Anger, Disarray And Double Defeat Take Toll On Gingrich

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. And Republican Newt Gingrich certainly will hope the disarray that marred his campaign in Nevada last week will not doom his White House bid as he heads toward a possible Super Tuesday last-stand next month.

Stinging losses to Mitt Romney in Florida and Nevada within a week have sucked much of the energy from the former House speaker's shot at the Republican nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in the November 6 general election.

The negative television ads so successful in siphoning Gingrich support in Florida followed him to Nevada. Romney's well-funded campaign, and backing from a political action committee run by Romney supporters, will no doubt continue the blitz.

There might be a point beyond which Gingrich, who many observers think entered the presidential race mostly to burnish his reputation as a conservative elder-statesman, can no longer stomach the daily attacks.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said Gingrich had lost control of his emotions at times. "Gingrich should not have let Romney get into his head," O'Connell said. "That was a killer. When he's angry, he is his own worst enemy."

Strategists said Gingrich's biggest challenge is that he never laid the foundation of a campaign in the first place, especially after much of his staff quit in early June.

"The best opening for him between now and Super Tuesday is money, discipline and organization," O'Connell said.

Read more from Ros Krasny at Reuters

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published this page in In The News 2012-02-05 18:00:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy