Newt Gingrich: Bad Candidate, Great Cruisemate

The barely-there presidential candidate is focusing on having a "great time"

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Newt Gingrich hasn't convinced voters he'd make a good president, but he did win over fellow passengers on the luxury Mediterranean cruise he took in June. An anonymous couple told the CruiseMates blog that the Gingriches--now famous for their love of Tiffany's jewelry and private planes--were totally low-key. Which must surely have pleased Gingrich: in an interview with a Georgia newspaper, he sounds a lot more like a guy looking to win fans than one who's after votes.
Though it ran yesterday with the headline "Gingrich: I'm Not Giving Up,"  his interview with Marietta Daily Journal's Jon Gillooly sounded a lot more like a guy reflecting on a bad beat than a candidate who still feels like he's in the race. Take his musings on how his massive Twitter follower list is covered. Perhaps referring to a July 12 Politico article which crowned him the champion of tweets, his discussion of his campaign (which suffered a wave of mass resignations shortly after that cruise) seems distinctly past tense:
And it says, 'now it's true that Gingrich has 1.3 million followers and (Michele) Bachmann only has 59,000, but she's getting more new people every week.' It turned out I have six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined, but it didn't count because if it counted I'd still be a candidate; since I can't be a candidate that can't count. So we've been a little bit like a sailing ship in the middle of a hurricane in which we are sailing straight into the teeth of the media, and that slowed us down.

Political analysts may not put much stock in social networks, but they do pay close attention to fundraising. And with just $2.1 million raised in the second quarter (compared to Mitt Romney's $18.5 million), Gingrich doesn't seem to be expecting donations to pick up any time soon:
If you look at the news media coverage, the elite media went out of their way for seven or eight weeks to attack me. ... You had day after day people saying, 'well, his campaign's dead. He's gone. It's over.' ...
So I'm having a great time. Meanwhile, every night on every talk show various analysts, none of whom have been in Iowa, are all going, 'well, Gingrich is gone.' What that really did was is it affected our fundraising very dramatically, didn't affect voters, but it affected our fundraising very dramatically.
Luckily, for him, Gingrich has never faced a shortage of things to say. Good times.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.