The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Newt Gingrich

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Born: June 17, 1943, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Spouse(s):Jackie Battley (1962-1981), Marianne Ginther (1981-2000), Callista Gingrich(2000-?)

Children: Two daughters, two sons-in-law and two grandchildren.

Residence : Carrollton, Georgia (79-93), Marrietta, Georgia (93-99) McLean Virginia (Current)

Alma mater:Emory University,Tulane University

Profession:College Professor, author, Member of Congress

Religion: Roman Catholic

Political Career :

  • Two unsuccessful runs for Congress in Georgia’s sixth congressional district in 1974 and 1976
  • Elected to Congress in 1978 and subsequently served for 8 more terms until 1999
  • From 1989 to 1995 he served as the 16th United States House Minority Whip
  • From 1995 to 1999 he served as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Throughout his continuing career, Gingrich has proven to be a prolific and top selling author. Most of his novels are comprised of innovative, conservative policy initiatives and directions that are rooted in the founding principle of our nation. His first book was published in January of 1982. It was entitledThe Government’s Role in Solving Societal Problems and offered a solid foundation for conservative leadership in America. But his breakout book came in 1985 withWindow of Opportunity, a profound compilation of of path to prosperity in America.

Other works include:

  • Contract with America (co-editor).
  • Restoring the Dream
  • Quotations from Speaker Newt
  • To Renew America
  • Lessons Learned The Hard Way
  • Presidential Determination Regarding Certification of the Thirty-Two Major Illicit Narcotics Producing and Transit Countries
  • Saving Lives and Saving Money
  • Winning the Future
  • Rediscovering God in America
  • A Contract with the Earth
  • Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less: A Handbook for Slashing Gas Prices and Solving Our Energy Crisis
  • Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works
  • To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine

Newt has also written a substantial number of historical novels:

  • 1945
  • Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War
  • Grant Comes East Thomas Dunne Books
  • Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory
  • Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th
  • Days of Infamy

See a more detailed bio of Newt here on his White House 2012 presidential contender page

Newt is probably not going to be Mitt Romney’s choice as a running mate. While he is consistently considered the smartest man in the room, he is also one of the loosest cannon in any room and although he can easily bring some very positive qualities to the ticket, it his baggage that may  prevent us from every seeing how positive those qualities may be on the G.O.P. presidential ticket.

Newt would certainly be impressive in any vice presidential debates, although it is more than likely that the Obama ticket will only allow one vice presidential debate, if even that. Newt would also certainly be able to condense the election down to several very succinct and powerful words that the average voter would be able to relate to in a most convincing way.

But Newt will also shoot from the hip and in what will undoubtedly be a highly negative campaign waged with the near billion dollar campaign war chest of the Obama ticket, any stray bullets fired off by Newt could become lethal distractions that the Romney campaign can ill afford.  Just having Newt on the ticket will be a very distraction.  The left’s venom of Newt is so strong, that a daily rush of personal name calling and attacks will be discussed in a pro-liberal mainstream media to such a great extent, that the Romney-Gingrich message would be overshadowed and muted.

As a play it safe kind of guy, Newt is probably too much of a risk for Romney’s liking and Newt’s long and accomplished political career is most likely open to the type of criticism that Mitt Romney does not want to deal with. Therefore, despite Newt’s ability to compensate for several of Mitt’s shortcomings, such as a lack of innovation and boldness as well as a lack of any popular anti-establishment sentiments, Newt will probably not be Vice President anytime soon.  Add to that a bitter campaign between the two of them and what you have is a personal relationship that does not preclude the idea from consideration, but is not exactly conducive to the creation of an enthusiastic partnership at the top of the presidential ticket.

