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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
Gingrich on the Issues
Newt Gingrich is a lightningrod. That description fits him on many different levels. Of course it appropriately describes the controversy and attention that his every word receives but it also fittingly represents the high voltage of his constant flow of ideas and solutions. In a day and age when the left is struggling to survive by depicting the G.O.P. as the Party of no and that has no new ideas, Newt Gingrich turns that argument on its ear.
After being elected the first Republican Speaker of the House in forty years, Time magazine named Newt the 1995 Man of the Year, and wrote;
“Leaders make things possible. Exceptional leaders make them inevitable. Newt Gingrich belongs in the category of the exceptional.”
Such praise from what is largely a left leaning publication can only be made because of its undeniability and there is no denying Newt Gingrich’s exceptionalism.
It was that exceptionalism which allowed then Minority Leader Gingrich to be a major force in what became the 1994 “Republican Revolution” that swept historic numbers of Democrats out of Congress and an historic number of Republicans in to Congress. Enough to take control of both Houses of Congress. A great deal of this revolution occurred due to the unpopularity of then President Bill Clinton and his powerful wife Hillary who was put in charge of having the federal government take over the American health care system. But it was Gingrich who gave voters good reason to vote for Republicans and not just to vote against Democrats.
Aided by several other Republican leaders, Gingrich created”The Contract With America”, a ten point pledge that Republican candidates took to pass the following legislation;
- The Fiscal Responsibility Act
- The Taking Back Our Streets Act
- The Personal Responsibility Act
- The American Dream Restoration Act
- The National Security Restoration Act
- The “Common Sense” Legal Reform Act
- The Job Creation Act
- The Wage Enhancement Act
- The Citizen Legislature Act
- The National Security Restoration Act
The Contract was one of the few times that congressional elections were run on the basis of a national campaign, but the novelty of a Party, not a President, but a Party, running on a plan that consisted of precise legislation, was one that gave the impression that Republicans had a real and clear sense of direction that a and as such, it provided voters with a level of confidence that helped them to feel good about casting their ballots for Republican candidates over Democrat candidates.
That 1994 election placed Newt at the height of his career when he assumed the office of Speaker of the House in 1995.
But from that point on, while Newt did masterfully maneuver much of the Republican agenda and more through Congres,s and was even instrumental in passing major reforms, including welfare reform, his success in passing the aspects of the G.O.P. agenda that he could, with A Democrat in the White House, the left gave birth to an onslaught of attacks against him and vilified and demonized Newt. Much of that demonization was based on ideology. For instance, late in 1995, Speaker Gingrich refused to compromise with President Clinton on portions of the federal budget. This actually led to partial shutdowns of the federal government. Many on the right saw Newt Gingrich’s uncompromising stand as a breath of fresh air and a long overdue exercise in fiscal responsibility. Some even suggested that the partial shutdown of the government proved just how much government we could do without and, to the surprise of the left, still see life go on.
But the left capitalized on this headline grabbing standoff. They began to call the Contract With America that the G.O.P. ran on, the “Contract On America”. And they painted Gingrich’s actions as irresponsible.
Then came the ethics investigations.
Prompted by Democrats, Newt’s every move was considered a violation. Part of this was payback though.
It was then Congressman Gingrich who In May 1988, spearheaded the claims that then Democrat Speaker of the House Jim Wright used a book deal to circumvent campaign-finance laws and House ethics rules. Soon 77 other House members joined Newt in officially bringing these chargesto the floor of the House and Speaker Wright eventually resigned as a result of it and in turn, after leading the cry against Wright, Gingrich began a quick rise to power and was soon elected Deputy House Minority Whip.
Burned by Gingrich, Democrats chose to attempt to tear him down by the same means that he used rose to power with. Ethics charges.
