Saturday, November 20, 2010

Former Reagan official compared a Gingrich speech with Churchill's Iron Curtain

When quoting Peter Ferrara in my last post, it made me think of a quote that Frank Gaffney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy, made in April 2003 after Gingrich lambasted the State Department:
The speech former House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute may be one of the most important foreign-policy addresses by a former national leader since Winston Churchill warned in March 1946 that 'an iron curtain has descended across the (European) Continent.'

Peter Ferrara details A Newt Vision for America

In a laudatory article about Newt Gingrich, the normally calm and stoic Peter Ferrara sounds like...well, me. Ferrara, director of entitlement and budget policy at the Institute for Policy Innovation, was in the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations. He is typically a policy wonk, his signature proposal being to personalize Social Security.

However, in the first paragraph, Ferrara writes after watching the former Speaker at an event, "Gingrich is the only political leader in America today who, after you hear him speak, leaves you feeling like you learned something new, or, maybe even that a whole new perspective or vision has been opened for you. In fact, his speech at this dinner is this generation's modern equivalent of Reagan's famous CPAC speech of 1975."

Ferrara recounts a story Newt has told many times -- that of his childhood experience of visiting the battlefield of Verdun and deciding that instead of possibly becoming a zookeeper that he would enter public service. Ferrara quotes Gingrich:
I came out of it convinced that countries die. And that the quality of civilian leadership is central to their survival…. I concluded that my job was to try to understand three things: what is it we have to do to survive as a country, how would you explain it with such clarity that the American people would give you permission to do it, and how would you then implement it in such a way that it both worked and they would give you permission to continue. I've literally now, for 52 years, been trying to understand this.
The theme of Gingrich's speech at the event was replacing a "rejection model" of conservatism with a "replacement model." To illustrate what he meant, he used the analogy of the birth of the nation. The Declaration of Independence rejected the British, but "that didn't make us independent," said Gingrich. "We declared our opinion. In order to be successful and independent, there had to be two enormous acts of replacement."

The first was military: "But it was the replacement of British military power with American military power which made the difference." And the second was replacing the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution.

After citing the many electoral rejections the left has suffered -- from George McGovern to this year's mid-term elections -- Newt wrote:
The Left didn't notice it because the power of the Left isn't in popular elections. The power of the Left is in tenured academics. The power of the Left is the news media. The power of the Left is the bureaucracy. The power of the Left is union leadership. The power of the Left is inside the judgeships. The power of the Left is in the Hollywood literati. And so the Left just kept going further Left....The fact is rejection is an inadequate, long term strategy if you are serious about saving America, because rejection doesn't fix a center left coalition, which has been in power since 1932. And that requires us to adopt, I believe, a fundamentally new strategy: a strategy of replacement. We have to look at every level of American society, and every level of American government, and we have to decide that we are going to replace the Left, with policies, systems, and institutions that reflect the heart of the American tradition.
As Ferrara put it, Gingrich then lays out the "long term goal and vision":
And where we have to go is a goal to create a majority that's governed so decisively, with such positive results, that in January, 2021, we are inaugurating a team which understands why it is continuing a center-right majority, understands why it is continuing a prosperous America, understands why it's continuing a safe America, and understands why it is continuing the most free society in history. And only if you think out to that achievement, can you understand the challenge of the next two years, because this is an enormously complex country.
"Notice the emphasis on the word continuing, which I am explaining as a President Palin or Jindal being inaugurated after eight enormously successful years of a President Gingrich, similar to the eight enormously successful years of President Reagan," says Ferrara. "That is the magnitude of the long-term roadmap to victory for the conservative movement that Gingrich spells out in this speech."