Pros:

  • Articulate and has a great capacity for shaping issues in a way that makes the conservative approach to our problems seem like common sense
  • Has an anti-establishmentarian streak that can appeal to independents and T.E.A. Party activists and compensate for Romney’s establishment image
  • Great in debate
  • Brings unappalled experience to the ticket
  • Would help Romney among Southern conservatives who are not comfortable with him

Cons:

  • Has personal baggage which can easily become a distraction in the campaign
  • Has been a harsh critic of Mitt Romney and his policies
  • Shoots from the hip and can be a very loose cannon
  • Has the potential to overshadow Mitt Romney

Overall Assesment:

In some ways, Newt would be the perfect Vice President. Having once been the second in line for presidency, his experience is invaluable. He is also incredibly articulate and dogged in his defense of conservative values and tireless in his efforts to find innovative solutions to our problems and ways to remove government from our everyday lives. But Newt has an ego problem and it often gets in his way and it is that ego problem which Mitt Romney will probably not allow to get in the way of his winning the White House.  So when it comes to Newt Gingrich, he would not be the perfect Vice President for Mitt Romney.

Furthermore; while Newt was relatively competitive in the first half of the primary process, he never quite caught on and proved that he can’t be even be counted on as a favorite son of the South who could motivate those Southern voters uninspired by Romney.  And that is an important factor because for Mitt Romney to win this election, he will need to have the Republican base come out to vote for him in near record numbers.

Overall, while the selection of Newt would be a good one from a policy, management, and issue oriented angle, from a political perspective regarding an election, Newt is not the best choice for Mitt.

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Some Past Key Votes

H Res 611 – Impeachment Resolution: Article One

Legislation-Resolution (Yea)

Dec. 19, 1998 – President Clinton was charged with willfully providing perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury concerning one or more of the following:: – …

H Res 611 – Impeachment Resolution: Article Three

Legislation-Resolution (Yea)

Dec. 19, 1998 – -Accuses President Clinton of obstructing justice by coaching White House Secretary Betty Currie in potential testimony, encouraging Monica Lewinsky to lie under oath and by …

H Res 611 – Impeachment Resolution: Article Two

Legislation-Resolution (Yea)

Dec. 19, 1998 – – Accuses President Clinton of committing perjury on December 23, 1997, during his testimony in a Federal civil rights action brought against him by Paula …

More Key Votes

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Gingrich on the Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Health Care
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Civil Rights Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Jobs Welfare & Poverty Corporations
Energy & Oil Environment Technology Principles & Values

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Newt Gingrich Issues A Response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Bookmark and Share  Shortly after the President delivered his 65 minute long, third State of the Union Address and set the stage for his reelection campaign, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, issued a rebuttal to the President’s remarks.

In his response, Gingrich aggressively characterized the President’s stated vision as one of big government, bureaucratic control, and as one strives to create a food stamp economy designed to make Americans dependent upon government.

Newt Gingrich’s SOTU Response

“We have a crisis of work in this country and tonight President Obama proposed nothing in the way of policy changes that will get us to robust job creation and dramatic economic growth. Instead, the president described his conviction that his big government is built to last and should be paid for with higher taxes. But bigger government and higher taxes will not lead to jobs and growth.

Bigger government and higher taxes will instead lead to more people on food stamps, a situation which the President and his party defend as a fair outcome. Here we have to confront the truth about President Obama.  Economic growth and prosperity is not really at the top of his agenda. He will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair. For the president and a large part of the political class, it’s about their power, their right to rule.  They just want to take money from Joe the Plumber – the small business people who makes over 90 per cent of the new jobs — and redistribute it to the government bureaucracy and their political friends and allies. 

That’s why so much of that nearly trillion-dollar stimulus didn’t create jobs but just went into the pockets of special interests who support President Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party. No better example of this exists than in the crisis of American energy. President Obama and his political allies – not of few of whom love living in energy inefficient houses or driving gas-guzzling luxury vehicles – openly admit they want gas prices to remain high so that the rest of America will learn to live more modestly.

They think it’s good for rest of us.  Only recently, the president canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have created countless new jobs and helped America on the way to energy independence because he wanted to appease the far left of his party.  And yet not a single word on the Keystone XL pipeline tonight. To create jobs and growth in this country, we must start with dramatic tax reform that lowers taxes and maximizes capital investment and job creation. We must return to a dollar as good as gold whose purchasing power is the same in thirty years as it is today.  We must dramatically expand American energy production. We must have smarter regulation at the same time we abolish destructive and costly regulatory systems beginning with Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and Sarbanes-Oxley.

