IN A year of political surprises, Newt Gingrich stunned Washington and the nation by surrendering the House speakership that he had pursued with such determination and vigor. In doing so, he demonstrated that he indeed possesses the truest quality of a leader - the vision to see when his day has passed.
Chicago Sun Times
WITHIN MINUTES of his withdrawal, the nostalgia had begun. The hunch is that Gingrich knew that this would happen. The best way of leaving himself a political opening for the future was to get out of the way of the long knives and see how those he had characterised as "cannibals", and members of the "perfectionist caucus", would fare without him.
The Washington Post
FOR HIM, politics is in-your-face, winner-take-all, and woe be the foe who's on the losing side. Now Gingrich's tactics have claimed their biggest victim: himself. He has decided to fall on his own sword and retire from Congress rather than face a GOP revolt that he had scant chance of surviving. Republicans of all stripes demanded a scalp. On Friday, Mr Gingrich gave them his. As so often happens in history, the talents that win revolutions aren't necessarily those needed to govern.
The Miami Herald
GINGRICH HAS the passion of a revolutionary, the mind of a historian, and the focus and ambition of a leader. What he lacked was not the will to govern, but the spirit. The spirit of governance is collaboration and cooperation, bipartisanship and, occasionally, even statesmanship.