Newt’s Iowa Ad

It’s a Morning In America thing, and the late-night comics will probably have their way with it.

A little on the hokey side. But folks in Iowa might like it.

Of course, what he needs isn’t ads. What Newt needs is volunteers. His problem is he doesn’t have much of an organization up there right now.

Gingrich’s Iowa co-chair, Greg Ganske, a former congressman and plastic surgeon in Iowa, admitted the campaign “got behind (in organizing) because of the summer troubles.” But that’s an understatement when looking at the campaign now: a surging candidate just one month before the caucuses kick off the voting season and very little traditional infrastructure to back up the numbers.

The campaign has six Iowa staffers and says they are hiring more, but in this season when organization may mean less than it ever has here, it may not matter.

Jeff Kaufman is the speaker pro tem of the Iowa House of Representatives, the third highest ranking position in the Iowa House, and he’s also Gingrich’s senior policy advisor — although he admits to wearing several hats.

Kaufman said the campaign is working “around the clock right now to put the mechanics and process in place.”

“Obviously it’s a bit late in the game to find a county chair for every county, but in every county you are likely to identify people who are Gingrich supporters,” Kaufman said. “There is no doubt about it, you are not going to see a Ron Paul-like machine at the caucuses.”

Kaufman did say supporters and undecided voters can count on one thing: Gingrich will be all over the state in the next month.

Perhaps. But he has the same problem in New Hampshire as well.

Gingrich’s New Hampshire campaign headquarters has been open for a month, but the phone system isn’t hooked up. Offices sit empty. And the former House speaker has entrusted his success in the first-in-the-nation primary state to a 29-year-old tea party activist with virtually no political experience.

“I’ve never worked on any campaign before,” state director Andrew Hemmingway, who flirted with a congressional bid last year, said Friday. “A campaign with resources and time and money stands back and says, ‘Who are the best people for these positions?’ We are a campaign fueled by passion. Everybody in my office is an activist.”

We understand Newt’s campaign is signing up every Republican political operative in sight, including a host of the folks now homeless after Herman Cain’s campaign went down for the dirtnap over the weekend. Cain himself is rumored to be about to endorse Gingrich, though the Cain people deny that.

It seems clear, though, that even though there are smatterings of Rick Perry getting a second look or Jon Huntsman getting a second look or Rick Santorum getting a second look, that the anti-Romney vote is beginning to congeal around Gingrich. And if that continues to be the case and he doesn’t implode, which he might yet do, Newt looks like he’s going to be the nominee.

Romney, meanwhile, seems to be taking every opportunity to screw things up. Following up on a terrible interview with Bret Baier last week, he then chickened out of a Lincoln-Douglas debate with Gingrich set for two weeks from today. And now the Romney camp is terrified that they don’t have a strategy to beat Newt.

It’s going to be an interesting five weeks.



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