Newt Gingrich’s troubled campaign for the Republican presidential nomination finally imploded Thursday when the core of his political team, vexed by the candidate’s own erratic performance, quit en masse. The decisive moment came in a meeting at Gingrich’s Washington, D.C. office between the candidate and his top two operatives, campaign manager Rob Johnson and strategist Sam Dawson, who had hoped to convince Gingrich that his approach as a candidate—which one insider described as “appalling”—needed a drastic transformation. When Gingrich did not agree, Johnson and Dawson said they were done.
That began a cascade of defections, including Gingrich’s longtime and trusted aide, Rick Tyler, that effectively ended the former speaker’s run for the presidency, which began less than a month ago. By the end of the day, campaign staffers in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, and Georgia, also had jumped ship, along with Sonny Perdue, Gingrich’s national co-chairman, who said he now supports the candidacy of Tim Pawlenty.
On his Facebook page, Gingrich promised to start his campaign anew, with another launch Sunday in Los Angeles. But the common view in political circles was expressed by former Gingrich aide, the conservative commentator Rich Galen, who said, “This campaign is over.”
This report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution cannot be a good sign:
Newt Gingrich's Buckhead office was cleaned out and locked up Thursday afternoon mere hours after his campaign staff resigned en masse.
All that was left were some "Newt 2012″ bumper stickers and some artifacts of campaigns past.
Gingrich press spokesman Rick Tyler told the Associated Press that he has resigned along with campaign manager Rob Johnson, senior strategists and aides in key early primary states. No one was in Gingrich's Buckhead quarters to answer reporters' questions.