It's an implosion of tremendous proportions and a likely campaign destroyer. Newt Gingrich's campaign manager and several key aides have resigned en masse for what they are euphemistically calling "a different direction in which we wanted to take the campaign."
I don't know if that's true, but it sure sounds better than whatever the truth is:
Two sources close to the situation confirmed that campaign manager Rob Johnson, strategists Sam Dawson and Dave Carney, spokesman Rick Tyler and consultants Katon Dawson in South Carolina and Craig Schoenfeld in Iowa quit to protest what one called a "different vision" for the campaign.
In a statement on Facebook following the stunning news, Gingrich said he will stay in the race.
"I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring," he wrote.
But with his entire high command having left at once, that task will be considerably more difficult.
The mass resignation was, one source said, "a team decision."
"The professional team came to the realization that the direction of the campaign they sought and Newt's vision for the campaign were incompatible," said Carney.
Evidently, Newt wanted to run a tech-savvy internet campaign while ignoring the heavy lifting required in grass roots development. And, to these political pros, he just wasn't very serious about it:"
To be successful in Iowa, you need to be here, [and] taking a look at the way the schedule was, he's not scheduled to be here in June at all, and he's got very few appearances in July," said Schoenfeld. "You want to make sure that you give yourself a chance to be successful."
Another source added: "We felt like he'd be better off if he had the opportunity to proceed with his vision and how he wants to do things."
One official said the last straw came when Gingrich went ahead last week with a long-planned cruise in the Greek isles with his wife.
Reminds me of Fred Thompson. No fire to run and do what it takes to win.
I wrote a piece many years ago for AT about Newt and why he should never run for president. This is a quote from a former staffer that reveals what Gingrich's campaign professionals probably saw up close:
'He would always get people started on a project or a vision, and we're all slugging up the mountain to accomplish it. Newt's nowhere to be found...He's gone on to the next mountaintop.'
It seems that Newt hasn't changed much over the years.