Newt measuring the White House drapes? Gingrich talks about what he'll do in White House in St. Pete

  • Robert and Libby Knupp awaiting Newt's arrival

Fresh off his mediocre debate performance at USF, Newt Gingrich Tuesday morning addressed a packed assemblage of his supporters at the Tick-Tock restaurant on 4th Street North, where he fancifully began laying out the agenda for his first day in office if elected president in November.

The former House Speaker showed up nearly 40 minutes later than his scheduled 9:30 a.m. appearance, but that didn't seem to dull the spirits of his admirers, some of whom arrived at the restaurant at 6 a.m. to insure getting a seat. (In addition to the dozens who stood in the back of the establishment, dozens more waited outside in vain to catch a glimpse of Gingrich and wife Calista.)

Gingrich has been accused of exaggeration at times, and appeared to go down that route when criticizing President Obama for his rejection last week of a rapid approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas.

"The president basically bowed to some left-wing extremists in San Francisco," Gingrich said, adding that the president rejected 20,000-50,000 jobs.

Although many Republicans have cited that 20,000 figure, no one has suggested 50,000 jobs were at stake, and in fact TransCanada, the pipeline's builder, told the State Department the pipeline would create just 4,650 temporary direct construction jobs for two years, according to a study by the Cornell University Global Labor Institute.

Then Gingrich, who's been written off twice this primary season, only to rise Lazarus-like to the top of the polls against Mitt Romney, started to discuss his plans — not if he wins the White House, but when.