That gurgling noise you hear is Newt Gingrich's campaign slowly going down the tubes.
Newt Gingrich is cutting back his campaign schedule, will lay off about a third of his cash-strapped campaign's full-time staff, and has replaced his manager as part of what aides are calling a "big-choice convention" strategy, communications director Joe DeSantis told POLITICO.
Michael Krull, a former advance man and a college friend of Callista Gingrich's who took over the campaign after a staff exodus in June, was replaced last weekend by Vince Haley, who has worked for Gingrich for nine years and currently is deputy campaign manager and policy director.
"We're focusing exclusively on what it'll take to win what we're going to be calling a big-choice convention in August," DeSantis said in a phone interview Tuesday night.
Gingrich officials declined to specify who else besides Krull would be leaving. "Not getting into it right now besides Krull," DeSantis said.
But another campaign official said the layoffs would largely affect junior and advance staff, the latter of which was contracted out to Gordon James Public Relations. Gingrich consultant Kellyanne Conway and political director Martin Baker will both retain their roles, according to officials. The advance staff also received word on Tuesday afternoon to submit their final expense reports.
Why prolong the agony? If Gingrich had something important or different to contribute to the debate, one might allow that his skeletal campaign would add to Republican nomination process.
But he doesn't. Gingrich might articulate the GOP message better, but outside of a few interesting proposals that have found little support among the electorate (if they had, he wouldn't be a distant third), Newt is basically a GOP attack dog going after Obama, but training his guns on Santorum and Romney as well.
Time to end this self-aggrandizing campaign now.