Gingrich Reboots in Beverly Hills

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich plans to deliver a foreign policy address in Beverly Hills Sunday evening, marking the relaunch of a campaign that began imploding almost as soon as it was rolled out.

Twenty-nine days after it was launched with an announcement on YouTube, the first phase of Gingrich's campaign culminated in dramatic fashion Thursday with the resignation en masse of the campaign's senior staff.

"There is a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting community and the kind of campaign I want to run," the 67-year-old former Speaker of the House told reporters Friday in explaining the rift. "Now, we'll find out over the next year who is right."

Things began going bad for Gingrich soon after he announced his candidacy when he appeared on "Meet the Press" and criticized as "right wing social engineering" the Medicare provisions set out in the budget drafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and supported by almost all House Republicans.

Widely condemned by other Republicans, Gingrich soon was apologizing profusely.

Then, the thrice-married Georgian found himself confronting revelations that he had a $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany's, which dinged his image as a fiscal conservative even though there have been no allegations of delinquencies or financial improprieties related to the jewelry purchases.

But what seemed to kill the relationship for the senior staff was the candidate's decision to take a two-week vacation highlighted by a cruise in the Greek islands with his wife, Callista, at a time when aides apparently felt he should have been raising funds for a reportedly cash-strapped campaign.

In what has been described as a campaign relaunch, Gingrich is scheduled to discuss the Middle East as the keynote speaker at the "Summer Bash" of the Los Angeles chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition at the Beverly Hilton Sunday night.

Then, on Monday he will be in New Hampshire to debate other GOP presidential hopefuls.
 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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