Among the issues, according to knowledgeable sources, was the two-week vacation that Gingrich and his wife, Callista, insisted upon taking against the advice of his top political staff. Coming as it did after one of the most diastrous campaign launches in recent memory, it raised questions as to whether Gingrich would be willing to “commit time to the grassroots,” said Tyler.
Gingrich had returned earlier this week and visited New Hampshire but remained largely off the campaign trail.
Carney and Johnson are longtime aides to Texas Gov. Rick Perry who has said in recent days that he is contemplating a run for president himself in 2012. The Carney and Johnson resignations will fuel speculation that Perry is moving toward the race.
I’ve always kind of liked Newt, but he’s a flake. I remember listening to a dinner table conversation in the 1990s about Newt between two people who were much more insiders than me, so I kept my mouth shut and paid attention. The first, who I won’t name, was a woman who attained some prominence in politics in the 1990s, but struck me as a flake. She was highly enthusiastic about Newt running for President.
The other person was General William Odom, who had been Zbig’s assistant for military intelligence in the Carter Administration, then head of the National Security Administration in the Reagan Administration. He was not a flake. Odom rolled his eyes at the idea of President Newt, and replied that when Gingrich had first obtained a leadership position in Congress in the 1980s, Odom had invited Gingrich over to get the two-hour NSA briefing reserved for the top few officials in Congress. When Newt showed up, however, he talked for two hours straight, giving Odom’s staff Newt’s two-hour tour d’horizon. Nobody left the room better informed than they had entered, except in terms of awareness of Newt’s chief liability: Americans want leaders who give the impression that they know more than they are saying, but nobody could possibly know more than Newt says.