Unfortunately Newt didn’t quite help himself there much. Although most of the endless number of charges proved to be frivolous and politically motivated, two charges did gain traction. In 1995, the same year he became Speaker, the House ethics committee questioned the appropriateness of $4.5-million book advance that Newt received. Gingrich ended up returning it.
The the following year the committee concluded that he had violated House rules concerning a college course he taught from 1993 to 1995. The ethics committee found that Newt had wrongly used tax-exempt donations to fund the class and that he had inaccurately denied the involvement of GOPAC, a political action committee that he headed, in the course’s development. As a result, In January 1997 Newt paid $300,00 to cover the results of the investigation which in the end, found that he did not violate an ethics. Till this day though, some try to describe Newt’s payment as a fine. But such is not true. As it turned out, out of 84 Democrat ethics charges against Newt, only one was determined to have any technical merit and that one was essentially found to have been due to what amounted to be a technical error which Gingrich’s lawyers were responsible for.
Not long after that, he was reelected Speaker of the House, but by a slim margin.
Still Newt remained a real conservative Speaker of the House. One that never satisfied liberal ideologues and remained the poster boy of anti-Republican rhetoric.
Then came 1998 and Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Gingrich supported efforts to impeach and remove the President from office. Unfortunately, many voters lost sight of why Gingrich supported impeachment and felt that he and his Republican House majority overreached in its attack on Clinton. The headlines of the day focussed on the salacious details of the President’s sordid extramarital affair with a young White House intern. The people became swept up in the details about the blue dress with remnants of the President’s DNA splattered on it, and stories about how he used his cigar for more than just smoking. The sauciness of the scandal overshadowed the real reason for impeachment which was a Commander-and Chief lying under oath to a federal grand jury. Such a conviction would send the average man to prison for quite some time. But Republicans and some Democrats too, believed that not only did President Clinton break the law, as Commander-and -Chief he is the supreme authority of the United States and that authority can not break a solemn oath, and the law, and still be trusted to obey and enforce it as the President of the United States.
But this was lost on much of the electorate and as it turned out, the United States Senate too. In the end the Senate failed to convictPresident Clinton of the charges of contempt of court, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice . Like many, the juicy details of the affair overshadowed the less flashy technicalities of the law. So many felt that Newt and the Republicans under his leadership, went too far.
So in the 1998 mid-termelections that followed the impeachment hearings, Republicans lost five House seats.
This led to pressure on Newt from his own Party who felt that he lost his vision and had focussed them too much on political strategy and not enough on the issues. Many felt that was the reason why Republicans lost those House seats in the ’98 midterms. The national media picked up on this and started to help label Newt as the ugly face of the G.O.P., the man whose harsh conservative views were beginning to unravel his Party and hinder progress on the national.
As the intensity of this criticism increased, even though Newt believed he would have likely maintained a slim hold on his position as Speaker, he fell on his sword and announced that he would not again run for the for his leadership post.
Gingrich stated that it was clear to him that he had become too much of a lightning rod and that the attention upon him personally would not help the Republican Party and it would be too much of a distraction from the national debate on the real and important issues of the day. So on January 3rd of 1999 Newt Gingrich relinquished the Speakership and retired from Congress.
But he did not go into hiding. In the years that followed, Gingrich remained a leading voice and influence in the Party.
He currently serves a senior fellow at the The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. He founded the Center for Health Transformation to develop a 21st Century System of Health and Healthcare that is centered onknowledge andprevention.
In 2007, Gingrich founded American Solutions for Winning the Future, a”leading grassroots movement to recruit, educate, and empower citizen activists and elected officials to develop solutions to transform all levels of government.”
Gingrich also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the conservative Hoover Instutute andas a commentator, guest or panel member on cable and network television and is s a contributor to the Fox News Channel.
Throughout his continuing career, Gingrich has proven to be a prolific and top selling author. Most of his novels are comprised of innovative, conservative policyinitiatives and directions that are rooted in the founding principle of our nation. His firstbook was published in January of 1982. It wasentitledThe 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:
- 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
Gingrich’s candidacy will certainly cause the knives to come out in full force. But it is still unknown if the knives against him will outnumber the swords defending him.
