision by his high command to quit makes it likely that his demise will be hastened. Officials like Dawson and Tyler have advised for Gingrich for years. And Johnson, who ran Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign last year, was seen as bringing a measure of stability to the organization. Now, speculation will immediately begin as to whether Johnson and Carney, Perry’s chief political adviser, will start planning a presidential campaign for the Texan.

There’s already speculation that this resignation means that Perry will definitely get in the race, but that’s not at all clear.

And, this just in, Newt Gingrich’s entire Iowa staff has also resigned.

Gingrich may think he’s staying in the race but this strike me as being a pretty severe blow at a stage where other candidates are already starting to build traction.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Intriguing.

    Not a good sign for the campaign, one should think.

    Of course, I had already mentally written Newt off, to be honest.

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  2. michael reynolds says:

    Did they suddenly realize he’s a fatuous, obnoxious, arrogant, immature, hypocritical gasbag?

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  3. Jay Tea says:

    No details as of yet but I can’t conceive of any explanation that would constitute good news for Gingrich.

    CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

    – They were all hired by the “Old” Newt. This campaign is one for the “New” Newt, and they realized they just didn’t fit in.

    – They had started the campaign without Newt’s knowledge or consent, and as soon as he found out that he’d been running for president, he hit the ceiling.

    – They were all secretly employees of a reality TV show, and they’d got enough footage for the season.

    – They were the “decoy” campaign team, set up to do stupid things and lull the other GOP campaigns into a false sense of confidence while Newt set up the “real” staff — which is what he was REALLY doing when everyone thought he was on a cruise.

    See, James? All it takes is a little imagination…

    J.

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  4. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Newt Gingrich is running for president??

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  5. legion says:

    “We just had a different direction in which we wanted to take the campaign,” said a second source.
    So, can they keep running the campaign without Gingrich? That would be totally awesome. I would so vote for that ticket.

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  6. Brett says:

    Not bad. Gingrich might beat Giuliani for the new record of “fastest serious candidate to disintegrate before the primaries even happen”. I’m not counting Fred Thompson, of course, since he was never a serious possibility.

    Of course, I wouldn’t write him off yet. The same thing almost happened to the McCain Campaign back in 2007.

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  7. James Joyner says:

    @Brett: Amusingly, I JUST published a post on that very topic.

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  8. Trumwill says:

    And Johnson, who ran Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign last year, was seen as bringing a measure of stability to the organization. Now, speculation will immediately begin as to whether Johnson and Carney, Perry’s chief political adviser, will start planning a presidential campaign for the Texan.

    Just last week I was thinking, “it might be hard for Perry to run since a number of his top people are in the Gingrich camp.”

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  9. Joe R. says:

    I’ve read that this might open the door a little for Rick Perry. Under Rick Perry’s watch, Texas may have executed at least one innocent person. Sadly, this still puts his number of murdered innocents below that of any person to ever hold the office of President.

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  10. The musings about them headed over to Perry is the Beltway gossip right now. It does seem rather plausible to me.

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  11. matt says:

    Joe. R : The sad part is that thanks to Perry and some of his lackies the official confirmation of an innocent being executed is being blocked…
    .

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