Though the sun is shining here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it shines not for Newt Gingrich, as he failed to submit the 10,000 signatures necessary to appear on the GOP primary ballot in March. Gingrich had promised that he would deliver the signatures himself by Thursday's deadline, but he now joins every candidate besides Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, in failing to appear on the ballot. "Winning campaigns have to be able to execute on the fundamentals," senior Romney advisor Eric Fehernstrom gloated to the Times. "This is like watching a hitter in the World Series failing to lay down a bunt." Or like buying the Scottie tag charm without the dog bone charm.
"It's a disaster for him," UVA politics professor Larry Sabato notes. "This sends yet another signal to Republicans that Gingrich is not able to organize." Gingrich's campaign director Michael Krull released a statement vowing to "pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice." Too bad Virginia doesn't allow for write-in candidates in the primary. Intern heads are rolling!
Lest Romney's campaign get too confident, as the AP points out, he's "essentially been running for president for five years," and Gingrich still bests him in recent polling, though not as much as before people realized that he was Newt Gingrich. If Gingrich keeps the race close by Super Tuesday, he could potentially need the state's delegates to pull away from a Romney. For Newt's sake, we hope that Callista forgives him for this. If she adopts this laser beam death glare talking about Christmas lights, we'd rather not see her reaction to the botched signatures.