Newt Gingrich Issues A Response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Bookmark and Share  Shortly after the President delivered his 65 minute long, third State of the Union Address and set the stage for his reelection campaign, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, issued a rebuttal to the President’s remarks.

In his response, Gingrich aggressively characterized the President’s stated vision as one of big government, bureaucratic control, and as one strives to create a food stamp economy designed to make Americans dependent upon government.

Newt Gingrich’s SOTU Response

“We have a crisis of work in this country and tonight President Obama proposed nothing in the way of policy changes that will get us to robust job creation and dramatic economic growth. Instead, the president described his conviction that his big government is built to last and should be paid for with higher taxes. But bigger government and higher taxes will not lead to jobs and growth.

Bigger government and higher taxes will instead lead to more people on food stamps, a situation which the President and his party defend as a fair outcome. Here we have to confront the truth about President Obama.  Economic growth and prosperity is not really at the top of his agenda. He will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair. For the president and a large part of the political class, it’s about their power, their right to rule.  They just want to take money from Joe the Plumber – the small business people who makes over 90 per cent of the new jobs — and redistribute it to the government bureaucracy and their political friends and allies. 

That’s why so much of that nearly trillion-dollar stimulus didn’t create jobs but just went into the pockets of special interests who support President Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party. No better example of this exists than in the crisis of American energy. President Obama and his political allies – not of few of whom love living in energy inefficient houses or driving gas-guzzling luxury vehicles – openly admit they want gas prices to remain high so that the rest of America will learn to live more modestly.

They think it’s good for rest of us.  Only recently, the president canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have created countless new jobs and helped America on the way to energy independence because he wanted to appease the far left of his party.  And yet not a single word on the Keystone XL pipeline tonight. To create jobs and growth in this country, we must start with dramatic tax reform that lowers taxes and maximizes capital investment and job creation. We must return to a dollar as good as gold whose purchasing power is the same in thirty years as it is today.  We must dramatically expand American energy production. We must have smarter regulation at the same time we abolish destructive and costly regulatory systems beginning with Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and Sarbanes-Oxley.

And finally, unlike the current administration, we must have faith in job creators.  With these policies the state of the union will be much better.  They will create an explosion in job creation and lead to robust economic growth and a return to prosperity.  Furthermore, a paycheck economy will put us on a path to balanced budgets and paying down our national debt.”

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Does Newt Really Have The Momentum to Keep Winning?

Bookmark and Share  If one were to look at Florida, the answer is yes.

Since his exceptionally strong, first place, landslide victory in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Newt Gingrich has at least temporarily established himself as the only candidate with momentum on his side.

Ron Paul, and his supposed ever growing massive number of supporters doesn’t seem to be quite as massive or as rapidly growing as once thought, since his last place showing in South Carolina, and he has all but conceited the election and admitted that he is just in this thing not win, but to pick up enough delegates to finally become politically relevant.

Rick Santorum, has gone from being the surprise underdog winner of the Iowa Caucus to being the man who many question why he is still running.  And Mitt Romney has seen himself gone from a frontrunner and the inevitable nominee, to being the candidate who many are  beginning to feel that if he hasn’t locked up the nomination yet, he may never do it.

But Newt Gingrich’s recent resurrection, from political death which propelled him to become the winner of the first in the South Primary has clearly set the stage for him to finally hit a stride that will make this a two man race between himself and Mitt Romney.

In less than 24 hours of his winning South Carolina, Newt raised a million dollars and since than he has more than doubled that total. Furthermore; in Florida, Gingrich has opened seven  offices with two more yet to be opened, hired 14 paid staffers and signed up 5,000.  By contrast, Romney’s campaign had just five staffers and three offices in Florida by early this week. And on top of that, when it concerns the polls, Gingrich has gone from 27% last week, to 35% this week, a swing of eight percent which now finds Romney falling two percent and in to second place.  Such dramatic numbers would certainly indicate that Newt has the wind at his back, while Romney and the others are now encountering strong headwinds in Florida.

Normally, even though these are solid signs for Newt, I would not be very confident in his ability to keep this recent turn of events moving in his direction.  In the past Newt’s proclivity for the untraditional has forced him to rely on instincts which motivate him to go with unconventional strategies, strategies which, like his previous attempt to attack Mitt Romney from the left and go off the deep end by distorting Mitt’s record of success in the free market, have hurt him.  However after Monday night’s debate, Newt demonstrated a degree of political maturity which he has not often displayed prior to now.  He carried himself as a humble frontrunner and held back any desire he may have had to respond to Mitt Romney’s own distortions with any exaggerated flare that could have undermined Newt’s credibility.  Instead it was Mitt Romney who appeared to be desperate and stretching to find any fatal flaws in Newt Gingrich’s record.

