Boy, that Newt Gingrich campaign was a weird, wonderful thing, wasn’t it? After stumbling badly out of the gate last spring — please recall his participation in the most awkward handshake of all time — Gingrich hung around as a non-factor for months until a couple of snarky debate moments briefly turned him into the field’s premier anti-Romney candidate, and the winner of the South Carolina primary. He then remained in the race long after his relevance had faded, if only to visit zoos around the country on the generosity of his delusional donors. Finally, today, Gingrich announced that he was calling it quits — but not before reminding the nation what it will be missing. In Arlington, Virginia, this afternoon, Gingrich delivered what GOP strategist Ed Rollins called afterward “one of the worst farewells I’ve ever seen.” That is true. But it was also trademark Gingrich, as the following list of key quotes attests:
- “Callista and I have done seven documentaries.”
- “Captain John Smith”
- “Electromagnetic pulse or nano-scale new technology”
- “It’s actually less red tape to mine an asteroid than it is to get through the EPA in the United States.”
- “I happen to think [math and science is] a better future than methamphetamine and cocaine.”
- “This may be too big a challenge, even for someone who used to be Speaker of the House, but … ”
- “I’m asked sometimes, ‘Is Mitt Romney conservative enough?’ And my answer is simple. ‘Compared to Barack Obama?’ You know, this is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan.”
- “I’m not totally certain I will get to the moon colony. I am certain [my grandchildren] Maggie and Robert will have that opportunity if they want to take it.”
- “I think their generation will look back at the olden days, when people didn’t have holograms at home … and they will live in a very different world.”
- “I’m confident about this future for Maggie and Robert, because I’ve written three novels about George Washington … ”
- “You know, the Kaiser was convinced … “
Tremendous. A perfect mix of pomposity, pettiness, a preoccupation with space exploration, and random historical references.
As one final farewell, let us now relive the greatest moments from Gingrich’s always entertaining campaign.