The GOP establishment better get used to Newt

A rhyming commentariat chorus inside the GOP wrote Gingrich off. But now he's back — and he's not going away

Robert Shrum

Newt Gingrich gives hope to baby boomers everywhere. Perhaps they, too, can have yet another career. Historian, speaker of the House, novelist, quasi-lobbyist, consultant, commentator — and now Newt may be on a glide path to the Republican nomination. Perhaps I can aspire to conduct the Metropolitan Opera.

That's as far-fetched as Gingrich's chances seemed last summer, when his advisers presciently deserted him for the fast-rising and, as it turned out, slow-witted Rick Perry. Newt was rated down, ridiculed, and written off by a rhyming commentariat chorus inside and outside the GOP — by everyone except... well, his wife, Callista. When the LGBT leader and veteran progressive activist David Mixner wrote months back of a Gingrich comeback, his friends wondered and warned: What was he seeing that everyone else was missing? Seldom if ever has anyone been so dismissed, so many times as the Tea Partier from Tiffany's — and risen so fast from the ashes of the op-ed pages.

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Robert Shrum has been a senior adviser to the Gore 2000 presidential campaign, the campaign of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the British Labour Party. In addition to being the chief strategist for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, Shrum has advised thirty winning U.S. Senate campaigns; eight winning campaigns for governor; mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major cities; and the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. Shrum's writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New Republic, Slate, and other publications. The author of No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner (Simon and Schuster), he is currently a Senior Fellow at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.