In addition to that, up to now, Newt has not had the type of financial resources that permitted him to to take proper advantage of media advertising which helps to carry his message beyond the audiences that may sit and watch the debates which he typically excels in.  And at the same time, even though Mitt Romney has already spent upwards of $10.5 million on Florida advertising,  he is losing ground.  This bodes quite well for Newt who with his coffers filling up, and with the aid a $5 million single donation to a Gingrich Super PAC in Florida, can now chip away at the dominance of Romney’s campaign in the Sunshine State.

But that’s not the only reason I remain optimistic for Newt at least in Florida.

In his attempt to stop the newtmentum, Romney seems to be making some of his first strategic stumbles.  In the most recent debate, while hoping to paint Newt as a Washington insider and influence peddler, he brought up the issue of Medicaid Part D and claimed that Newt was paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation, to lobby Congress Medicaid Part D’s passage.  During Monday’s debate he said to Gingrich;

“If you’re getting paid by health companies, if your  entities are getting paid by, and you then meet with Republican congressmen and  encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you  like. I call it influence peddling” .

The argument could potentially have legs, but not in Florida, where the nation’s largest population of senior citizens benefitted from the program and where Gingrich successfully dismissed Romney’s claims and accused Mitt of being a serial twister of the truth.   Gingrich countered Mitt’s charge in part by stating

 “I think it’s pretty clear to say that I have never,  ever gone and done any lobbying,”

 He also added that he was  proud of the fact that he publicly, openly advocated the prescription drug program.

That last statement was essentially the punch that ended and won that round for Newt.  It successfully appealed to the very large senior citizen voting bloc in Florida, the voters who when it’s time to cast their ballots, happen to turn out in the largest numbers .

Additionally, Romney seems to be counting on tieing Newt Gingrich to the tide of foreclosures in Florida.

Florida took a hit second only to Nevada in the housing crisis and by claiming Newt made money from Freddie Mac which essentially oversaw the creation and bursting of the housing bubble, he is hoping that Floridians who lost their homes will see Newt Gingrich as the villain who profited from their losses.  The problem is that Republicans are not buying what Mitt is trying to sell in that area of political campaigning.  And another thing to note is that those individuals who lost their homes because they provided mortgages that they were not qualified for in the first place, are not voting for either Newt or Mitt.  So clearly, Mitt Romney is throwing a wildly wrong  pitch and throwing it to the wrong people.

Then there is something else working against Mitt in Florida.

Unlike the previous three contests, Florida is a closed primary.

In a closed primary or caucus, only registered members of a Party may vote in that Party’s primary and Independents, those not registered with either major Party, are not permitted to vote in either major Party’s primary. Democrats who may like Mitt Romney’s moderate image, will not be able to influence who Republicans nominate as their Party’s candidate.  This is the way I believe it should be.  It is also one of the reasons why Ron Paul has written Florida off.  Since his hero worshippers from outside of the G.O.P. and within the sphere of liberal-tarian lunacy, can not sabotage the Republican process, they are picking up their toys and not playing in the Sunshine State.  All of this is good news for Newt, who if he keeps it together, just might be able to extend his good fortune into the forseeable future.

But even if he does hold it together in Florida, he will still forced to confront some very rough seas.

Following Florida will be two contests that Mitt Romney so far looks unbetable in….Nevada and Michigan.  This will provide at least a psychological sense of momentum that swings back towards Mitt  and away from Newt.  When that time comes, Newt will have to confront his challenge, a challenge that will force him to prove he has the staying power to comeback, and put Romney back on the ropes.  So far Newt has proven that he has considerable political stamina, but if he wins Florida, he will have to turn that stamina in to a knockout punch that he can land sometime after Nevada and Michigan.  If he can’t land such a punch, Republicans could very easily end up seeing this race last longer than the 2008 Democrat nomination between President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or worse…….maybe even the first brokered convention since 1976 when President Gerald Ford was almost dumped by the Party in exchange for future President Ronald Reagan.

