An Interview with Newt Gingrich

Bookmark and Share   In an ongoing series by the Nashua Telegraph, Newt Gingrich addresses the major issues of the day as he faces some tough questions in an indepth editorial board interview.

In this interview, Newt Gingrich explains everything from the real reasons why he resigned as Speaker of the House and the myth about his breaking ethics violations to his ideas on Social Security and Defense and almost everything in between.

his interview provides a much more insightful look at Newt than any debate has or can.  It  details where Newt stands on the issues, and the ideas which make him a true reformer.  It is well worth watching.

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Does Newt Gingrich Deserve Another Chance?

Bookmark and Share    Going so long without a clear and popular frontrunner with a willingness to run in the Republican presidential field has forced many to create an almost impossible standard for those who are willing to run or even think about running for President. Republicans have themselves been the most critical but nearly all voters and pundits have become frustrated by the fact that none of the candidates or potential candidates are perfect. While I too would love a perfect candidate to suddenly materialize, I have also come to grips with the fact that there is no perfect candidate. For that reason, perhaps more than most observers, I have had a genuine willingness to give the entire field a fair chance to prove who is the best candidate.

I have been especially willing to give Newt Gingrich a chance.

No matter what, for his past achievements, Newt is a remarkable political leader. But as it turns out, one of the best things about Newt Gingrich, is turning out to be the most damaging thing to his chances of being elected President.

Gingrich is a leader who is eager to think outside of the box and go against the grain. He is undeniably innovative and always seeking and coming up with original legislative solutions that are free market based and require as little government involvement as possible. And while often viewed as an establishment politician, his independent thinking and penchant for going against the flow, makes him a true leader with an anti-establishment streak that could and should appeal to the growing TEA Party movement. Yet these same qualities that make Gingrich a uniquely qualified prospect for President, have come to seemingly derail his presidential candidacy. All of these qualities are based on an apprehension for discipline. Newt prefers to break rules rather than follow them. For him conventional rules lead to traditional thinking which he feels stifles the pace of innovation and leaves one mired in the past.

For Newt, a traditional campaign was not good enough. His dislike of a standard regimen along with a typical politicians ego that has him believing he is so special that he need not run a campaign like “traditional” candidates, has led to the resignation of his leadership team and a short term collapse of his campaign that is looking like the beginning of the end for his presidential ambitions. As such, as talented as Newt Gingrich is, it is becoming apparent that his talents are not suited for being the country’s only nationally elected leader.

In a nation that needs leadership that is modest, honest, and shrewd, I have come to conclude that Newt lacks two out of three of those prerequisites. His lack of modesty prevents him from even being honest with himself. So much so, that he can not, or is not, willing to realize that he is no more special than any other candidate in this race. By not accepting that, Newt is at a disadvantage, a disadvantage that his leadership team sees quite clearly, but that Newt quite clearly does not see. This then begs the question, if Newt is so arrogant that he can’t even properly lead a campaign which is designed to serve his own best interests, than can he do proper service to a job which has the sole purpose of serving the nation’s best interests?

There is still time for Gingrich to prove that he  has the judgment needed. But much of that opportunity requires a willingness by conservatives to still consider Gingrich as a viable candidate.  He may have exhausted their willingness to give him another chance.  But now that hehas  returned from his very inappropriately timed vacation to Greece that followed the bungled announcement of his presidential candidacy, the reality check that the en masse resignation of 16 members of his leadership team provided him, might be enough to get Newt on track. Unless of course it is too late.

Much of the team that abandoned him, quickly aligned themselves with candidates who will are running against Newt. On top of that, some of the other most talented operatives out there have already been snatched up by many of those same candidates. So it is hard to say if Newt can now assemble a major league campaign team with a minor league staff.

