Slouching Towards Tampa (Newtorious B.I.G. edition)

Last month’s Friday the 13th was an inauspicious day for Newt Gingrich. The disgraced former Speaker and vanity presidential candidate was lucky enough to get a private tour of the St. Louis Zoo, but Gingrich’s luck ran out when he was bitten by a Magellanic penguin.

What prompted the attack is unknown. Since Gingrich pontificates more frequently than most people blink, the penguin could have been irked by some insufferably pompous pronouncement. Or maybe the bird prefers Romney. Perhaps it simply mistook Gingrich for a pasty, freakishly large cuttlefish.

Whatever the cause, Gingrich’s campaign never recovered, even if his finger did. It was no secret that things were already going badly. Gingrich had begun renting out his donor list to help cover a $4.5 million campaign debt. The Center for Health Transformation, a Gingrich “think” tank, filed for Chapter 7. The campaign bounced a $500 check to Utah.

Finally, having previously announced that he would announce the end of his campaign, he announced the end of his campaign:

“Today I am suspending the campaign, but suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship…”

Pow! Take that, all you people who believe that suspending a campaign means suspending citizenship!

Gingrich himself offered up the best epitaph for his campaign, and for the Republican Party in general:

“I think you have to at some point be honest with what’s happening in the real world, as opposed to what you’d like to have happened.”

It’s going to be fascinating to see how this honesty thing works out for Gingrich. 68 is a bit long in the tooth to be trying something like this for the first time. On the other hand, it’s not like he has anything else to do, other than gaze fondly into the mirror while he hums “Hail to the Chief.”