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New Gingrich Ad Pits the Timid “Massachusetts Moderate” Against the “Bold Reagan Conservative”

Bookmark and Share    That’s how former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is shaping the race and a new ad of his frames that comparison between himself and Mitt Romney. [see the ad below this post]

It is Newt Gingrich’s version of a negative ad and many may now jump on Newt to claim that he was the one candidate who promised not to go negative.  But the truth is that s far as negative ads go, Newt’s new 30 second commercial is hardly an attack ad.  It is a comparison of ideological approaches and conservative accomplishments that raises the question, who is more capable of advancing a conservative agenda in government?

Furthermore you will note the ads lack of references to Mitt’s personal life or attempts to characterize Mitt Romney as evil or incompetent. Newt’s ad simply asks Republicans if they want to try to preserve our nation’s future with a timid conservative agenda or proven, bold conservative leadership.  In fact, the toughest line of attack that Newt is now using against Romney is his now standard reference to Mitt as a “Massachusetts Moderate”.   Gingrich could really bitter and use the “L” word, but he doesn’t.  Instead, he wisely combines the words “Massachusetts” and “moderate”, knowing full well that when put together most people automatically think of the “L” word and get the inference to Romney being a liberal, but without ever saying it.  Besides, Newt’s decision to use Mitt’s record to paint him as a candidate who is “to the left of most Republicans”  seems much more believable and legitimate than trying to argue that Mitt Romney is a liberal. And in the end, if Romney does become the nominee, what’s the worst Newt can be accused of calling Romney………. a “moderate”.  In the general election, that will only be to Mitt’s advantage

The promotional piece is actually more of a fair comparison than an attack ad and it presents the case for Newt convincingly and politely.

For me the ad also offers a sense relief.

When it was determined that Newt placed fourth place in the Iowa Caucus, he addressed supporters and showed sign of disappointment and even anger, anger over the more than $8 million dollars in negative ads that saw his one time high of 31% in Iowa fall to slightly more than 13%.  His speech also seemed to focus much of that anger on Mitt Romney who along with a pro Romney Super PAC were responsible for most of those attack ads.    Newt’s demeanor and words left me fearing that he was about to lose sight of the bigger picture and simply focus on exacting a degree of revenge on Mitt Romney that would end up being mutually detrimental.

But as it turns out, Newt is apparently being true to his word that he will not resort to negative attacks but will offer honest comparisons.  And as long as Newt continues to conduct himself in this manner, I am confident that under the current circumstances, the strategy he is moving forward with is the only smart way to go.

Newt could turn his attention to Rick Santorum, the newest Phoenix in the Republican presidential field,  but with the limited money Gingrich has available to him and given the unlikely chance of anyone, including Rick Santorum, beating Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, it is only logical that Newt remain focussed on Romney.  While Republicans have not yet totally determined who the best alternative to Romney is, it is understood that Romney is the man to beat.  So right now the best thing Newt can do is offer evidence of his being a more reliable conservative than Romney and hope that Romney chips away at Rick Santorum in an attempt to prevent him from gaining any more momentum than Santorum already did with the split decision in Iowa.

If that scenario plays out, Newt could survive New Hampshire to a degree that will give him a final chance to prove that he is the conservative with the best chance of beating Romney.

That will leave Republicans with responsibility of having to decide which is more important…….beating Mitt Romney or beating Newt Gingrich.

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Gingrich Super PAC Launches Super Big Ad Buy in Iowa

Bookmark and Share    The individuals behind the pro-Gingrich Super PAC known as Winning Our Future have launched their first ad in Iowa with a reported significant media buy of $250,000.  The ad will run from now through Monday, January 2nd, the day before the Iowa Caucuses.

The ad offers a compelling arguments for those who are still undecided and open to Newt Gingrich’s candidacy.

It tries to play on the strong anti-establishment sentiments that are motivating much of the electorate, including those within the TEA movement.

The ad contends that given the aggressive opposition to Newt’s candidacy that establishment Republicans demonstrated, he is clearly no friend of the establishment.

The point is quite a valid one and one which Newt Gingrich could have and should have run with as soon as the inundation of negative attacks on him began.  Had Newt’s campaign been able to create and focus on a single message that would have defined himself as the anti-establishment candidate, he could have maintained much of the lead that he once held.  But the lack of political discipline and organization of Newt’s campaign failed to capitalize on that and lacked the ability to effectively coordinate such a theme.

