6:06 pm Nov. 28, 20111
Newt Gingrich will be raising money in New York City next week, according to a friend and supporter who is organizing a fund-raising event for him.
Gingrich is currently scheduled to appear at a Staten Island Tea Party event next Saturday, followed by a Fox News forum hosted by Mike Huckabee. The fund-raiser will take place at noon on Monday, Dec. 5 at the Union League Club in Manhattan.
The only organizer listed on the invite, according to one person who has seen it, is Mario Kranjac, a partner at the firm Kranjac, Manuali & Viskovic L.L.P.
"Newt's got great ideas," Kranjac told me this afternoon from Zurich. "He's a big ideas guy. I think he's got a lot of ideas that could certainly help the United States, and regain some of the position that it's lost in the world, and also domestically.
"I'm sure you're listening to the debates and you can see him as a guy who dominates in those debates, and I look forward to seeing him debate our president someday in the future."
But that was back when Gingrich was languishing in the polls. His trip this week coincides with a sudden rise in his standing, capped by the endorsement of the conservative Union Leader on Sunday.
It's unclear how much New York money is still on the sidelines, with Mitt Romney having locked up most of the city's big-name bundlers, and several others having committed to other campaigns.
Kranjac said the reaction so far had been "very favorable" and that they expected "probably about 100" attendees.
I asked if he thought Gingrich could sustain his position as the alternative to Mitt Romney, given the rotating nature of that role.
"Absolutely. Without a doubt," Kranjac said. "He's the only one who's gone down and come back up and he's going to stay there, based on what we can tell."