For Newt Gingrich, the next comeback bid may be his hardest yet.
The former House speaker didn’t just lose to Mitt Romney in Florida this week; he got beaten within an inch of his life. Now, Gingrich – along with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul – heads into a weeks-long lull in the campaign, with a lapse of 20 days before the next debate and nearly a month before the next major primaries in Arizona and Michigan.
If Gingrich is going to stop Romney’s candidacy from becoming a runaway train, he needs to change the terms of the race much sooner than that. And short of a hit-the-jackpot stroke of luck – another massive super PAC donation from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, or a dramatic screw-up on Romney’s part – Gingrich is going to have to be creative.
Here are five ways Gingrich could reboot for the month of February, retool his message and refocus his campaign on the increasingly desperate goal of beating Romney.