And finally, unlike the current administration, we must have faith in job creators.  With these policies the state of the union will be much better.  They will create an explosion in job creation and lead to robust economic growth and a return to prosperity.  Furthermore, a paycheck economy will put us on a path to balanced budgets and paying down our national debt.”

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Does Newt Really Have The Momentum to Keep Winning?

Bookmark and Share  If one were to look at Florida, the answer is yes.

Since his exceptionally strong, first place, landslide victory in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Newt Gingrich has at least temporarily established himself as the only candidate with momentum on his side.

Ron Paul, and his supposed ever growing massive number of supporters doesn’t seem to be quite as massive or as rapidly growing as once thought, since his last place showing in South Carolina, and he has all but conceited the election and admitted that he is just in this thing not win, but to pick up enough delegates to finally become politically relevant.

Rick Santorum, has gone from being the surprise underdog winner of the Iowa Caucus to being the man who many question why he is still running.  And Mitt Romney has seen himself gone from a frontrunner and the inevitable nominee, to being the candidate who many are  beginning to feel that if he hasn’t locked up the nomination yet, he may never do it.

But Newt Gingrich’s recent resurrection, from political death which propelled him to become the winner of the first in the South Primary has clearly set the stage for him to finally hit a stride that will make this a two man race between himself and Mitt Romney.

In less than 24 hours of his winning South Carolina, Newt raised a million dollars and since than he has more than doubled that total. Furthermore; in Florida, Gingrich has opened seven  offices with two more yet to be opened, hired 14 paid staffers and signed up 5,000.  By contrast, Romney’s campaign had just five staffers and three offices in Florida by early this week. And on top of that, when it concerns the polls, Gingrich has gone from 27% last week, to 35% this week, a swing of eight percent which now finds Romney falling two percent and in to second place.  Such dramatic numbers would certainly indicate that Newt has the wind at his back, while Romney and the others are now encountering strong headwinds in Florida.

Normally, even though these are solid signs for Newt, I would not be very confident in his ability to keep this recent turn of events moving in his direction.  In the past Newt’s proclivity for the untraditional has forced him to rely on instincts which motivate him to go with unconventional strategies, strategies which, like his previous attempt to attack Mitt Romney from the left and go off the deep end by distorting Mitt’s record of success in the free market, have hurt him.  However after Monday night’s debate, Newt demonstrated a degree of political maturity which he has not often displayed prior to now.  He carried himself as a humble frontrunner and held back any desire he may have had to respond to Mitt Romney’s own distortions with any exaggerated flare that could have undermined Newt’s credibility.  Instead it was Mitt Romney who appeared to be desperate and stretching to find any fatal flaws in Newt Gingrich’s record.

In addition to that, up to now, Newt has not had the type of financial resources that permitted him to to take proper advantage of media advertising which helps to carry his message beyond the audiences that may sit and watch the debates which he typically excels in.  And at the same time, even though Mitt Romney has already spent upwards of $10.5 million on Florida advertising,  he is losing ground.  This bodes quite well for Newt who with his coffers filling up, and with the aid a $5 million single donation to a Gingrich Super PAC in Florida, can now chip away at the dominance of Romney’s campaign in the Sunshine State.

But that’s not the only reason I remain optimistic for Newt at least in Florida.

In his attempt to stop the newtmentum, Romney seems to be making some of his first strategic stumbles.  In the most recent debate, while hoping to paint Newt as a Washington insider and influence peddler, he brought up the issue of Medicaid Part D and claimed that Newt was paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation, to lobby Congress Medicaid Part D’s passage.  During Monday’s debate he said to Gingrich;

“If you’re getting paid by health companies, if your  entities are getting paid by, and you then meet with Republican congressmen and  encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you  like. I call it influence peddling” .

The argument could potentially have legs, but not in Florida, where the nation’s largest population of senior citizens benefitted from the program and where Gingrich successfully dismissed Romney’s claims and accused Mitt of being a serial twister of the truth.   Gingrich countered Mitt’s charge in part by stating

 “I think it’s pretty clear to say that I have never,  ever gone and done any lobbying,”

 He also added that he was  proud of the fact that he publicly, openly advocated the prescription drug program.

