What's next for Newt?

But close associates say that Gingrich’s rhetorical gifts and star power will smooth his landing after a bumpy campaign. “Newt’s not like other people,” says his former press secretary Rich Galen, who predicts Gingrich will nab a TV gig and remain a sought-after speaker. ”When he left the Congress in 1999, people said that was the last we’d ever hear of him…If nothing else, Newt is resilient. He’ll be just fine.”

“Newt has an inexplicable ability to catch the wave that nobody sees coming,” says Rick Tyler, a longtime Gingrich aide who left the campaign last summer, as Gingrich blew off campaigning to gallivant in the Greek Isles, then returned to help run his allied super PAC. “He was able to parlay his speakership into celebrity very adroitly…other than former Presidents, I don’t know anyone who’s been able to stay in the news like Newt has.” As a bold-faced brand, Gingrich can go back to commanding top-dollar fees on the lecture circuit, Tyler says, and his knack for channeling the conservative id will coax Fox News into forgetting his slings. “He bit at Fox and Roger [Ailes] bit back,” Tyler says of the tiff. “That’s just the way it goes. I don’t think it will have any effect on whether he gets a contract. Ultimately Roger is concerned with how you rate…[Gingrich] is a gifted communicator, people like to hear him, and he is a celebrity.”