There might be worse things for Newt Gingrich than the 20-point lead the Mittmeister seems to have built up in Florida, courtesy of ad expenditure in the region of $6.8 million. But there surely aren't sadder scenes than this one, according to New York Magazine's John Heilemann -
At what was billed as a Hispanic town hall meeting at another church yesterday in Orlando, Gingrich was greeted by row after row of empty pews and maybe 40 voters in attendance. For a full hour after the scheduled starting time, Gingrich and his wife, Callista, sat outside, cloistered in his campaign bus — possibly sulking, possibly fuming at his campaign's horrid advance work, and surely praying that a few more souls would show up. When Gingrich finally entered the building, it was announced that the event was a town hall no more; the candidate would speak briefly, then take pictures with the scant few who'd turned up. And "briefly" was an understatement: Standing behind a Lucite lectern, Gingrich talked for a bare eight minutes and eleven seconds, looking deflated and exhausted. By no small margin, it was the worst and saddest campaign event that I have witnessed in this presidential cycle.
After the glory moments of South Carolina, here's Newt back on terra firma and holding out for yet another come-back. But Heilemann reckons he might decide to make a fight of it all the way to the convention, which would be a nightmare for Romney, and possibly the Republican Party. After all, Newt does nothing quietly. If Florida doesn't comprehensively bury him, he'll be up and running again soon. They love this show in the White House.