As much as I want to give Newt Gingrich a chance to show the promise of his potential that I do believe is there, with the clock ticking, even, I am beginning to close the door on his candidacy. I deeply believe that we have yet to begin to see just how good many of the candidates in the Republican presidential field can be. Part of that thinking is based upon the magic that I know a good campaign do. A good campaign can turn an obscure Governor of a relatively small Southern state and make them the hope of a nation, i.e. Carter and Clinton. But as we have seen with Carter and Clinton, for a good candidate to become a truly good President, they need more than just a good campaign. Eventually the campaign ends and leading must begin. Up till now, despite the personal indiscretions which remained personal and were not national scandals, and despite an initially rocky start to his campaign, I believed that Newt Gingrich could serve the conservative purpose as President. I believed that he could effectively administer limited government in limited areas where it was absolutely necessary but otherwise release the genius of the American people from the chains of excessive regulation and taxation.

The problem is that I also believe there are several others who have that ability. Of those running, or with the realistic potential to run, I believe it could be Palin, Santorum, Romney, Pawlenty, Rick Perry, or even Herman Cain. And right now, after seeing how hard it has been for Newt Gingrich to prove he has the judgment and skills that it takes to administer the conservative ideology that we share into government , I am holding out more hope for any of those other names to have a better ability to do so than Newt seems to have.

I will still keep an open to mind to the possibilities. In 2012 we Republicans must, I repeat, must get it right. And if Newt doesn’t get things right fast, he will remain a leader who I believe did great things as Speaker of the House and who is full of good ideas, but does not have the ability to implement those ideas as President.

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Newt Gingrich Announces His Presidential Candidacy

Tim Pawlenty Could Stand To Gain While The Big Names Sit On The Sidelines

Bookmark and ShareThe 1st GOP Presidential debate is in the books. There are those who feel it lacked the “Wow” factor that it would have had if the top polling candidates had taken part. With Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin all declining to attend, the field was filled with candidates whose names are not well known on a national scale. Texas congressman Ron Paul is probably the exception to that statement but his public persona and Libertarian views have never played well to most in the GOP.

Of the remainder of the field that included former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and conservative talk show host Herman Cain, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, it may have been Pawlenty that came out with the most to gain from the absence of the big name candidates.

Most of those polled said that they came away with a better opinion of Herman Cain than any other candidate. I agree. Cain came away as the non-politician’s politician but he is an unknown to most voters and will need much more than this debate to get the recognition he will need to mount a serious run. Santorum is known to a certain degree through his work on Fox News but has established himself as the social issues candidate so far in a time where the economy will likely reign supreme. Gary Johnson is the poor man’s Ron Paul and did little to move up the ladder in the debate and at points looked uncomfortable on the stage. Ron Paul is simply Ron Paul. Most Republican’s tend to agree with his economic stances and most independents with his social stances but he has difficulty communicating them in a manner that helps him in a conservative GOP primary.

That leaves Pawlenty, who did little to “Wow” the audience but came across as a solid candidate when put next to the CEO with little experience, the Libertarian’s with little communication skills and the evangelical social issue guy, as a possible challenger to the big name candidates who themselves have issues that will be exploited if and when they decide to enter the race. Romney has to answer for his health care program he implemented while Governor of MA. Gingrich has had marriage issues that have haunted him for years. Huckabee has issues regarding his stances on crime while Governor of Arkansas and Palin, well she has always incurred the wrath of the media and I expect if she decides to run in 2012 it will be no different.

So although he may have not brought the “wow” factor with him to South Carolina last Thursday night, it could be Tim Pawlenty who very well takes away the most from the debate. Although Herman Cain may have hit the “wow” factor it was Pawlenty who by reason of recognition stands to gain the most from the decision of the big names to sit this one out. If he stays on message and the more recognizable names continue to sit dormant, Tim Pawlenty has one up on the other candidates.

