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Newt Gingrich Is Charging $50 for Photos?

Photo of Newt Gingrich holding up a finger at a campaign rally

Newt Gingrich is actually charging his supporters $50 for a photo?

So says CBS News:

In a sign that his campaign is in need of fresh funds, Newt Gingrich on Monday began charging $50 to have a photograph taken with him following a campaign speech to Republican County groups here in the northernmost part of the state.
It was the first time the former House speaker has charged those attending one of his public speaking events to pose for a photograph with him.

If it sounds bizarre for a presidential candidate to charge for photos, well, Newt is an idea man. He’s a proud capitalist. Whatever the market will bear!

Besides, it’s not really a new idea. Other candidates have levied similar fees:

  • James Knox Polk asked for a “free-will offering” of a bushel of corn from everyone who shook his hand before the 1844 elections.
  • John F. Kennedy charged women $5 to pet his perfectly-groomed hair during the 1960 presidential campaign.
  • During the last days of the Civil War, Jefferson Davis raised money for the Confederacy by letting rebel soldiers kiss his wife, Varina: 20 Confederate dollars for a buss on the cheek, 100 for on the lips.
  • In 1924, Calvin Coolidge charged $227 (adjusted for inflation) to kiss a baby.
Photo of Newt Gingrich at a podium, pointing into the audience.

So please, let’s not suggest that Newt Gingrich charging $50 for photos is a sign of desperation, greed, or sheer craziness. Maybe he plans to use the extra cash to bring the price of gas down to $2.50.

And when he’s in the White House, running the country the way he runs his campaign, he can use the same smart idea to raise funds and lower taxes. Like, say, at the end of a state dinner, he could charge the Chinese ambassador a billion dollars for a photo.

( See more free photos of the amazing Newt Gingrich » )

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