Yes, Newt Gingrich's campaign has had a very shaky start and, according to Politico, it just got shakier. But, staff do not make a campaign, a campaign makes the staff. There are plenty of bright young operatives who will be thrilled to work on a presidential campaign. There are plenty of young Republicans who would be very willing to work with Gingrich even if they knew he could not win for one very simple reason: Gingrich has more ideas in a day than the rest of the field has in a month. He would be a fun person to work with. And, no matter who is the next Republican in the White House, and whether that person arrives in 2013 or 2017 or 2021, Gingrich will play a big role in any future GOP administration simply because of his intellectual firepower.
This is also one of those moments when you get to look behind the curtain of official politicaldom. Disenchanted ex-aides contact reporters anxious for stories and tell their tales. None of it amounts to a hill of beans outside the Beltway. Within the ranks of professional campaign operatives, few are the men and women who stand out for their brilliance or even for their ability to make a difference. There are plenty of pollsters and ad-men and field strategists who have not had an original idea in decades and whose employment is guaranteed only by the constitutional provisions for regular elections. Some people sell dish detergent. Others sell candidates. It tells you next to nothing about Newt Gingrich to be told that a given campaign staffer quit. Tomorrow, no matter who is working for him, Gingrich will still be a force to be reckoned with inside the GOP.