Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway"

The quote is from John Wayne. When Newt toured the John Wayne Museum back in July -- shortly after Michelle Bachmann had some, uh, problems identifying where Wayne was born -- Newt 2012's new campaign manager Michael Krull saw the quote on a bumper sticker and bought it.

Later that night, as we were sitting in the hotel bar, Newt joked that it was a fitting quote given that just a month earlier -- after much of the campaign staff quit and journalists started writing the campaign's obituary -- Krull was asked to help steady the ship. Many reporters said the campaign would be ending any day, and none had the foresight to see the campaign rebounding.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Krull, who previously served as national director of American Solutions and who has been a friend of Callista Gingrich's for years, would be stepping down as the campaign manager. The campaign has moved into a new phase as it prepares for a debate at the GOP convention on who is the best candidate to take on President Obama.

Vince Haley, who has been the campaign's deputy campaign manager and policy director -- in addition to being key to the South Carolina Primary victory -- will replace Krull.

"Haley’s familiarity with Gingrich’s policy positions and his ability to highlight their significance were cited as reasons behind his new leadership role in the campaign," writes Joy Lin on

National Review's Robert Costa sent out a few tweets about the news:

"Smart of Newt to tap Vince Haley as he transitions to a small-ball strategy pre-Tampa. No one knows him better, played a big role in SC win" (link)

"The youthful DeSantis-RC-Haley crew stuck with Newt in the summer, they're sticking with him now. Newt loyalists. Serious about Tampa play." (link)

"Remember this? It was 9 months ago. I'm not saying Newt will win, but I'm continually fascinated by his survival." (link)

That piece he linked to in the last tweet -- which can be read here -- was an interview Costa did with Joe DeSantis, the campaign's communications director, shortly after the staff shakeup in June. In it, DeSantis laid out the vision that would end up getting Newt to the top of the polls.

No one thought it was possible in June for the campaign to survive until December, let alone walk into the Polk County GOP Dinner in Iowa on December 1 -- at which Newt gave the keynote address -- as the frontrunner for the nomination. But it did.

So forgive me if I don't rightly care what the mainstream media is now saying.

Is Newt 100% assured of being the nominee? Of course not. But neither is Romney, and Santorum is definitely not near a lock.

So as long as Newt is still standing, I'm with him.

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