Newt Gingrich, outsider candidate for president, addressed reporters at his decidedly inside-the-Beltway home in McLean, Virginia this morning, regarding yesterday's hilarious mass quitting of 16 top staffers. No, he's not ending his campaign, you amoral leeches. In fact yesterday's implosion was quite liberating! Now he can run the brilliant, innovative campaign he's always wanted, freed from the calcified constraints of the "traditional consulting community."
What do political consultants know about the modern world? Very little, Gingrich implies. And he'd be right about that in a lot of cases. But any professional consultant's plan would serve the campaign better than Plan B, which is "Newt and Callista winging it." Here's the spin that Plan B came up with this morning:
"Let me just say that there is a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting community, and the kind of campaign I want to run. Now, we'll find out over the next year who's right. But I believe we live in a time when Americans are genuinely frightened for their country's future, and when the country really wants to have leadership that talks with them honestly, and isn't automatically doing the old politics.
"We make decisions as a couple. I think most couples would find that refreshing, not a problem, and I think that what we've been trying to do is carry messages to the American people and listen to the American people. And you'll see us over the next few weeks doing it in new and dynamic and much more open ways than the traditional consultants are comfortable with."
The split between Gingrich and his ex-staffers over strategy was simple: Consultants thought he needed to raise a significant amount of money, hold several campaign events each day spread across three early primary states, not go on fucking vacations to Greece for two weeks, and shake as many human hands as possible. Gingrich, on the other hand, wanted to focus on spreading his ideas through the Internet and social media, and doing well in the occasional debates. Which plan seems more likely to be successful? Usually it's the one that requires more work.
Besides, what is this grand social media strategy — and "social media strategy" in politics, btw, just means "something that doesn't work" — he thinks he has? The only Newt Gingrich that I see on my Internets is him and his wife retweeting each other's announcements about big sales at the Gingrich Productions online gift shop.