Rich Galen

* On Saturday, after the "I'm not running" announcement came out, I called Newt's spokesman, Rick Tyler to find out what the deal was. Tyler said that the same lawyer who was going to run the evaluation on Friday had concluded by Saturday that Newt could not maintain his position as the head of his American Solutions organization while plotting a political campaign for President.

* On ABC's "This Week" Newt said,

"We were informed yesterday morning that [under the terms of McCain-Feingold] if I had any communication with American Solutions after I became a candidate, it was a criminal offense."

* Newt did not say (or the summary of his appearance on the website did not report) who the "we" was nor who had done the informing.

* It is possible that Newt had his press shop send out the advisory on Friday without actually talking with Evans and making certain that Evans wanted to take on that role, but the level of detail in the advisory regarding things like the contact person at Evans' law firm for the press to get further details makes that unlikely.

* It is also possible that Evans got caught up in Newt's fervor on Friday - everyone in Newt World is guilty of that at one time or another - but Evans has been around Newt for a long time and has been known as being a reliably steady hand on the rudder.

* Assuming Al Gore doesn't suddenly decide the country wants him back, Newt's announcement means the Presidential field is set and a little over 14 weeks from today we will all be back here in Des Moines for the Iowa Caucuses as the official process of choosing nominees will begin.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at