The extent to which President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have taken this country down a road of mind numbing spending, unmatched and unfettered government growth, unprecedented government control and frightfully expensive tax based government takeovers, has brought a significant portion of the American electorate ready to correct the course of state by making a sudden and sharp turn to the right in the hopes of correcting the far, far left direction we are now headed in. Under these circumstances, a competitive Gingrich candidacy is not entirely out of the question.
Many want drastic changes. The type of opposite changes thatBarackObama delivered on. They want true fiscal responsibility, true limited government, limited but effective regulation, tax reform and a national security and foreign policy that is not based on liberal correctness. For many of these fed up voters, Newt might just be what the doctor ordered.
But he would still have to do a lot of work to convince many Republicans that he is viable and that he could appeal to to non-conservative geared voters. That might be a hard sell. And even if he can overcome that hurdle Newt will still face the ire of the the left who will rehash his ethics investigations and also focus on the conservative candidate’s two marriages and three divorces.
Yet despite all that, what Time Magazine said about Newt still remains true;
“Leaders make things possible. Exceptional leaders make them inevitable. Newt Gingrich belongs in the category of the exceptional.”
That lingering impression along with a record of solid conservatism and a long history of proving that he is certainly not a candidate of no ideas will make a formidable candidate. His presence in a race for the Republican presidential nomination, will surely overshadow several other candidates and while Newt might not be able to go all the way, his participation in the primaries would surely prevent other candidates from going all the way too.
And on a final note, it is important to remember that anything is possible. Back in the day, few people ever thought that a B rated actor could ever be elected to two consecutive terms as President, revive our nation, tear down the Berlin Wall and bring Communism to its knees.
So although a Gingrich presidency is not a great bet right now, it is also not as unlikely as some may think…….or hope.
-The above synopsis was prepared for White House 2012 by Anthony Del Pellegrino in June of 2010
Click the icons below to see Gingrich’s websites
Newt 2012 HQ
Key Gingrich Campaign Staff
Campaign Coordinator Michael Krull
National Director of American Solutions from 2007-2011. Principal and managing director at Gordon C. James Public Relations; worked at the firm for nearly seven years. International management consulting firm for about five years. In the mid-90’s Krull returned to Iowa for about three years, where he served as vice president of the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and ran an international trade group affiliated with Iowa State University. Political appointee (Bush 41) at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Iowa field staffer on Bush ’88 and then in several subsequent states. Staff assistant to Sen. Chuck Grassley. M.S. in political science from Iowa State University. B.A. double major in political science and religion and philosophy from Luther College. Iowa native who grew up on a farm outside of Titonka.
Communications Director Joe DeSantis
Previously communications director at Gingrich Communications. Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University. Bachelor’s degree from Drew University.
Press Secretary R.C. Hammond
Previously press secretary at American Solutions. Communications staffer on John Sununu’s 2002 U.S. Senate campaign. Degree in political communications from The George Washington University, 2002. Originally from Moultonborough, NH.
Deputy Press Secretary, plus Asian American inclusion Michelle Selesky
Communications coordinator at Gingrich Communications where she orchestrated radio and media opportunities. Master’s degree in political management from the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University. Bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA where she was captain of the women’s gymnastics team; semi-fluent in Vietnamese. Native of Orange County, CA.
Video Editor Cynthia Meyer
Finishing undergraduate studies at The George Washington University. Meyer has interned for the International Republican Insititute, the Republican Governors Association and Gov. Rick Perry’s re-election. From Texas.
Research Director Brady Cassis
Research assistant to Gingrich at the American Enterprise Institute.
Policy Vince Haley
Previously vice president of policy, advocacy, and communications at American Solutions.
