The Corner

Catch Up

Can Gingrich do it?

Newt Gingrich has taken the Republican primary campaign by storm, but with weeks until Iowans caucus, his biggest challenge, according to GOP insiders, is organization. The former speaker, operatives say, may be leading in the polls, but unless he aggressively escalates his campaign, Mitt Romney may have an edge on the ground, where Gingrich is scrambling to expand his lean machine.

“Newt’s situation is like having the fastest car and best driver in a NASCAR race, but no crew and not enough gas to finish the race,” says Ed Rollins, who has managed campaigns for Ronald Reagan, Mike Huckabee, and Michele Bachmann. “He has to get a crew and raise money to finish the race. . . . It’s a long season and one race doesn’t win you the championship.”

Gingrich advisers, however, tell National Review Online that supporters should not worry, or accept the Beltway’s conventional wisdom about field operations. In early primary states, they say, the campaign is hiring staff and coordinating volunteers. As the clock ticks, mirroring Romney’s efforts is not their aim. Instead, they are looking to build a flexible infrastructure for their candidate, focusing on tea-party coalitions, town halls, and social networking.

“Keep it simple, keep it loose, let Newt be Newt,” is how one Gingrich confidant puts it, describing the campaign’s internal thinking. Indeed, Gingrich’s return to the top of the polls, his aides say, is related in part to his ability to run a positive, solutions-oriented campaign, with a core group of dedicated organizers hustling behind the scenes, not a coterie of paid politicos.

More on the home page.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More