Considering that Newt Gingrich's typical campaign stop is a book signing or a movie premiere, and that he's Newt Gingrich, one of our nation's more shameless specimens, many have wondered whether, perhaps, this odd 2012 presidential run was merely a promotional stunt for the Gingriches to sell more of their dime-store wingnut porn. This latest outside-group ad that's running in Iowa goes a long way towards confirming that.

Here we have the hazy post-Citizens United realm of campaign finance being exploited into surreality, by the Gingriches and the actual Citizens United production company. This Citizens United ad, Politico reports, has started running in the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids markets — "as well as on Fox News" — after a $250,000 ad buy. It's a promotional clip Citizens United's 2009 Reagan documentary, which stars Newt and Callista Gingrich as the "hosts." They also serve as executive producers. (The Gingriches' own production company, Gingrich Productions, has made a number of dumb DVDs with Citizens United over the years.)

And of course it's supposed to double as your usual outside-group ad supporting Gingrich's campaign. Politico:

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The footage is clearly old (Callista Gingrich's hair style is very different in it) but the buy can try to blunt some of the wave of negative attack ads against Gingrich airing right now, albeit without the same number of points behind it. And it yokes Gingrich pretty definitively to Reagan, something he himself does on the trail.

So, to summarize this sleazy new arrangement between campaigns and capitalism that Newt Gingrich is surely proud of innovating: An outside political group is running Iowa ads in support of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign as time runs out, but the outside group's ad is actually a two-year-old commercial for a DVD that Gingrich has a financial stake in. So Gingrich gets traditional campaign-ad help by having a message reinforced — that he's Ronald Reagan's guy — and both Citizens United and the Gingriches make more money by selling copies of their forgotten DVD, while Gingrich is in the news.

Yep, sounds about right.