That last statement was essentially the punch that ended and won that round for Newt.  It successfully appealed to the very large senior citizen voting bloc in Florida, the voters who when it’s time to cast their ballots, happen to turn out in the largest numbers .

Additionally, Romney seems to be counting on tieing Newt Gingrich to the tide of foreclosures in Florida.

Florida took a hit second only to Nevada in the housing crisis and by claiming Newt made money from Freddie Mac which essentially oversaw the creation and bursting of the housing bubble, he is hoping that Floridians who lost their homes will see Newt Gingrich as the villain who profited from their losses.  The problem is that Republicans are not buying what Mitt is trying to sell in that area of political campaigning.  And another thing to note is that those individuals who lost their homes because they provided mortgages that they were not qualified for in the first place, are not voting for either Newt or Mitt.  So clearly, Mitt Romney is throwing a wildly wrong  pitch and throwing it to the wrong people.

Then there is something else working against Mitt in Florida.

Unlike the previous three contests, Florida is a closed primary.

In a closed primary or caucus, only registered members of a Party may vote in that Party’s primary and Independents, those not registered with either major Party, are not permitted to vote in either major Party’s primary. Democrats who may like Mitt Romney’s moderate image, will not be able to influence who Republicans nominate as their Party’s candidate.  This is the way I believe it should be.  It is also one of the reasons why Ron Paul has written Florida off.  Since his hero worshippers from outside of the G.O.P. and within the sphere of liberal-tarian lunacy, can not sabotage the Republican process, they are picking up their toys and not playing in the Sunshine State.  All of this is good news for Newt, who if he keeps it together, just might be able to extend his good fortune into the forseeable future.

But even if he does hold it together in Florida, he will still forced to confront some very rough seas.

Following Florida will be two contests that Mitt Romney so far looks unbetable in….Nevada and Michigan.  This will provide at least a psychological sense of momentum that swings back towards Mitt  and away from Newt.  When that time comes, Newt will have to confront his challenge, a challenge that will force him to prove he has the staying power to comeback, and put Romney back on the ropes.  So far Newt has proven that he has considerable political stamina, but if he wins Florida, he will have to turn that stamina in to a knockout punch that he can land sometime after Nevada and Michigan.  If he can’t land such a punch, Republicans could very easily end up seeing this race last longer than the 2008 Democrat nomination between President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or worse…….maybe even the first brokered convention since 1976 when President Gerald Ford was almost dumped by the Party in exchange for future President Ronald Reagan.

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Conservative Favorite Fred Thompson Endorses Conservative Alternate to Romney, Newt Gingrich

Bookmark and Share  Much of today’s news was dominated by the fact that Mitt Romney released his taxes for the last two years and that it proved he has money,  and it was also consumend by speculation about the State of the Union address that President Obama will be delivering tonight.  These two dramatic (he writes with tongue-in-cheekily) overshadowed other events on the campaign trail, such as Newt’s continued rise in the polls over Romney and the rest of the G.O.P. field.  It also overshadowed a very special endorsement for Gingrich.

It came from former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson [see the video of the endorsement and a transcript of it below this post].

Thompson’s endorsement may not actually make many Republicans turn around and say that Thompson’s support of Gingrich finally gives them a reason to support Newt over Romney and Santorum, but what it does do is provide many conservatives with enough cause to seriously consider jumping on the Gingrich bandwagon that is now commonly referred to as “Newtmentum”.

Despite his failure to show up for owen presidential campaign in 2008, Fred Thompson is considered a true voice of commonsense conservatism.  The actor turned politician in the late 90’s, has been a consistent advocate of anti-establishment leadership and conservative fiscal and social values.  Part of his draw was his commanding ability to articulate conservative solutions with a dose of down-to-earth, folksy common sense that cut through the bureaucratic jargon that overwhelms the Beltway and attempts to complicate the issues with distractions and distortions.

It is that style and ability which was responsible for initially unleashing the greatets amount of spontaneous enthusiasm for any single Republican presidential candidate in 2008, when Thompson made a late Summer entry in to the contest.  But conservatives lost their enthusiam for Thommpson just as quickly as they became enthused by him, after he ran what, to put it nicely, was a lethargic campaign that had few campaign events, little money, and a candidate who was less energized than his supporters.  Some have suggested that Thompson’s entry in to the race was merely a political stratgey meant to take enough support away from Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, to allow John McCain to squeak by and win the nomination.  Having been there myself, I tend to believe that.

