Newt Gingrich is finally embracing reality and dropping out of the presidential race. The conventional wisdom, as articulated by the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein, is that he did himself more harm than good with this run:
Rick Santorum ... can be said to have won even in losing.... But for Newt Gingrich, he actually did lose by losing.
Going into the campaign, Gingrich had a career as an author, speaker, Fox contributor and policy entrepreneur. But now, as Molly Ball reported last week:
The Fox News contributor gig is no longer, having been suspended when Gingrich became a candidate, and quietly canceled thereafter....... I expect to see him reemerge as a media figure. But I hope my fellow conservatives don't take him seriously once he's no longer useful as a vehicle for stopping (or slowing) Romney.
The policy and consulting enterprise Gingrich helmed is similarly on the rocks. American Solutions for Winning the Future, his major nonprofit, shut down last August, and the Gingrich Group, his for-profit advocacy shop, filed for bankruptcy in Georgia earlier this month....
Oh, he'll be taken seriously. If Romney loses, he'll be one of the two principal non-Romneys who told the GOP not to nominate that RINO; he's leapt ahead of Bachmann, Perry, and Cain as the guy best positioned to exploit a Romney loss.
And if he can't exploit it on Fox, well, Fox was never his only outlet -- he's always been one of the go-to Republicans on Sunday morning chat shows. He'll go right back to that again, not as a gray eminence whose heyday was the last century, but as a guy who's deemed relevant because of recent events.
And if Romney wins? Well, just as Sunday shows will need to be majority GOP if Obama wins, in order to maintain "balance," Sunday shows will need to be majority GOP if Romney wins, because the "liberal media" will need emissaries from this brave new Republican world to explain the party's ways. And who better than a guy who rode the primary circuit with Mitt, and who happens to be an old friend of the Sunday shows to boot?
Oh, no, Newt didn't ruin his brand. Quite the contrary. In the Beltway, Republicans' careers are all but unkillable.