After almost 4,500 posts, have we ever run the same pic three different times? I’m not sure, but after Newt’s huge (non-)victory sweep last night, Stephen Crowley’s classic from last October is dead-on again. Whereas any right-minded politician would take last night’s results as the sign to give up, for Gingrich and his “Contract on American Politics,” the Romney losses were like a flashing green light.
Yes, the photo is stunning in the way Newt balances between clownish mascot and naturalist art. Also back then, because Newt didn’t have anymore skin in the game then the hope of selling as many books as possible, here — with that knowing look and the pen in his hand — he and Callista are inscribing like their next visit to Tiffany’s depends on it.
After these two Southern primaries, however, having been twice left for dead and now there for good, the man’s truly the GOP’s elephant in the room, the incarnation of Shakespeare’s Puck from Midsummer Night’s Dream. So, here’s to Newt, the trickster, and to Crowley with a few choice quotes. See you in Louisiana!
Then will two at once woo one;
That must needs be sport alone;
And those things do best please me
That befall prepost’rously.
— Puck, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
— Puck, again
“With this elephant off in the corner, the plasticity of the scene and the Gingrich gaze, the impression to me is of Gingrich realizing that he’s been caught in the act of something. I think he realizes it. Maybe there’s this shared moment with the viewer; an understanding that maybe this whole thing is a little absurd.” – photographer Brendan Hoffman from the BagNews GOP Campaign Salon
…And then,finally, someone please tell me this brief ABC video clip with Newt (excuse the commercial) isn’t really life imitating The Daily Show.
(photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times caption: Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, signed books at the Values Voter Summit in Washington in October 2011.)