While that is quite disappointing if true,  it still does not take away from the favorable opinion that many have of Fred Thompson, myself includeded.  In fact, I dare say that if Thompson had wanted the nomination in 2012 and actually wanted to run a real campaign for it, he would be the frontrunner today.  Which is why his endorsement of Newt Gingrich matters.  Especially now.

As Floridians prepare to nomiante their choice for President, Thompson’s endorsement carries more weight than others do, perhaps even more so than Jeb Bush.  While Jeb is certainly popular in Florida and would have a very substantial conservative candidate in his own right if he ran for the nomination, he is still largely perceived as a part of the establishment.  Fred Thompson is not.  And it is the anti-establishment vote which is largely driving the momentum behind Newt Gingrich.

The anti-establishment vote drove the historic Republican takeover of the House in 2012 midterm elections, and while some on the left try to deny that anti-establishment sentiment represented by the TEA movement is still alive and well, it continues to have a significant effect on  politics.  Ask Romney, and off the record, he will confirm that.  On the record of course, he will tell you that his support from the TEA Party is strong, Unfortunately for him though, South Carolina proved that not to be true. Based on the exit polls in that race, you can rest assured that Romney would not bet $10,000 on whether the TEA Party supports him over candidates.

What Fred Thompson’s endorsement of Gingrich does is make it more difficult for Romney to gain the support of anti-establishment Republicans.  While it may not be the determining factor that makes Floridians flock to Gingrich, it adds to the positive psychological atmosphere that is growing around Newt Gingrich and reinforces the Newtmentum that according to the latest polls, is building.

For that reason, Fred Thompson’s endorsement of Gingrich is quite valuable.

And the way the endorsement was delivered happens to have been odne extraordinariliy well.  It was based on more than  just platitudes.  In his 5 minute pro-Newt testimonial, Fred Thompson articulates an extraordinarily deep rationale for supporting Newt.

At one point in the endorsement video, Thompson even strikes upon the chord that is critical to what differentiates Gingrich from all the other candidates and is one of the key elememts to his succes.  Thompson states;

“We don’t need to just manage the way Washington works.  We need to fundamentally change Washington. It would be a major setback for our party and our country if we elect a president who is not up to that challenge. We need someone who has the courage and ability to communicate the truth to the American people.”

Those words sum of the very sentiments that tens of millions of Americans have when it comes to politics and our government.  They articulate the thinking of a vast majority of Americans who are disatsfied by, and disgruntled with the status quo and seeking not fundamental change in American values, but fundamental change in an American government that seeks to enforce its bureaucratic values on Americans.

What Thompson’s words do is help to shape the debate and articulate the rational for supporting Newt Gingrich and while Newt may not have the money it takes to turn Thompson’s video endorsement in to a 5 minute ad that runs across the conservative rich Northern and Western section of Florida, he can take Thompson’s words and target these regions with the Thompson’s message.  And if Thompson is willing to put a little more energy in to it that he did for his own 2008 presidential campaign, hitting the campaign trail with and for Newt in the Sunshine will also help open up minds to the thought of supporting Newt while helping to add to Newt’s existing momentum.

Transcript of Thompson’s Endorsement;

I am one of the countless number of Americans who know firsthand that, in this country, a person may be born into modest circumstances, but that he comes into the world blessed in ways that have been unimaginable to the vast majority of people who have ever lived. We are born with the birthright of freedom and opportunity – free to make our own choices about the important things in life and the opportunity to fulfill our God-given potential.

The greatest fear that I have for my country is that our government now has us on a different path. Instead of freedom and opportunity, it is one of debt, dependence division and decline – a path that will weaken our country and sap the vitality of the American people. We have moved from an era of balanced budgets, to a time of debt as large as our entire economy and of lost credit ratings. In 2001, when I was chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, I released a report “Government On the Brink,” in which I laid out the extent to which our government was bloated, growing, wasteful, subject to massive fraud, and basically out of control.