National Security Advisory Team
(announced Nov. 22, 2011)
Norman A. Bailey, Ilan Berman, Ken de Graffenreid, John Fonte, Robert McFarlane, Herman Pirchner (Director), Tina Ramirez, Bill Schneider, Kiron Skinner, Abraham Wagner and R. James Woolsey.
Hispanic Inclusion Sylvia Garcia
Joined Gingrich Communications as Hispanic inclusion director in 2005; a founder of The Americano. Worked for five years in Miami as a senior editor for a Spanish online portal; then transferred to Madrid, Spain to work as a leading project manager and overseeing editors. Writer and reporter for a television station in Ecuador. Graduate in broadcast journalism and Spanish language from University of Miami.
Hispanic Volunteer Coordinator Crissy Mas
Assisted with outreach for The Americano and event planning. Worked for a non-profit organization and full time for a lobbyist firm in downtown DC while earning her Master’s degree in Congressional and Presidential Studies at Catholic University. Undergraduate degree from Catholic University.
…Garcia and Mas are based in Miami, FL
Asian American Inclusion Michelle Selesky
National Coalitions Director Kellen Giuda
(Nov. 2011) President and CEO at kellenPROJECTS LLC, a public affairs firm, since Jan. 2011. Project manager of the Balanced Budget Amendment Now Coalition campaign. A co-founder of the NYC Tea Party. Bachelor’s degree in architecture from University of Miami, 2005.
Faith Leaders Coalition
(announced Jan. 12, 2012)
Chairman George Barna
Heads the Barna Group, based in Ventura, Calif. George and Nancy Barna founded the firm in 1984 as Barna Research Group, a marketing research firm that served Christian ministries, non-profit organizations and others. Two Master’s degrees from Rutgers University; undergraduate degree from Boston College. Author of 48 books.
Pastor Jim Garlow
(Dec. 17, 2011 letter) Rev. Don Wildmon, founder and chairman of the American Family Association (announced Dec. 20, 2011) Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel (Jan. 12, 2012) Pastor Tim LaHaye (announced Jan. 13, 2012) Beverly LaHaye (announced Jan. 16, 2012) Pastor Joe Fuiten of Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Washington (announced Jan. 17, 2012) Dr. Michael Youssef, Founder and President of the worldwide ministry, Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef (announced Jan. 18, 2012)
Newt Tea Party Coalition
(announced Jan. 19, 2012)
Finance Coordinator Amy Pass
(announced Aug. 3, 2011) Most recently worked for American Solutions where she was responsible for major donor fundraising. Degree in business administration from the University of Georgia, 2002.
Deputy Finance Coordinator Whitney Smith
Started as an intern for Gingrich Communications and most recently worked in fundraising and events at American Solutions. Graduate of Western Illinois University. Illinois native.
Director of Advance Gordon James with Ed Cowling and Gregg Edgar
Hispanic media consultant in seven previous Republican presidential campaigns beginning in 1980. Founder of Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, now Bromley Communications, the largest Hispanic advertising agency in the U.S. Author and portrait artist. (more) (Sosa endorsed Gingrich on Aug. 15, 2011).
Senior Strategist (Survey Operations)
(announced Dec. 14, 2011) President of The Winston Group, a strategy and research firm. Served as director of planning for Gingrich during his years as Speaker of the House.
(reported by Politico on Dec. 14, 2011)
Former Congressman Bob Walker
Executive chairman of Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates. Served 20 years in Congress representing southeastern Pennsylvania (16th CD), first elected 1976 and did not seek re-election in 1996. In the 104th Congress he chaired the Committee on Science. Prior to his election to Congress Walker was an assistant to Rep. Edwin D. Eshleman and earlier taught in Millersville public schools. M.A. in political science from the University of Delaware; B.S. in education from Millersville University.
President and CEO of Gingrich Communications.
Experience includes research assistant to State Sen. Richard Stevens. Recent NC State graduate. Fayetteville