National/World

Newt Gingrich: Quitting Campaign Easier Said Than Done

Sunday, April 29, 2012
Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich (AP Photo)

Everyone has been reminded at some point or another, "Don't be a quitter." But for most politicians running for president, there comes a time when, like it or not, you have to be a quitter.

Newt Gingrich is the latest to face this dilemma: beaten, bruised, and battered after a campaign that once looked promising, when to quit? How to quit? Only two months after he surged to a commanding victory in South Carolina, Gingrich only has one other win in his home state of Georgia to make the case for his continued presence in the race. The campaign of Rick Santorum, ahead of Gingrich in the polls and a far greater threat to frontrunner Mitt Romney, has urged Gingrich to drop out, but thus far the former House Speaker refuses to do so.

There's an art to exiting. And it's not always as simple as the moment when you realize you can't win.

Take Gingrich himself, for instance. Even with all his outsized, bombastic confidence, surely he must know by now that there is no way he can beat Romney to the nomination. Gingrich led the race last Thanksgiving, then tumbled to two dismal results at the start of the primary, first in Iowa, then New Hampshire. Gingrich surged to a win in South Carolina, then collapsed in Florida. With 21 states having voted already, it would take a miracle for him to come back at this point  or, in the words of the Romney campaign, an "act of God."

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