In the last 24 hours, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich has touched base with several prominent Republicans in his former home state, telling them that he intends to make a run for president in 2012 using Georgia as his base -- and that he already has his eye on office space in Buckhead for a campaign headquarters.AJC writer Jim Galloway:
The visits and conversations -- some face-to-face, others on the phone -- appear to be an attempt by Gingrich to revive his old campaign network and lock down as much support as possible in a state won by Republican Mike Huckabee in the 2008 presidential primary.
A spokeswoman for Johnny Isakson said Gingrich called the U.S. senator earlier this month -- adding that Gingrich was not definite about his plans in that conversation. In an interview on Friday, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said he had not talked to Gingrich yet, but that the former U.S. House speaker had asked for an appointment in the near future. 'He said, ‘I need a significant amount of your time,’ ' Chambliss said.
Perhaps more important, fundraising for Gingrich’s American Solutions organization is conducted out of Atlanta.
However, Rick Tyler, a spokesman for Gingrich, contacted Friday, said the former House speaker’s schedule for deciding on a 2012 presidential run had not changed. 'His plans are to decide on whether to create an exploratory committee in late February, and make a decision about his candidacy in March,' Tyler said.
But Tyler said that Atlanta shouldn’t be ruled out as a headquarters -- should Gingrich join the presidential contest.