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Expect Mitch Daniels to Run for President

Bookmark and Share Like the countdown to a space shuttle liftoff, the month of April has been ticking down to the launch or aborted missions of several different Republican presidential candidacies. The most notable are Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and soon to be former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr.. Both Daniels and Barbour have promised to make their decision some time by the end of April. Gingrich has recently suggested a similar timeline and Jon Huntsman who cant legally make an announcement while still serving as an Ambassador is likely to make his intentions known shortly after his April 30th resignation takes effect.

I predict that at least three of these men will be declaring their candidacy.

While that is not a bold prediction insofar as Gingrich and Huntsman go, it is a bit of a stretch to be so definitive about Barbour and even more so concerning Mitch Daniels.

As for Huntsman and Gingrich, the secret is out. Gingrich has done little to keep his intentions hush and as soon as Huntsman announced that he was resigning from his post as the nations chief envoy to China, we all pretty much knew that he was going to act on his already stated intention to look at a run for president in 2012. In the case of Barbour, his intentions have been quite clear, but so have his hurdles to a successful run for both the Republican presidential nomination and the presidency itself. His history as a very successful lobbyist, the oozing of some unfair Southern stereotypes, combined with a few early verbal gaffes on race, and his reputation as the ultimate political insider, pose the potential Barbour campaign with some obvious questions that they have had to figure whether or not they can overcome.

In an attempt to do so, Barbour has been lighting up switchboards from California, to Florida and South Carolina, as he tests the waters. He has even politely suggested that potential supporters hold their powder, and their money, until he makes a decision. Given the extent of Barbours effort so far, I tend to believe that he has the fire in the belly that gives one presidential fever, a fever that has to be fed in order for it break. So I expect that hemaysoonannopunce the creation of his presidential exploratory committee. This will be for two purposes. One is to confirm both how much fire really is in his belly and how amenable his wife is to the idea, and two, to see that if it is at all possible for the fire in his belly to be quite enough to win the White House. As for Mitch Daniels, I am going completely out a very shaky limb when I say that he will be running.

Accept for the talk of others, Mitch Daniels has done little if anything to appear like a potential Republican presidential candidate. And while he has taken advantage of a few high-profile speaking engagements, such events are in many ways only natural for a highly successful, two term governor. At the same time, it has been no secret that like Haley Barbours wife, Mitch Daniels wife Cheri is not thrilled by the prospects of having to endure an invasive and inevitably harsh presidential campaign. So there is really very little to support my conclusion that Mitch Daniels will run.

Except for three things.

The lovely Mrs. Cheri Daniels

First is Cheri Daniels. While she is not a fan of the spotlight and is not excited about the possibility of having to join her husband on the presidential campaign trail, in this, Daniels last year as Governor of Indiana, Cheri has agreed to be the main speaker at a Republican State Party dinner. That is not exactly the sign of a spouse preparing to fade in to the obscurity of private life. It sounds to me more like an introduction of both her to the people, and of Cheri to the spotlight.

Another event having me lean more towards a Daniels run, than against it, is the timing of a major speech on education that the Governor is slated to give in Washington, D.C. at the American Institute. This event is five days after the Indiana state legislative session is scheduled to conclude. Daniels has promised to announce his decision regarding the presidency when that sessionis over. It is here that I do not expect Daniels to announce that he is running, but rather the start of either his exploratory committee or the very soon date to come when he will make a similar announcement.

The final reason I have for believing that Mitch Daniels is in fact running for President has to do with his dragging the question out. Mitch Daniels is an understated man. He is not about the drama. He is a nuts and bolts guy and he had nothing to gain by dragging out the possibility of a presidential candidacy. His whole reason for not announcing his interest in running was due to state politics. Daniels did not want the left to accuse the him of advancing policies that were good for his presidential aspirations but bad for the state. And if Governor Daniels would have been able to get rid of that suspicion altogether by announcing that he was not running for President, he would have done that long ago.

There are of course some caveats.

