Just 16 years ago, Newt Gingrich was the toast of the Republican Party, the political hot-shot who had engineered a GOP takeover of the U.S. House after 40 years of Democratic rule.
Time magazine named Man of the Year in 1995, and his party-mates elevated him to speakership of the House. Politicians and pundits hung on his every word. He was the proverbial master of all he surveyed.
But it didn’t last long. A showdown with then-President Bill Clinton led to a government shutdown, a minor calamity for which Gingrich was mostly blamed. And when he complained about being snubbed by Clinton on a flight to Israel for Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral, Gingrich was widely perceived as too full of himself.
Then came various ethics charges against him and a rebellion against his leadership by Republican colleagues who saw his tarnished image as a liability to the GOP. When Republicans lost five house seats in the 1998 mid-term elections, Gingrich resigned both the speakership and his congressional seat.
Nor was his reputation enhanced any by public revelations of his private life, including two divorces and allegations of adultery.
Still, Gingrich has remained politically active as an author and orator, and this year he decided to make a bid for the Republican presidential nomination. But the effort has been an unmitigated disaster from the get-go.
And now, as we see HERE, the Newtster’s campaign is deep in debt.
Surely, it won’t be long before he walks off into the political sunset.