This week, the increasingly desperate-looking presidential candidate Newt Gingrich began charging $50 a pop to anyone wishing to have a photograph taken with him. Starting on Monday in Delaware, supporters who wanted to pose with the candidate in a photo op first had to hand over a credit card number. But with a little creativity, you can still get your Gingrich photo without spending any money.
Earlier this week, the National Journal broke the news that former Speaker of the House and current Republican presidential candidate had started raising funds for his campaign with a pose-for-hire fee. Anyone hoping to stand next to Newt for the three seconds it takes to snap a photo would have to fork over $50, via credit card.
After filling out a form to authorize the charge, the photo op could take place. Supporters have also been informed that more photos taken by campaign staffers are available at Newt.org. Many of the photos at the site feature supporters standing alongside Gingrich’s golden-swoop-haired wife Callista. How much do photos with her cost? The Wall Street Journal asked, but the Gingrich campaign did not give an answer.
A campaign spokesperson did tell the National Journal that, all things considered, the $50 Newt photo charge is a total bargain:
“Some campaigns make you travel all the way to Wall Street to pay $2,500 for a photo with a candidate,” a Gingrich spokesman said in an e-mail. “We are trying out a new tactic and asking our supporters at our rallies for a nominal donation. And guess what, it is working.”
Apparently, it’s not working enough to save the campaign from making some very tough decisions. After the $50 photo story made news, it’s been reported that Gingrich laid off one-third of his campaign staff in a cost-saving move, and his campaign manager has been replaced. In a new poll cited by CNN, meanwhile, 6 in 10 Republicans say that Gingrich should end his campaign. (Roughly the same percentage thinks Ron Paul should do the same.)
But back to the photo, and the matter of a $50 fee. If you really want an image of you chumming it up with Newt to post on Facebook or to blow up and frame for the living room wall, the money-saving experts at dealnews jokingly suggest some hacks to avoid the $50 charge. Using a hidden camera is one possibility. Another is to simply photoshop yourself into a shot with Gingrich:
Just lasso your head in Photoshop or some budget editing program, hit COMMAND + C, and paste that sucker into immediate friendship.
Perhaps fake photos of random people shaking hands—perhaps while handing over cash—with Newt Gingrich will become a thing, sorta like photoshopping Angelina Jolie’s leg was after her odd right leg display at the Oscars. It was fun with Angie’s leg. Why not Newt’s head?