I do not yet sense that Mitch Daniels has the same fire in the belly that his longtime close friend Haley Barbour does. For that reason, I am suspicious of there beingsome friendly teamwork going here. As I described in a previous White House 2012 post entitled Is a Barbour/Daniels Ticket in the Works? , Daniels could become a candidate in order to help divide the vote outside of the South, between himself, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney. This split would allow Barbour to fare better outside of the South where he does not do so well. It would also help keep Mitt Romney from racking up big numbers. In that scenario, Daniels would eventually drop out of the race and try to swing his delegates over to Haley Barbour.

This may sound too Machiavellian to some but this is the big time. It is politics at the highest level and few know how to play politics better than the ultimate political insider, Haley Barbour. That combined with a well established, longstanding friendship between Barbour, Daniels and their families, makes this not quite as far-fetched as some might be inclined to think.

I for one hope that isnt the case. As someone who in 2008, supported Mitt Romney for President, was a part of the Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President movement, and is currently torn between them Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Newt Gingrich, I am looking forward to a genuine battle for my support. I am hoping for a contest that will force the eventual nominee to have to truly earn the nomination and allow us to discover who truly represents our conservative values best, can advance them the most, and is most capable of applying them to the practical application of government. I believe all of the above mentioned names are candidates who can do that. The question is, which one can do all three the best? It is my deepest wish to find that out through a well fought contest, that publicly tests all these skills among all the candidates.

But before that process begins, I expect this final week in April to be slow, in the sense of it being a slow build up to a very busy May.

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Gingrich Presents His Tax Plan in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share Speaking to an audience at New Hampshires St. Anselm College in Manchester, Newt Gingrich laid out a tax plan that claims will shift nearly 2/3 of the people on unemployment and dependent on government, into becoming independent, self sufficient, taxpayers and thereby be the single biggest step you can take back toward balancing the budget,

The former Speaker of the House and likely presidential candidate called for cutting the capital gains tax to zero, making the so-called George Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminating the estate tax, an allowance for companies to write off 100% of new equipment purchases in the first year, and a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate.

Gingrich explained that reasonable tax rates will prevent companies like General Electric from sheltering profits to avoid paying federal taxes. He also stated that the slight increase of jobs recently added to the market only occurred after President agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year. He added though, that businesses still remain leery to adding jobs because those tax cuts are set to expire and if they do, businesses will take a hit that they are prepared for.

Gingrichs plan is seemingly sound, but is it truly brave and bold, or is it just the same cut tax mantra that Republicans have always rightly called for? Dont get me wrong, tax cuts are necessary, but we can keep on raising and lowering taxes and tinkering with a broken tax code for the next two hundred years. Or we can fix the broken and antiquated tax system by calling for bold reforms such as a flat tax.

Personally I am disappointed in Newts tax proposal. As someone who has a proven record as an innovator, I expect more from him than the same old solution, a solution we must repeat every time Democrats raise taxes. A Flat tax would truly spur economic growth. In the case of former Soviet bloc nations, such a taxcode created some of the fastest growing economies in the world. A Flat tax is one rate for one nation and its time for Republicans to demonstrate the will to bring about true reform and show some true vision.

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Newt Explore 2012. Gingrich Launches His Presidential Exploratory Committee

NewtExplore2012Bookmark and Share Newt Gingrich today launched his Presidential exploratory committee, not with an announcement and press conference, but with the introduction of Newt Explore 2012, a website for his presidential exploratory committee. In it Newt writes;

“America’s greatness lies in “We the People.”

We are a nation like no other. To remain so will require the dedicated participation of every citizen, of every neighborhood, of every background. This is the responsibility of a free people.

We are excited about exploring whether there is sufficient support for my potential candidacy for President of this exceptional country.”

Newt also set up a Facebook pagefor his exploratory committee.

His website is interactive andin exploring options for his potential candidacy in 2012 he asks that people use his websiteto send him and his teamyour questions and ideas.

The establishment of an exploratorycommittee is a necessary legal step encouraged by federal election law. As an exploratory committee, one can test the waters with polls and trips to events without having to make public where the money comes from.

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