Newt Gingrich has been trying to demonstrate an effort to rebuild his campaign, and one way was by getting his first finance co-chair in Iowa since the mass staff exodus of a few weeks ago.
Aides to Gingrich said he asked Greg Ganske, a former congressman who served in the House during Gingrich’s tenure as Speaker, to serve in the position during a tea party event in Indianola.Ganske has been out of Congress for several years, but Gingrich has made clear he plans to try to make a renewed effort in the Hawkeye State, spending a string of days there this month and next in the lead-up to the Ames Straw Poll.
From POST POLITICS at The Washington Post:
Newt Gingrich thinks he can revive his debilitated campaign by talking about Alzheimer’s. So at a private fundraiser last week in Newport Beach, Calif., he devoted much of his speech to the disease.
No wonder he’s worried about Alzheimer’s. He’s already forgotten that almost everyone hates him, and his career in politics has been dead for years.
For most presidential candidates, Alzheimer’s is a third- or fourth-tier subject, at best.
But as Gingrich sees it, Alzheimer’s, as well as other niche topics such as military families’ concerns and pharmaceutical issues, are priorities for passionate patches of the American electorate.
In this living-off-the-land phase, as he struggles to regain financing and his footing in the evolving 2012 field, Gingrich is trying to find his voice. More often than not, it’s on Fox News Channel, where he promotes his ideas big and small, hoping that something might catch on.
Gingrich’s public schedule last week included no campaign events but featured at least six media appearances: three on talk radio and three on Fox, the cable network where he has appeared on air some 800 times over the past decade as a paid analyst.
On Monday, Gingrich told Fox anchor Neil Cavuto that he is determined to reach “people who are interested in topics other than traditional politics.”
Gingrich’s friends and advisers said the challenge for a candidate who generates a potpourri of ideas is to figure out which ones will resonate.
That’s what’s known, in non-political circles, as throwing shit against the wall and seeing what sticks.
Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Tex.), a Gingrich endorser, said, “When you’re in the room with him, ideas come up so fast and furious that sometimes it’s a little difficult to grab them.”
One exception, Burgess said, is Alzheimer’s.
“The speaker gets that probably better than anybody else,” he said.
After Gingrich announced his candidacy in May, his first speech was to a convention of Alzheimer’s advocates. There, he warned that the disease could cost the government some $20 trillion over the next four decades. He told the industry group that Alzheimer’s research is “grotesquely underfunded,” and he pledged to invest more public money in finding a cure.
That, of course, has nothing to do with the contributions he gets from the health care field or that he had 5 Big Pharma lobbyists working for him when he was speaker or that former aides went on to be Big Pharma lobbyists in 2001.
After Gingrich announced his candidacy in May, his first speech was to a convention of Alzheimer’s advocates. […] He told the industry group that Alzheimer’s research is “grotesquely underfunded,” and he pledged to invest more public money in finding a cure.
But soon came the headlines about his $500,000 credit line at Tiffany’s. Then he and his wife, Callista, went on a cruise in the Greek isles. And then many of his staffers walked out on him.Now, angling for a comeback, Gingrich is trying to shift the focus back to his ideas.He has started talking about his family’s military background as a way to try to reach out to other military families.
But I bet that he never mentioned that his chickenhawk ass got deferments so he never had to serve.
Some of Gingrich’s former advisers said they abandoned the candidate because he was not willing to invest enough time on the ground in the early-voting states. Last month, Gingrich visited Iowa once (a recent stop in Indianola) and New Hampshire once (touring a business in Hudson) but did not visit South Carolina.
The new campaign manager is Michael Krull, a longtime Gingrich hand who leads what Hammond described as a “scrappy” team of “about a dozen upbeat and cheerful warriors.”
Gingrich, too, is stepping up his pace, saying he plans to spend 16 days in Iowa in July and August, starting with walking in Clear Lake’s July 4th parade.
Still, Fergus Cullen, a former New Hampshire Republican Party chairman, warned that Gingrich would struggle if he is seen as taking shortcuts.
“The candidates who do the best find that there are no shortcuts,” Cullen said. “If Gingrich thinks he can just do it on Fox News, then all he is is an advocate — an advocate for his ideas — but he’s not a presidential candidate.”
Cullen, in an interview last week at his Dover, N.H., home, said he is a fan of Gingrich’s. He pointed to four of the former speaker’s books on his shelf. But, Cullen said, “it’s hard to take his campaign seriously these days.”