Fortunately, the Super PAC, that is not affiliated with Newt’s campaign, has taken it upon themselves to try and do what Newt didn’t and while I think their new ad helps, I believe that it is too little, too late to move Newt’s numbers significantly.  At this stage  of the game in Iowa and New Hampshire, the real focus needs to be on undecided voters and the Get Out the Vote operation.  Unfortunately, Newt lacks the organizational ability to identify those undecided voters and insure that those who are solidly behind him, show up at their precinct’s caucus and make their support official.

Compounding Newt’s problem is his loss of momentum.

If those who are supporting Gingrich come to believe that Newt has slipped so far that it is impossible for him to win, some of those supporters may not bother with the trouble of trudging out to a Caucus on a cold night and listening to an hour of speeches only to see their candidate suffer what they believe is an inevitable defeat.

So while ad likes this can’t hurt, Gingrich needs to somehow excite his supporters and win over a good portion of the very sizeable undecided vote.  Then he needs to make sure they show up at their proper caucus location.  However, at the moment, Newt is conceding the momentum to Ron paul and Mitt Romney and the ground game to Romney, Paul, Bachmann, and Santorum.

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The Grinch that Stole Virginia from Gingrich

Bookmark and Share    Before Christmas day, the electoral Grinch stole Virginia from Gingrich and Perry as the Virginia State Board of Elections ruled that both candidates failed to qualify for a place on their Republican presidential primary ballot.

The fact that the two candidates won’t even be able to compete for the state’s 49 delegates is not good news but unless this becomes one of the closest nomination contests in recent history, something which is quite possible, it should not determine winning or losing the nomination for anyone.  But there is a bigger picture that the failure to qualify for the ballot in Virginia casts a shadow upon for Perry and Gingrich.  It is a glaring sign of what in the end will probably prevent both men from winning the nomination.  It is a sign of a total lack of longterm planning, organization, and coordination.

Deficiencies in such necessary strategic areas, will make it impossible for either to win any of the crucial early state nomination contests that help establish each candidate’s momentum, or lack thereof, in the primaries and caucuses that come later.

This particularly applies to Iowa where out of 3 million residents, less than 120,000 are expected to participate in the actual Caucus on January 3rd.  That means that regardless of how many ads a candidate ran, mailings they have sent, phone calls they made, or hands they shook, come the day of the Caucus, each candidate must somehow find the percentage of voters who are supporting them and make sure that they get to their designated caucus locations, of which there are more than 1,700.

Just like finding a needle in a haystack, doing this  involves time, attention, staff, money, and coordination, all of which Gingrich and Perry are either without or quickly running out of.

The process involves identifying committed supporters, likely supporters, and persuadable voters.  Doing this requires each campaign to devote much time and energy to building a team of dedicated county chairs and precinct captains who help keep track of these people, target them with specific messages and make sure they vote in the caucus.  One good way to help that process of building an organization capable of doing that is by each candidate going out of their way to get the backing of federal, state and local officials, who have influence among their local constituents and already have a political organization of their own that they can lend to the candidate whom they do endorse.  Unfortunately for Gingrich and Perry, it is now too late for that part of the process.  Not having done enough of that prior to this point, leaves both men a ta great disadvantage, especially when compared to Mitt Romney who has had an organization in place in Iowa since before 2008, and Ron Paul who also has an organization in place since 2008 and whose supporters are diehards that work on behalf of their man relentlessly.

This lack of organization and planning is exactly why Gingrich and Perry failed to get on the ballot in Virginia and to be quite honest, it is an amateur mistake that is embarrassing setback for both of these experienced political hands.

The petition process that Gingrich and Perry failed at is an entrance level class of politics 101 and to be incapable of fulfilling that most basic aspect of the political process raises significant questions of competency.

The petition is not always easy but anyone who knows anything about the process understands that it is critically important to the viability of a candidacy.

Each state has different requirements for ballot access.  Some state’s require a fee, others requires a simple signature, and many require a certain amount of signatures.  In the case of Virginia, to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, a candidate needs to secure the signatures of 10,000 registered Republican Virginia voters and they must also acquire a certain percentage of those signatures from each of the state’s congressional districts.

But it is not as simple as that.

In addition to the signature of those voters, it is required that their addresses are also filled out.  Additionally, may states also require that the individuals who collect those signatures, be state residents who are registered Republicans and properly fill out the bottom of the petition which usually confirms that they witnessed the signing of the petition by each person named on it.

These requirements often allow for many signatures to be disqualified because of technicalities.  That is also why well organized campaigns usually submit twice as many signatures than required and carefully double check their own petitions before filing them and closely scrutinize the petitions of their opponents after they have filed them.

