A presidential campaign is supposed to be a grueling two-year-long boot camp that gives even the most youthful candidate gray hairs -- but not so for Newt Gingrich. Gingrich will spend the next week not being force-fed fried food on a stick by nitpicking Iowans, but along the beaches of Hawaii. The trip will focus on fundraising, a campaign spokesman tells Politico. But maybe Gingrich will do a little real estate browsing -- as he's done in the past -- because as the Republican candidate has made clear many times over the years, he absolutely adores Maui. "You live in an incredible place," he told Maui Time's Greg Mebel. "In fact, I think it's where I want to retire. We actually hope to talk to a realtor while we're there. There's something about it that is as close to perfect as anywhere I've been."
But that was in 2007, or at least three trips ago. The Gingrichs went back to Maui in 2008 and again in 2010. (The former House Speaker seems to have missed the annual pilgrimage in 2009, because that year he told US News at the time that his "big personal dream is to go live on Maui and golf five days a week.")
Back in 2007, the Honolulu Advertiser marveled that Gingrich seemed right at home:
"One might expect conservative icon and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to feel ill at ease on Maui where liberal Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich found an enthusiastic following. But Gingrich, author of the Contract with America, slipped into laid-back island mode Wednesday, wearing an aloha shirt and lei and holding court among more than 50 admirers at Borders Books Music Movies & Cafe at the Maui Marketplace."