A decade later, it is worse.  Today, federal bureaucrats think they can tell a family where they can build their home and a business where it can locate. I believe that how one views the condition and trajectory of our country determines how one views the strengths of our presidential candidates. For me, I believe that we are at a tipping point, one from which we may not return. To avoid these disastrous consequences, our country needs leadership that is fearless and confident – a candidate who can give voice to the concerns and frustrations of the American people …someone who understands – and will never apologize for American Exceptionalism.

We don’t need to just manage the way Washington works.  We need to fundamentally change Washington. It would be a major setback for our party and our country if we elect a president who is not up to that challenge. We need someone who has the courage and ability to communicate the truth to the American people. Someone who will explain the hard choices that we must make if we are to give our children and grandchildren the same opportunities our forefathers bestowed on us and avoid the fate that other great nations have suffered throughout history. I believe that person is Newt Gingrich. And that is why I strongly support him. I came to Washington in 1995, in part as a result of the political revolution that Newt conceived and led. Over the next few years we were able to balance the budget, pass welfare reform, and begin to rebuild a weakened military. So we know it can be done.

Unfortunately, some on our side lost their way, became divided, and fell into recriminations and finger pointing. Sometimes, success is a difficult thing to handle. I believe that most of us have learned from our mistakes and are now focused on the future and the dangers and opportunities that lie ahead for our country. President Obama’s strategy is simple…avoid the hard realities his failed policies have created over the past three years, divide the country, pander to and organize his various constituencies, and eek out another victory. I believe he fails to see what so much of the political establishment and the Washington insiders on both sides of the aisle fail to see – that these past few years have changed our people and our country.

People in America don’t want to be told what to do, and they certainly can’t be told what to think. They see for themselves what is happening in Europe with Greece, Spain and the lot, do not want it happening on our shores and are spontaneously organizing in towns all across America. They realize that on our present course we may not recognize our country in a few years. They are waiting to be inspired and energized to a cause that will conserve those first principles that made us the envy of the world. This cause cannot be led by glossy flip charts, processing data, or reams of talking points poll-tested by a roomful of consultants.

It must be led by someone who can forcefully make our basic case for the economy … for example … how lower taxes benefit all Americans, and can raise revenue for the legitimate and limited functions of the federal government. Someone who is able to articulate the message of growth, free enterprise and freedom. Someone who knows that bold ideas have preceded every major achievement of mankind – including the United States of America. I believe that Newt Gingrich is that person.

Please join me and Newt in this effort to renew America’s Exceptionalism.  Go to Newt.org and show your support. 

Thank you.

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Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America Puts Him In Comfortable Territory

Bookmark and Share     Newt Gingrich revealed his 10-point 21st Century Contract With America in a one hour long speech to about 150 people gathered at  a town hall-style meetings sponsored by the Principal Financial Group, an entity holding a series of such forums with presidential candidates in Iowa.

Some of the key elements of his new contract  include repealing President Barack Obama’s health care plan, giving taxpayers the option of paying a flat tax and allowing young people to opt out of Social Security, boosting domestic energy production, easing government regulation of businesses,  curtailing the power of the courts, and providing a boost to medical research aimed at combating diseases like Alzheimer’s. [see details below]

While this new contract is not ground breaking, it is a clearcut plan to apply traditional Republican principles to government and is his attempt to set the tone of the presidential campaign season.  If successful, Gingrich could force candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry to play on his turf and give Gingrich an upper hand in the election.  By making his new Contract With America a plan that the ongoing presidential debate addresses, Gingrich will have the opportunity to do something that none of the other candidates can do as well ………………….articulate and defend the conservative cause and its principles.

No one has the ability to define conservative values and policies in the way that Newt does. He has an uncanny ability to explain ideas and issues in a way which defines them in terms that are so easy to relate to, that they are seen as hard to deny, common sense points.  Newt offers a type of simplification and humanization of the issues that is similar to that of Ronald Reagan’s own capacity for making complex issues understood by relating them to the everyday lives of all Americans.  This is Newt Gingrich’s greatest quality.  It his ability to present both his vision and solutions in common sense terms that become undeniably logical and difficult for many to argue against.

