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

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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Newt Gingrich to Announce First Step in Run for President on Thursday

Bookmark and ShareAs mentioned by White House 2012 this past weekend, Newt Gingrich is said to be beginning a run for the Republican presidential nomination. Sources close to Gingrich and in Washington have reportedly been told to get ready to travel to Atlanta Thursday when Gingrich will announce the creation of a presidential exploratory committee.

Other sources claim that some of the closest aides to the former Speaker are beginning to move their email addresses away from his political organization, American Solutions, and toward a strictly political campaign committee mail address.

As reported here in White House 2012 during January of this year, Gingrich had already picked out office space in Atlanta, Georgia where he intends to base his campaign headquarters.

If Gingrich does indeed announce his creation of a presidential exploratory committee, he will become thefourth major contender to take this first step toward a run for the Presidential nomination. Mitt Romney was the first, Tim Pawlenty, was the second, andboth arestill supposedly in the exploratory stages. Former Rick Santorum is the other major contender to have done the same. Lesser known names who have established exploratory committees include, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, activist Fred Karger of California, and former radio talk show host and Godfather Pizza CEO, Herman Cain.

Establishing exploratory committees are largely a sign of a definite run for President. They are usually precursors that give a candidate two bangs for the buck. It allows them to get the attention of two announcements, the creation of their committee and then their actual official campaign kick off announcement. But it also creates a technical legal ability for a candidate who expects to spend more than $5,000 while contemplating an actual run for office. According to election law, exploratory money may be raised without the full disclosure of sources required of true candidates. Only when the candidate drops the exploratory label does the full responsibility of transparency apply.

In addition to these exploratory committees being used as a transitional phase for their bookkeeping but often mainly for the media attention that they afford to a candidate.

Correction;

In the above post I erroneously stated that former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson hasan existingexploratory committee. That is a mistake. Governor Johnson goes to great lengthsto point out that he is not a candidate and is currently operating a 501(c)4 committee, which by law precludes him from running for office through that committee. While Governor Johnson is widely expected to run, he is not officially doing so yet with an exploratory committee.

This is something which I should be acutely aware of since Governor Johnson has declined an interview with White House 2012 on the grounds that he is a 501 (c)4 and not running for President at the moment.

Thanks to White House 2012 readerBen forcorrecting the record.

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“Happy Birthday to the TEA Party” from Newt Gingrich

Bookmark and ShareOn the heels of a week which rumor has it that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich may announce his establishment of a presidential exploratory committee, Newt issued a happy birthday message to the TEA Party movement. In a tweet on his Twitter account, the former Speaker wrote;

“Happy Birthday to the Tea Party Movement!”

He linked his message to his Facebook page whichoutined a historical foundation for the TEA Party which places the date of the creation of the TEA Party on February 27th 2009.

In it he writes;

Fed up with a Republican Party that forgot its reformer roots and a Democratic Party where every solution involved more government, tea party rallies began brewing in over 50 cities with an estimated 30,000 people attending.”

Gingrich goes on to write that those numbers increased to 1.5 million two months later on April 15th,. tax filing day. The remainder of his message discusses the big government mentality which helped the rise of the TEA Party and elegantly concludes by him writing;

“Through countless hours, an undying faith in America, and sheer force of will, the Tea Party movement has turned our political system on its head.

In doing so, the movement has built upon the great legacy of our forebears in Boston Harbor, who ignited a revolution of liberty over 237 years ago.

Happy second Birthday to the Tea Party movement.

Here’s to many more.

Your Friend,

Newt”

Gingrich’s salute to the TEA Party is most definitely a sincere one. Newt has always opposed bureaucratic government growth and solutions in favor of solutions solved through individual responsibility and the free market. But at the same time, his hat tip to the TEA movement is also a signal of just how critically important TEA Party support is for anyone with any desire to win the G.O.P. presidential nomination as well as any other elected office.

Could Newt be setting the stage for a long courtship of the TEA Party? Most definitely.

And it is my opinion, that despite Newt’s insider image his courtship does have the potential to blossom in to a romance that can help him greatly in early primary and caucus states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

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Gingrich Tells House Republicans to Place Budget Cuts Over Government Shutdown

Bookmark and Share As President Obama and Senate Democrats face-off with House Republicans on matters of the budget that could force a March 6th shutdown of the federal government, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently penned an excellent editorial in the Washington Post which lent advice to Republicans that wasbased upon his own firs hand experience . It was 16 years ago when the Gingrich led House of Representatives and President Clinton clashed over the budget and actually forced a shutdown of government.