The scrutiny of petitions is what gave birth to the presidency of Barack Obama.

As we all know, Barack Obama was only in the senate for less than two years before he became President and we also know that he won election to to the U.S. Senate after a series of scandals left Obama without a viable Republican in the general election.  But what few people realize is that Obama first won elected office by using Chicago political tactics and knocking his Democrat opponents for the state senate, including incumbent Alice Palmer, off the ballot because of a technicality on their nominating petitions.  With no Democrat primary opponent to run against in a state senate district where the Democratic nomination is tantamount to winning the general election, this meant that Barack Obama came to power by default.

But the story is an example of just how important the petition is and why it is crucial for a candidate to pay attention to their petition process.

Unfortunately, Perry and Gingrich did not do this.

Others like Bachmann, Santorum, John Huntsman, and Gary Johnson did not even have the resources to try to get on Virginia’s ballot. But that was not Gingrich and Perry’s problem.  Their problem was that their campaign’s lack the discipline to pay attention to the details that matter and this lack of attention to detail will cost both Gingrich and Perry and Iowa.

On the flip-side, as I have said many times over the past year, Mitt Romney’s has the most effective, professional, and smooth running  organization of all the candidates in the race.  That edge is invaluable and while it may not be enough to get him a first place finish in Iowa, it will be enough to allow him to finish strong, stay in the game, and continue to strengthen his organization in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.

While this recent turn of events in Virginia is disappointing for both Perry Gingrich, it is more of a blow to Newt than Perry.

Perry’s campaign fell apart two months ago after his initial horrendous debate performances.  But at the same time Perry fell apart, Newt began to surge.  However;  many people know that Gingrich’s lack of discipline is one of his biggest problems and it plays a big role in the negative impression that Newt has when it comes to electability.  That negative impression was simply reinforced by the shoddiness of his campaign that prevented Newt from getting on the Virginia primary ballot.

Ironically, Newt Gingrich knows that organization is his weakness.  That is one reason why, two months ago, he decided to try to create a real organization in South Carolina, where he intends to build a firewall and take the lead in the nomination contest.  It is in  South Carolina where Gingrich has hired regional and statewide staffers and opened multiple campaign headquarters.  And currently, Newt is still leading in South Carolina.  But that may soon change.

South Carolina’s popular governor, Nikki Haley endorsed Mitt Romney and as a result, Romney will have easy access to the state Party apparatus.  Coupled with the organization Mitt already has in place, he will still probably wind up with an organizational advantage over Newt.  Especially when it comes to the Get Out the Vote operation.

So in the end, this Christmas season has provided us with new seasonal story….the one about the organizational Grinch that stole the election away from Newt Gingrich.  And even though we have not yet heard the end of the story, it is pretty clear that short of a Christmas miracle, Newt is not likely to hammer together the type of strong organization that is required to rewrite what is becoming an obvious conclusion.

Of course their are other opinions such as those of White House 2012 writer IkeFriday, who in his own post about the Virginia ballot episode, notes that candidates may have simply been caught off guard after Virginia suddenly changed the rules regarding their ballot earlier this month.

Friday’s point is an extremely valid one and one that I believe would in fact provide the type of evidence that could win a court ruling in Newt’s favor and get him on the ballot.  However; as someone who has had to deal with New York election laws, the most arcane ones in the nation, as frustrating as the process may be, I find there to be no excuse for a top tier presidential candidate’s campaign organization to be incapable of staying on top of things and mastering the most basic and necessary aspect of the election process, getting your name on the ballot so the people can vote for you.  This is not enough to cause me to stop supporting Gingrich’s candidacy, but as a supporter of Newt and his presidential candidacy, it is my hope that this incident is enough to knock some sense in to the managerial aspect of his campaign.

Hopefully, Newt will not get caught off guard like this again, and in case his campaign is finally beginning to look ahead, I am hereby volunteering my services to manage Newt’s effort to get his name on the ballot in New Jersey.

With Governor Christie backing Mitt Romney, it may not be rich territory for Newt, but if this nomination contest does turn out to be close, my state’s pitifully late June 5th presidential primary and its 50 delegates could prove to be much more important than they are now.  And at the very least, Newt might just want to force Mitt to spend money in New Jersey, where to reach all the voters, you must spend big bucks in the two media markets that it takes to get through to Jersey voters……..the New York media market which is the most expensive in the nation, and the Philadelphia market, the third most expensive in the nation.

