Gingrich: From Long-Shot To Comeback Kid

January 22nd, 201211:01 am @


This may be the start of one of the most remarkable comebacks in modern American political history.

Newt Gingrich has looked down and out more than once in the 2012 Republican race for the White House.

But the 68-year-old former Speaker of the House has blown the race wide open with his victory in the South Carolina primary.

The scenes at his victory party in the ballroom of a Columbia hotel were those of a campaign that has rediscovered its verve.


This is the most important election of our lifetime… with your help we are now moving on to Florida and beyond.

Newt Gingrich


There must have been 400 people squeezed into a room with a health and safety limit of 150. The fire marshal wasn’t happy.

The heat of the TV lights made it sauna-like but no one seemed to care.

Mr Gingrich told them: “It is very humbling and very sobering to have so many people who so deeply want their country to get back on the right track.

“We want to run not a Republican campaign, we want to run an American campaign.”

:: See our interactive graphic on the results so far of the Republican primaries

The dismal results in Iowa and New Hampshire seemed a world away.

Even a week ago, he was trailing Mitt Romney and appeared to be a long-shot for the nomination.


So far this victory by Newt does not seem to be sitting well with those who run the Republican party.

Read the blog by Washington commentator Jon-Christopher Bua


But his fiery and belligerent performances in two televised debates, attacking his critics and the media, have resurrected his hopes.

One of his supporters told me: “Newt’s there for me, the man fights, Romney doesn’t fight. I want a man who fights for me, not just for himself.”

Mr Romney slipped on his awkward failure to answer questions about tax return, his record of flip-flopping and doubts among evangelical voters about his Mormon faith.

He vowed to fight for “every vote in every state” and his powerful campaign machine and fund-raising prowess mean he is probably still favourite.
Republican Primaries


Exit polling in South Carolina made for interesting reading.

Voters said the debates played a major role and for many the priority was picking someone who could beat Barack Obama.

For many, Mr Gingrich ticked the right box.

Fifteen years to the day after his career low, fined and reprimanded by the House he led for ethics violations, he has certainly hit a high.

See pictures below from the Republican campaign in South Carolina.



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