Gingrich Senior Campaign Staff Resigns En Masse
Adding to Newt Gingrich's campaign trail woes, all of his senior campaign staff resigned this afternoon, according to Chris Cillizza and Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post, who report Gingrich's now-former spokesperson explaining it this way:
“When the campaign and the candidate disagree on the path, they’ve got to part ways,” said Rick Tyler, a longtime Gingrich spokesman who was among those who left the campaign today.
Tyler as well as Rob Johnson, Gingrich’s campaign manager, Dave Carney and Katon Dawson, senior strategists to the effort and media consultant Sam Dawson have all stepped aside. Much of his early state operation was also headed for the exits, according to a one senior campaign source.
Cillizza and Tumulty report sources telling them that the issue was a two-week vacation that the GOP presidential hopeful planned to take with his wife, Calista, against the advice of senior staff -- a rather perfect follow-up to the worst campaign roll-out ever (although, given Gingrich's history, they might have settled for being relieved that Gingrich planned to vacay with his current wife, and not a future one.)
But the vacation tiff could simply be a cloud of smoke obscuring the real reason that two Gingrich advisers, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategist Dave Carney, were long-term staffers of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is
making noise about is rumored to be considering getting into the race.
Tea Partiers love them some Rick Perry. Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones Online explains:
Four short years after George W. Bush seemingly poisoned the Texas political well, Perry has emerged as a tea party hero by practicing a form of small-government fundamentalism that makes Bush look like a moderate. Facing a $27 billion budget shortfall, Perry pushed to eviscerate funding for the state's overburdened schools and social services instead of raising taxes or even tapping the state's $9.4 billion Rainy Day Fund. He has redefined fiscal conservatism to mean not spending crisis money at a time of crisis.
The Perry provenance of Gingrich's aides may account for Gingrich's statement to Sean Hannity that his intention was to make America "resemble Texas." But if Perry is ready to jump in, really, who needs the middleman?
(If Perry takes the leap, MoJo's Harkinson deserves major cred as a prognosticator. On May 19, he wrote: "As soon as Gingrich implodes and Romney fizzles, Perry could be the man to watch.")
Writing at Right Wing Watch, Peter Montgomery, also an AlterNet writer, laid out what an America that looks like Texas that would be like. Here are some rankings for the Lone Star state, among the other 49, cited by Montgomery:
50thin percentage of population without health insurance (2010)
50th in percentage of children insured (2009)
50th in percentage of women receiving early prenatal care (2010)
45th in rate of infectious diseases (2010)
44th in percentage of children in poverty (2010)
42nd in per capita health care funding (2010)
40th in overall health (2010)
36th in high school graduation rate (2010)
35th in crime (2010)
35th in percentage of children immunized (2010)
34th in rate of occupational fatalities (2010)
30thin percentage of people with college degree (2008)
But if Perry should run, the biggest irony would be why a man who suggested that his state secede from the benighted nation of which it is a part would want to lead that benighted nation. To make it better resemble Texas, one supposes.