Does Gingrich Staff Exodus Signal Doom?
There's precedent for this sort of thing happening and the candidate making the comeback. And you don't have to go back too far.
So, Newt Gingrich’s staff has jumped ship. Does that mean his campaign is doomed? Glenn Reynolds thinks so. Jonathan Bernstein and a cast of characters that he rounds up think so, too. And Kevin Drum engages in some not implausible speculation as to what might have happened. “Implosion” seems to be the word of the day.
Now, I’m pretty sure Gingrich is, in fact, toast. Then again, I thought that before his staff resigned en masse. Indeed, I’ve thought for years that he had too much baggage to make a serious presidential run and was at least smart enough to know it.
But it dawned on me that there’s actually recent precedent for this sort of thing happening and the candidate making the comeback. And you don’t have to go back too far.
John McCain fired his campaign manager and several top staffers in July 2007. A week later, his entire press staff resigned. He went on to win the nomination.
John Kerry shook up his staff and mortgaged one of his wife’s houses right before Iowa in the 2004. Indeed, he shook has staff up several times that cycle. He went on to win the nomination.
Now, those men were at least frontrunners in their races at one point before the wheels came off; Gingrich’s entrance into the race has always been a head scratcher. But I wrote McCain and Kerry off, too. Campaigns often flail around early and get their act together by the time it matters.