Tampa Tempest

As he waited for the returns on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich didn’t pay much attention to the soft flicker of Fox News. Instead, as he sat with his family and a few aides in a suite at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, Ala., he was quietly glued to his BlackBerry, thumbing his way through e-mails. He was mostly cheerful, according to those in the room. He reminisced about campaigns past with his daughters. He reviewed his schedule; he bantered with his wife, Callista; he settled on a purple tie. As he sipped a Diet Coke, he casually prepared for his evening speech.

The takeaway from the relative calm was clear: This was just another night in another city. He’d make his extemporaneous remarks, his aides would pack their bags, and within a few hours, they’d board a plane and head to the next battleground.

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