While former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was one of the first Republicans to officially announce his candidacy for the White House and was certainly the first-to be glitter-bombed, the leader of the Republican Revolution doesn't seem to be leading much, lately. He certainly isn't leading the polls: According to the most recent Gallup results, Gingrich enjoys 86 percent name recognition among Republicans, but captures only 3 percent of their votes.
Barring use of an EKG, here are the top five signs of life for Newt Gingrich's campaign.
1. He says he's still in the race, despite all appearances.
It's not always obvious to his supporters, but Gingrich insists that his presidential campaign is still rolling.
“I have people tell me on a regular basis, ‘Gee, are you still running?’” Gingrich said in a conference call with supporters Thursday night, in response to a question about why his campaign had flagged.
2. We saw him at the debate....
As the old adage goes, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a duck. In Gingrich's case, if it is invited to a presidential debate and stands on stage at a presidential debate, it must be a presidential candidate. Some voters may not be able to pick him out of a lineup, but Gingrich was certainly there, second podium from the left.
3. ...where he deployed the presidential campaign tactic of bashing the media.
For another mark in the walks-like-a-talks-like-a column, Gingrich fell back on a favorite conservative tactic in the debate Wednesday night: bashing the media.
"You'd like to puff this up into some giant thing!" Gingrich said to debate moderators Brian Williams and John Harris in response to a policy question. Republicans should unite against the gotcha questions of the press because, as he said, "whoever the nominee is, we are all for defeating Barack Obama."
4. We have not seen him at Tiffany's lately.
While we have seen him on stage at the debate, one place we decidedly haven't spotted Gingrich is in Tiffany & Co. jewelry store. Gingrich's early campaign was plagued by reports of his half-million dollar debt to the luxury company. With a history like that, if Gingrich had truly thrown in the towel we would likely find him drowning his sorrows in diamonds and powder-blue packaging.
5. He is STILL TALKING about being glittered.
If there's one recurring theme in Gingrich's campaign (other than a lack of continuity in staffing), it's a tendency to dredge up his past. Remember the Republican Revolution and the Contract With America? Gingrich would also like you to remember something more recent than his leadership a decade and a half ago: he is also a leader of baptism by glitter, remember? In an example of executive leadership, he's now leading the charge on classifying glitter-bombing like actual bombing: as assault.
“Glitter bombing is clearly an assault and should be treated as such,” he recently told the New York Times.
Ah, it's so nice to have a lively, lengthy debate of our nation's finest minds, about the most important issues facing our country.
Did we miss any signs that Gingrich's debate is still limping along? Add your own vital signs in the comments below.