Next came Gingrich's teaching of a series of college courses -- again, brilliant -- that were broadcast across America by a satellite hookup. The university involved was accused of political favoritism. Again, poor planning left mud on Newt's face.
The list goes on.
Here's the key, and the secret. Few if any of these ideas that go awry come from Newt. Almost always it's a sincere Gingrich "insider" who persuades him that some new idea is the best ever. The problem is that if it isn't, it's Newt who takes the heat.
A million dollars is a million reasons to convince yourself that the donor is an honorable citizen who has every right to give.
That's true enough. But it won't solve the problem of the "527" group now looking like a front for gaming interests. Or worse, a loud echo to the Abramoff scandal.
There's no wrongdoing here, just political misjudgment.
Of course, some surrounding Newt may say, "Who cares about the presidency?"
That's the same logic used when Gingrich needlessly gave up the U.S. House speakership when he had the votes to stay in power.
Gingrich is uniquely qualified to turn this nation around as its president. I believe that.
I don't believe this 527 slot machine will pay off.
Newt, take the best advice I ever got from someone in Vegas: Leave town with the same bankroll you arrived with. It's the only way to win on the strip.