Newt Gingrich as Rudy? New ad has underdog theme

One of the remarkable aspects of Newt Gingrich's surge in Iowa -- and nationally, for that matter -- is how he's done it on a shoestring budget and limited campaign infrastructure.

But now, Gingrich is launching his first paid advertisment of the campaign, with a musical score appropriate for such a comeback tale (see video below).

"We can return power to the people and the states we live in so we all will have more freedom, opportunity and control of our lives," Gingrich says in the ad, as the score of the movie "Rudy" plays. "Yes, working together we can and will rebuild the America we Love."

"Rudy," of course, is a 1993 film about the underdog tale of Rudy Ruettiger, who despite his small stature suited up for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team for a single game, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Many took note of the musical selection, which seemed to have been intentional. The campaign said that it was actually "placeholder" music used during production, and that a different track will be heard when the ad appears on Iowa TV screens.

But Team Newt is having some fun with it as well.

"For future placeholder music, the campaign is auditioning soundtracks from the movies 'Rocky,' 'Miracle' and 'Hoosiers,' " spokesman R.C. Hammond said in an email. "Not to be left out, we are also considering scores from the movies 'Braveheart' and 'Seabiscuit.' "

A Des Moines Register poll released Saturday put Gingrich ahead of the pack in Iowa, with a 25-18 lead over Ron Paul. An NBC News/Marist poll conducted in a similar time frame but Gingrich ahead 26-18 over Mitt Romney.

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