Former House Speaker Newt Gingrinch and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, both Republicans,  were among the politicians that were at the Fourth of July parade in Clear Lake on Monday. Gingrich spent the entire day in Clear Lake, taking in some of the sights of the Clear Lake Fourth of July events, and will also watch tonight’s fireworks with Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, his Iowa campaign chair.

It comes almost a month after a mass exodus of campaign staffers from the Gingrich team, something he downplays. He says Ronald Reagan lost 13 senior staff at the time of the New Hampshire primary, and two weeks later his new campaign manager laid off over 100 people. He also points to John McCain, who went through a similar thing in the summer of 2007.

Gingrich says of the people that have been with him through the years, he only lost one person, with the others being temporary people that represented a different philosophy that his. He says he believes in an ideal-oriented, communications rich kind of approach that is different that most traditional Republican campaigns. Gingrich restarts the Iowa portion of his campaign one month before the Iowa G-O-P Straw Poll.

He says he looks forward to talking with voters in the next five weeks about the issues important to them. He says it’s fund and he likes campaigning face to face with people and being able to talk to folks. Gingrich plans to be in Iowa for 16 days in July, talking with people about their concerns about the economy and what needs to be done in the country.

Gingrich says it’s not only important to be on the ground in Iowa the next month leading up to the Straw Poll, but also to establish his caucus campaign on the local level throughout the state. He says one of the important things is to lay the basis of support in January with the caucus being the first vote in the nation and he says doing well is important. He says doing well in the caucus is the key thing, and he wants to work with Upmeyer to make sure the campaign is established and has a strong base in every county by Thanksgiving.

Another Republican, Rick Santorum, walked in Independence Day parades in Urbandale, Pella and Iowa Falls today.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City