His only problem now is making sure that he has enough face time with the Republican electorate to put that talent to work.

Currently Gingrich is lacking both the organization and financial resources to effectively compete with the likes of Romney and Perry and now, even Herman Cain.  This is a point he admitted while at the same time claiming it will not hold him back.  According to Newt, while his campaign war chest may not be able to compete with others, he will compete in the marketplace of ideas, the place that Newt Gingrich is most comfortable in.  Gingrich states, “Voters are so worried about the condition of the country that they are demanding detailed solutions from candidates.”

While Gingrich’s plan is not revolutionary, it does offer significant change for the better and is a step towards the type of total transformation of our existing arcane tax code .  Such change will be required for America to expand its economic growth and be competitive in the global economy.  But while Newt’s plan is a strong solution to our problems, his greatest challenge will be convincing Republican voters that the messenger is as strong a candidate as his message.  That for me is one of the greatest tragedies of the 2012 presidential election cycle.

Newt Gingrich is a conservative hero to me.  He is a man who made it possible for much of the success that conservative policies saw in the late twentieth century.  While he may not have been solely responsible for those successes, he played a major role in developing the policies, shaping the debate, and setting the agenda that ultimately achieved conservative success in the 80’s and 90’s.  Yet despite his being a major architect of contemporary conservatism, he has been to a great degree, sidelined in the 2012 Republican nominating contest because of an incorrect initial perception that he was too much of a lightning rod.

Having not yet endorsed any of those candidates running for the Republican nomination, I for one am still giving Newt a chance to prove himself.  We all should.

If given a chance and a fair hearing, Newt could surprise people.  Not me however.  I am confident that if he is given that chance, people will see that he is the type of leader who is not afraid of introducing new approaches to old problems and is not intimated by new approaches and ways of thinking. In many ways, Newt is a conglomeration of all that the TEA movement stands for.  They are an anti-establishment movement that wants to make sure that government changes its ways.  And while Newt worked within in the establishment, he was always reforming the establishment.  He can still do so.  He is capable of coming up with, and implementing, the plans for change we need to insure that in the 21st century, Americans have a federal government that is based on the needs of today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

The media may not want to give him the opportunity to prove that, but as republicans, we should not be so willing to follow the media’s lead.  We should give Newt the chance to prove himself that he deserves.

Executive Summary of Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America

  • Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.
  • Return to robust job creation with a bold set of tax cuts and regulatory reforms that will free American entrepreneurs to invest and hire, as well as by reforming the Federal Reserve and creating a training requirement for extended federal unemployment benefits to encourage work and improve the quality of our workforce.
  • Unleash America’s full energy production potential in oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, wind, nuclear oil shale and more, creating jobs,  stimulating a sustainable manufacturing boom, lowering gasoline and other energy prices, increasing government revenues, and bolstering national security.
  • Save Medicare and Social Security by giving Americans more choices and tools to live longer, healthier lives with greater financial independence.
  • Balance the federal budget by freeing job-creators to grow the economy, reforming entitlements, and implementing waste cutting and productivity improvement systems such as Lean Six Sigma to eliminate waste and fraud. Pass a balanced budget amendment to keep it balanced.
  • Control the border by January 1, 2014 and establish English as the official language of government; reform the legal visa system, and make it much easier to deport criminals and gang members while making it easier for law abiding visitors to come to the US.
  • Revitalize our national security system to meet 21st century threats by restructuring and adequately funding our security agencies to function within a grand strategy for victory over those who seek to kill us or limit American power.
  • Maximize the speed and impact of medical breakthroughs by removing unnecessary obstacles that block new treatments from reaching patients and emphasizing research spending towards urgent national priorities, like brain science with its impact on Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mental health and other conditions knowledge of the brain will help solve.
  • Restore the proper role of the judicial branch by using the clearly delineated powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit, or replace judges who violate the Constitution.
  • Enforce the Tenth Amendment by starting an orderly transfer of power and responsibility from the federal government back “to the states, respectively, or to the people,” as the Constitution requires. Over the next year, state and local officials and citizens will be asked to identify the areas which can be transferred back home.

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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

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