 

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See the Entire Video of Newt Gingrich’s Fox News Interview with Greta Van Susteren

Bookmark and Share   In a relatively extensive interview with Newt Gingrich on Fox News, host Greta Van Susteren presses the former Speaker of the House on his earenings from Freddie Mac.  He also offers his opinion on how law enforcement and Mayors should handle the Occupy protests.

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Gingrich Organizes the Most Aggressive Campaign of All the Candidates in South Carolina

  Bookmark and Share   With about ten weeks to go before South Carolina holds it’s primary which continues to become more and more important with each presidential election cycle, CNN reports that Newt Gingrich has established the largest campaign organization in the state of all his Republican presidential rivals.  Of course the numbers that determine this footprint are all in the single digits.  The two second largest campaign organizations in the state goes to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Texas Governor Rick Perry.  They have seven staffers a piece.  Newt Gingrich has two more, for a total of nine.

Herman Cain currently has four paid staffers in the state, while former ambassador and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s campaign has three people on staff, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has just two.

This CNN report stemmed from a Newt Gingrich inspired press release that his campaign issued early on Monday.  In it, Newt’s campaign announced that two long term advisors recently moved to South Carolina to direct Newt 2012′s First in the South primary bid.  they are Adam Waldeck who will serve as State Director and Vince Haley who will serve in the capacity of Policy Director.

Newt’s campaign already had seven paid staffers which included several veteran activists and tea party leaders.  And it also has in place a  statewide team that will  serve as Regional Directors.  That organizational effort will include Joshua Putnam, the youngest state representative currently serving in South Carolina’s legislature as the  Upstate coordinator, DeLinda Ridings.  Ridings was the South Carolina filed director for Jon Huntsman as recently as last week.   Newt’s South Carolina organizational team will also include Myrtle Beach TEA movement  Gerri McDaniel  (aka: GeekGirl2U), will help organize the so-called Pee Dee region, Chris Horne, a TEA movement veteran, preacher and internet marketing expert will lead the effort in Charleston, and also  hailing from the Charleston area is Joanne Jones, Vice Chairman of the Charleston Tea Party.  Jones who will organize coalitions for the campaign.

Newt’s South Carolina Deputy State Directors are Ruth Sherlock and Leslie Gaines, the managing partners of Sherlock and Gaines Consulting Group based in Greenville.

While Newt’s campaign simply announced the the addition of the latest new additions to the South Carolina team of staffers, it was CNN which decided to declare that Gingrich now has the “largest campaign footprint” in South Carolina and although the story is factually true, it is an inaccurate depiction of the real picture.

In truth, it is Mitt Romney who has the best campaign footprint in South Carolina.  It is the impression that he left since he first ran for President in 2oo8.  Even though that organization has not yet been activated, let there be no mistaking the ability for mit to materialize, especially if popular South Carolina Governor Niki Haley endorses Mitt Romney.

Several weeks ago, Haley made it clear that will she be endorsing a Republican in the Republican presidential primary.  She also added that she will be backing a true business leader.  That has left White House 2012 wondering if her emphasis on a business leader meant Herman Cain or if it was specifically designed to emphasize Mitt Romney’s business background.  Either way, it looks like Newt won’t have the advantage of Niki Haley behind him.  However, if the organization he has established in South Carolina is as coordinated and well managed as his structure is, he could turn South Carolina into the last stand for other candidates like Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum.  In fact a win by Gingrich in South Carolina will upset the apple cart greatly and make Florida a a primary that seals the deal for someone.

But to make that scenario even more possible for Gingrich, he should also start organizing Iowa and doing so aggressively.  If Newt can take first place in Iowa, not only will his chances for victory in South Carolina be better, winning there will make him the undeniable frontrunner.

All this is speculation, but as polls have Romney mired in the mid twenties and as the air slowly escapes from Herman Cain’;s balloon, which it will continue to do, Newt is quickly becoming the alternative to Romney.  As Leslie Gaines, one of Gingrich’s South Carolina deputy state directors put it to CNN: deputy state directors put it;

“In 2008 Mitt was the conservative choice to McCain,” Gaines said. “I think Newt is our conservative choice this time around.”

And Gaines should know.  In 2008 she briefly served as a fundraising consultant for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential candidacy.

Newt’s statewide headquarters for South Carolina will be having officially be opening this Saturday, November 12, 2011.

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