Newt Gingrich in Sarasota

By Megan McDonald January 24, 2012

Here I am chatting with Callista Gingrich.

At the Newt Gingrich rally at Dolphin Aviation this afternoon, Callista G. got off the campaign bus and made a beeline for me. She clearly had something on her mind.

“They took us to a wonderful restaurant and then they didn’t let us eat,” she complained.

“What restaurant?” I asked, sensing an unusual journalistic opportunity.

Michael’s,” she said.

“Oh, that is good,” I said. “You want me to get you some potato chips from the snack bar?”

“No, that’s OK,” she sighed. “They keep us on that bus, they don’t tell us where we are. It’s good to get out in the sunshine.”

Callista was beautifully dressed in black slacks and a sort of tweedy jacket, with a plain gold necklace and an enormous diamond ring that sparkled in the Florida sun--the famous jewelry from Tiffany?

Newt Gingrich greets supporters.

Here’s a trick I’ve learned about political rallies. Don’t hang out inside with the crowd and the boring warm-up speeches. Instead head around to the back of the building where the bus pulls up. There’s hardly anybody there, and the candidates' spouses—and sometimes the candidates themselves—are often looking for someone to talk to.

“What do you do during the debates?” I asked. (The big Tampa debate had happened the night before.)

“I watch from the audience,” she said. “Then, during the breaks, I go up and encourage Newt.”

“Do you tell him what he’s doing wrong?”

“Of course. I’m his wife.”

What an exciting week, politics-wise. Rick Santorum will be here Sunday, and Michelle Obama is coming Thursday. Check back here for more tidbits and fashion reports.


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