In his editorial Gingrich explains that at a crucial juncture in 1995, after technically fulfilling several budgetary aspects of the Contract With America , he and fellow Republicans weren’t interested in procedural success but instead understood that they were elected to deliver results. So the House Republican leadership decided that they would voluntarily balance the budget eventhough they were unable toachievea balanced budgetamendment mandating such a thing.

The former Speaker states that after the House adopted a timetable and created a plan that would end deficit spending by 2002, the Clinton White House and Senate Democrats set out to test our seriousness. They made a calculated, cynical decision to use the threat of a presidential veto – which would close the government – to insist that we drop our balanced budget.

Gingrich adds that:

it was President Bill Clinton’s veto of our budget in December 1995 that closed the government. The White House knew that it could use the power of the presidency and the support of liberal media to blame us. So, we faced a choice. We could cave in and be accepted by the Washington establishment, or we could stand firm for a balanced budget for the American people. We decided to stick to our principles through a very contentious and difficult period. Our attempt to balance the federal budget was distorted in the news media as an effort to ruin family vacations, frustrate visitors to the nation’s capital and prevent government employees from going to work. For the Republican leadership, the effort to hold together the House and Senate caucuses while negotiating with the White House became extraordinarily exhausting.

But in the end it was Republican determination which ultimately produced the first of four consecutive balanced budgets since the 1920s balanced budgets that paid off more than $450 billion in federal debt, overhauled welfare, strengthened Medicare and enacted the first tax cut in 16 years. Gingrich added;

It was this tax cut that boosted economic growth and allowed us to balance the budget four years earlier than projected. During my years as speaker, more than 8.4 million new jobs were created, reducing the national unemployment rate from 5.6 percent to 4.3 percent.”

After laying out the case Newt urges the G.O.P. to work to keep the government open, unless it requires breaking their word to the American people and giving up their principles. It his belief that House Republicans should give President Obama and Senate Democrats the opportunity to sign significant spending reductions and keep the government open, or to veto their cuts and close the government. And if they go for the second option Republicans must;

make clear that it is their stubborn liberalism that is closing the government.

The approach which Gingrich takes is both a moral one and a strategic one. Morally we as Republicans know that the moral thing to do is to begin to make sure that we stop spending more than we have. Furthermore; we realize that the proper way to do this is by cutting spending not raising taxes. Therefore the Gingrich approach is the right thing to do. It is in fact what they were elected to do.

Strategically though Gingrich is also correct to warn us to preempt the liberal media biases and general liberal spin machine that will undoubtedly try to paint Republicans as the heartless fiends who would should down government and take from the poor to give to the rich.

For Gingrichs advice to work, every Republican entity from the RNC to state and local Republican committees and from the Republican Governors Association the National Republican Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees must get on the same page and join with TEA Party groups across the nation in a campaign that can make Democrats inability to stop spending like drunken sailors the blame for such a a government shutdown.

Only if the forces which elected the new Republican House majority, stay united behind the issues they voted on, and only if House Republicans prove to be committed to those issues will it work. Without such a partnership of commitment to cuts by legislators and of , commitment by voters to the legislators who support such cuts, the news will not be good for the G.O.P. But if this partnership holds firm the real bad guys can take the heat for their real bad decisions.

I would also add this. Republicans should be much more afraid of compromising their principles than of a government shutdown. If they do not go all out to achieve the significant budget cuts they seek, voters will turn their backs on them for years to come. For many voters, 2010 was a last chance for Democrats to prove themselves to be sincere fiscal conservatives not liberal spenders. As such if the government remains open on March 6th but Republicans failed to achieve any significant spending solutions, the majorities that elected them in to office will be much less inclined to vote for them again. On the other hand, if there is a government shutdown and Republicans have shown that it is because Democrats refused to make necessary spending cuts, those who supported them before, will continue to do so and more will join them.

The bottom line is that Newt is right. Now if he is willing to take this message and translate it into a Republican campaign for President, it just make have a lot of play.

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