If you wanted to know the state of Newt Gingrich’s campaign right now all you had to do was watch Fred Thompson on Meet the Press on Sunday. With his hair slicked back and wisps of uncut frizz flipping out in the back, Thompson delivered his lines haltingly and with his head bowed, while focusing downward as he talked. I won’t get into the fantasy Thompson floated that if Republicans had held out during the government shutdown in the mid-90s they’d have… er, won. It was a tour de force whine from camp Gingrich about how big bad Mitt had played too dirty. Hypocrisy unlimited, the bellyaching stems from the reality that Newt can’t match Mitt’s money, because if he could he’d be doing the same thing. Anybody doubt that fact?

Favorite recent headline: Newt May Be Mad and Mental Enough to Fight On Long After Florida, an article by John Heilimann.

Here’s an excerpt:

In a weekend of trailing the former speaker to a series of events along the I-4 corridor, there was just no escaping that a campaign that was flying high (and even into outer space) ten days ago has now come crashing back to earth. At what was billed as a Hispanic town hall meeting at another church yesterday in Orlando, Gingrich was greeted by row after row of empty pews and maybe 40 voters in attendance. For a full hour after the scheduled starting time, Gingrich and his wife, Callista, sat outside, cloistered in his campaign bus ““ possibly sulking, possibly fuming at his campaign’s horrid advance work, and surely praying that a few more souls would show up. When Gingrich finally entered the building, it was announced that the event was a town hall no more; the candidate would speak briefly, then take pictures with the scant few who’d turned up. And “briefly” was an understatement: Standing behind a Lucite lectern, Gingrich talked for a bare eight minutes and eleven seconds, looking deflated and exhausted. By no small margin, it was the worst and saddest campaign event that I have witnessed in this presidential cycle.

Now all the talk in the political world is about how badly Newt Gingrich could get beat tomorrow, with everyone anticipating a large margin win by Mitt Romney.

A lot of Republicans are hoping for it and an end to the savage bloodletting, as well as the debates. Sen. John McCain said on Meet the Press Sunday that they’ve got to end. Chris Wallace said the debates were “ridiculous,” “insane,” and “stupid” recently on a radio show. The next one is at the end of February, which will be a very long month for Newt Gingrich.

Sheldon Adelson bought Newt Gingrich South Carolina. What he’s gotten for his money is another story. It’s about Israel and Iran, but having a candidate in the race that can define the debate rightward where the Middle East is concerned.

RT @RyanLizza: Newt warning Iranians could easily blow up Jacksonville with nuclear weapon (via boat).

I retweeted the above to make the point. You may remember Gingrich saying the Palestinian people were “invented.”

We should all be thankful Mitt Romney’s rich, organized and that his campaign is not going to take their foot off Gingrich’s throat again.

“It not about winning here anymore,” one Romney staffer told BuzzFeed. “It’s about destroying Gingrich ““ and it’s working.” – Zeke Miller, BuzzFeed

There’s no comfort when you look at Mitt Romney where the Middle East is concerned either. To say foreign policy isn’t his forte is an understatement. So with neoconservatives and John Bolton in the background, with Newt in cahoots with Adelson, it’s all very weirdly counterproductive for Israel and for the U.S. on the right.

Mr. Adelson and his wife were evidently cynical enough to believe that American Jews living in Florida would buy Newt’s message. It doesn’t look like it’s selling. The question is whether Adelson will keep the money flowing if Gingrich loses big in Florida, because where this race heads next depends on it.