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Readying for a Rick Perry run? Gingrich aides quit en masse

Readying for a Rick Perry run? Gingrich aides quit en masse

To be fair, there are a lot of reasons to quit Newt Gingrich's campaign. Like the way he dissed Paul Ryan's Medicare plan before taking it back when people got mad. And the bombastic press releases that earn dramatic readings by John Lithgow. Or his Tiffany & Co. habit that left him in six figures of debt to the jeweler. Or the way no one wants to vote for him.

Really, it could be any of these things.

But among Washington insiders, the news following Gingrich's key staffers quitting en masse on Thursday is that they are jumping ship for another Republican campaign — Rick Perry's.

Two of those Gingrich aides, campaign manager Rob Johnson, and strategist Dave Carney, are longtime members of Rick Perry's staff. Before the news broke, The Wall Street Journal considered Carney and Johnson's absence a key obstacle in a potential Perry presidential campaign:

"Should he run, Mr. Perry would first have to overcome an organizational hurdle. Assured that he wasn't running, his two top campaign aides, Mr. Carney and former campaign manager Rob Johnson, both signed up with Mr. Gingrich."

The availability of the two men doesn't necessarily equal a Perry campaign. But it's the strongest indication yet that one is forthcoming. CBS News is now reporting that Perry is "serious" about a run and is meeting with donors this week. (What happened to playing hard-to-get?)

Is Perry taking his cowboy boots to Washington? Do you think he'll run, and do you think he can win?

News_Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
News_Dave Carney
Dave Carney
News_Rob Johnson
Rob Johnson