Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011

Newt Gingrich

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's late surge in the Republican presidential primary was as unlikely as his return to the national stage in the first place. After more than a decade out of power, Gingrich had one of the the worst campaign launches in memory: staff departures, ill-timed vacations, a public feud with GOP budget darling Paul Ryan and revelations of a $500,000 credit line at high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. nearly aborted his candidacy on the launchpad. But with Rick Perry hobbled by gaffes and Herman Cain scuttled by scandal, Gingrich eventually emerged as the foremost conservative alternative to establishment front-runner Mitt Romney; his sharp debate performances marked by criticism of the mainstream media gave voice to a disaffected right yearning to best President Obama without settling for less.