The former House speaker from Georgia has had a campaign of highs and lows. He has reaped extra media attention both because of his political stature as well as his oratory and professorial approach to policy. Nonetheless, he has had to endure the defection of the core of his national staff amid allegations of lackluster campaigning. He and his wife have also faced damaging allegations of excessive personal spending amid the economic downturn. His biggest challenge may be convincing voters he is really targeting the White House and not future speaking or book fees.
— Written by Glen Johnson, Boston.com politics editor