Writing of " the accomplished practical record and standing that Gingrich has in setting this long term goal for the conservative movement," Ferrara further quotes Newt, who made a similar point when Fox News interviewed him for their 12 in 2012 special:
Now some people will tell you, there's Gingrich having these wild ideas. I think it is fair to say, if you look at my career, from helping create the Georgia Republican Party, which now occupies every statewide elected position, and controls both houses of the State Legislature, and the majority of state Congressional seats, to creating the first [Republican Congressional] majority in forty years, and the first re-elected [Republican Congressional] majority since 1928, to four balanced budgets in a row, paying off $405 billion dollars of national debt, on occasion, I can actually be practical.
Rejecting the foolish idea of simply trying to get 50% of the vote plus one, Gingrich calls for an outreach to every American:
[W]e have to be prepared to say, with the deepest of meaning, that…we are determined to go into the poorest of communities, of every part of America, from the valleys, to the inner cities, to poor rural areas, and we are going to change the culture, we are going to change the bureaucracy, we are going to change the tax code, we are going to do whatever it takes, so that every American is truly capable of pursuing happiness as they have been endowed by their creator. And I believe, the morning all Americans believe that we, as conservatives, are serious about them having the right to pursue happiness, we will create a 70% to 75% majority that will be staggering in the scale of it, and the reach of it, in the neighborhoods we never thought we could carry, simply for a practical reason. We can offer their children and grandchildren a vastly better future than the bureaucratic welfare state of dependency, coercion, and ineffectiveness.
In closing, Ferrara once again cites Gingrich's bona fides in leading the conservative movement from the White House:
It was Gingrich, do not forget, who led conservatives in the fight against Bush 41's disastrous 1990 budget deal, which is what catapulted him to the top of the House Republican leadership. He demonstrated his prime-time leadership abilities in engineering the historic Republican takeover of Congress in 1994. Most importantly, Speaker Gingrich successfully implemented conservative policies once in power. He slashed total federal spending by one-eighth relative to GDP, more even than Reagan did in the 1980s, though Reagan was rightly distracted by the defense buildup that won the Cold War without firing a shot. Gingrich led adoption of the enormously successful 1996 welfare reforms ending the entitlement status of the old, New Deal, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, sending it back to the states as long sought by Reagan and his welfare guru Robert Carleson. He also led adoption of Freedom to Farm, which began phasing out farm subsidies, until later overturned under Speaker Hastert. These are the policies that not only balanced the budget without tax increases, but achieved large surpluses with tax cuts that fueled the continuation of the Reagan boom through the 1990s.

With Reagan's glorious victory over Soviet Communism, Gingrich now offers the leadership to win the full and final victory over the Left in the next logical step: vanquishing the Left within America itself.
It may appear as if I quoted the entire article -- but there are plenty of other great sections that I did not. Here is the link again.

And the link to Newt's speech is here (at the Institute for Policy Innovation).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gingrich: The fight for repeal is beginning

In an e-mail sent out today, Newt Gingrich writes, "It's beginning. What will likely be at least a two year effort to repeal ObamaCare started this week." He then discusses the efforts of a few Senators "to repeal a requirement in the law that forces businesses to file paperwork for business transactions with a vendor or supplier if they amount to more than $600 a year, more commonly referred to as the '1099 provision.' "

Scott Brown is involved in that effort as well as taking out the individual mandate.

Gingrich ends the e-mail:
At American Solutions, we're continuing to build momentum for a grassroots, citizen-led push for repeal. In the coming months we're going to be developing a range of tools for all Americans to use to make this movement as big and as meaningful as it needs to be. We'll soon have an interactive map that includes contact information for each U.S. Senator, and we're also developing a citizen's guide to repeal, which will be a handbook describing how people can make a difference in this fight for repeal.

As always, thanks for everything you do, and stay tuned for more updates from me and American Solutions about ways we can work together to repeal ObamaCare.
If you do not receive e-mails from American Solutions on repealing Obamacare and other issues and wish to, here is where to sign up.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Newt's 12 in 2012 segment

The interview happened a week ago, but here are some of the highlights of Newt on Fox News' 12 in 2012 special:
  • Will only run if there is a good chance to win. “If I just wanted to make noise, I could make noise without being a candidate. It's a lot less expensive.”
  • The House Republican majority "have to" attempt to repeal Obamacare, take up spending cuts, and stopping the tax hikes.
  • “Confronting” President Clinton so earnestly over spending, even factoring in the government shutdowns, was crucial to proving to the GOP base they were serious.
  • When asked by host Bret Baier if he sometimes went too far, Newt responded: “Sure. Every once and awhile, I have to say, 'Well, that one wasn't all that clever, was it?' I think as a candidate, you'd have to be more disciplined, more careful, more methodical.”
  • On his personal baggage possibly dragging down his candidacy, “If you think we need to go back to first principles, in terms of the Constitution, people may say, 'You know, Newt's been around a long time. He's the guy who can actually fix it.”
  • Mara Liasson: “I think Newt Gingrich would love to run for President -- if only to be on stage with everyone else, driving the debate and coming up with more ideas than anybody else could.”
  • When prompted for real spending cuts: Discretionary spending levels of 2008 would save a trillion over the next decade; “fundamentally rethink unemployment compensation,” thinks “it ought to become a training program; “would overhaul” the Pentagon procurement process as it is “absurd to take 15 or 20 years to get a weapons system.”

In a blog post on, Chris Stirewalt wrote, Gingrich "also has a political action group American Solutions for Winning the Future that boasts a wide donor base and big fundraising. His mailing lists would be the envy of most of the 2012 field.”

Dick Morris: Gingrich would clean the floor with Obama in a debate

After endorsing Newt Gingrich for President a few months ago, Dick Morris, who battled Newt during the 90s when Gingrich was Speaker, again spoke highly of Newt last night.

Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor, Morris said that among the other prospective GOP candidates, Newt was the only one who "could absolutely clean the floor with Barack Obama in a debate, because he can handle him, intellectually." In the above column, Morris put it this way: "He can match Obama’s words and overmatch his intellect. Newt’s teleprompter is inside his own mind."

Morris also predicted last night that Gingrich would win the GOP primary.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gallup memo: Most wide open GOP field since '72

A new Gallup Poll has the four GOP front-runners -- Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich -- bunched up between 19 and 13 percent. Romney and Palin both draw 19% support; Huckabee, 16; and Gingrich at 13. Romney and Palin's support has not changed since September, while Huckabee and Gingrich have each gained four percentage points in the two months.

Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones writes of the race at this very early part, "The current results on Republicans' presidential nomination preferences suggest the 2012 contest could be more wide open than any since the winners began to be determined largely through state primaries and caucuses in 1972."

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post quotes a GOP consultant who worked on Romney's 2008 Presidential campaign as saying, "There has never been a field as wide open as this one is. Ever."

The liberal website Talking Points Memo put together the results of a series of Public Policy Polling polls, and they illustrate just how jumbled the race is.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Joe Gaylord

In my last post, I quote Joe Gaylord on a possible Gingrich run. As Thomas Beaumont made clear in that article, Gaylord would have a substantial role in such a campaign. And that is just natural since he has been Newt's right-hand man for many years. From his bio on
Serving as the senior counselor to Speaker Newt Gingrich, the Speaker dubbed him the 'irreplaceable man' for his work as principal architect for the House leadership in mapping out and leading the effort to execute a blueprint to elect a Republican Majority in the House in 1994. For his achievement, his peers in the American Association of Political Consultants named him Co-Campaign Manager of the Year. He led the successful effort for the House leadership to re-elect the Republican House majority in 1996 and 1998 -- a feat not accomplished since the days of Herbert Hoover.
He has recently written his third book, Campaign Solutions, available for free in PDF or audio format.

A quick three-minute video from him:

Newt recounts a conversation weeks before the Revolution:
September 17, 1994, was the day that Joe Gaylord briefed the GOP team. We had a team that was going on a campaign swing on September 17 -- Dan Meyer, Steve Hanser, Kerry Knott, Joe Gaylord, and myself. Literally, as we were taking off at National, I asked both Kerry Knott, who headed up our planning operation, and Dan Meyer, what were we planning on the night after the election? At that time, I was still the minority whip and Bob Michel was still the GOP leader. I said, 'On election night, are we planning for me to be minority leader or to be Speaker?' And Gaylord broke in and said, 'Well, you better be planning to be Speaker, because you’re going to be.' Dan Meyer then turned to him and said, 'OK, before we do anything else, explain this prediction.' Gaylord started in Maine and, by memory, went through every congressional seat in the country and came up with a 52-seat gain. I think we gained 53, so he was off by 1.

Des Moines Register: "Gingrich takes steps toward a presidential run"

Gingrich made a quote to a Texas NBC station that him and wife Callista were "organizing" their enterprises to clear the way for a run last week.

In a column by Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register, Newt once again talks of having to organize them in such a way to make a run at the White House. Beaumont writes, "Gingrich did not take similar steps to deal with his personal and business arrangements before ruling out a 2008 run, aides said."

Joe Gaylord, "Gingrich’s closest political counsel," said that he "would be very surprised" if there is not a Gingrich candidacy. "Does he want to run? You bet. Does he think he can figure out a way to do that? Yes. But he’s got to go through all the processes to make sure he can do it financially," Gaylord said.

Beaumont then sketched a possible outline of a campaign: "Gaylord, an Iowa native, likely would play the role of senior adviser in a Gingrich presidential campaign. Sam Dawson, another longtime Gingrich operative who was part of the 1994 House majority victory, also would be expected to take on a national campaign leadership role, aides said."

Estimating that he spoke to 39,000 people while campaigning for the mid-term elections, Gingrich said, "I have some sense for what’s working and what isn’t....We haven’t had the kind of sweeping reform capability that is survivable since Reagan."

"Gingrich plans to test the reaction to the themes when he addresses the Republican Governors Association meeting in San Diego this week and during four Web-based policy seminars," Beaumont added.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Quick Hits

From CNN's website:
Next month the former House Speaker makes a high profile visit to South Carolina, another important early voting state in the presidential primary calendar. According to a GOP source, Gingrich keynotes the Spartanburg Republican Party's Bronze Elephant Dinner on December 16.
In their latest analysis of their polls, Public Policy Polling writes:
Newt Gingrich's one and only lead in this round of 18 polls comes from North Carolina where he gets 23% to 19% for Huckabee and Palin and 14% for Romney. Meanwhile Huckabee matches his largest lead in any individual state in Kentucky where he gets 26% to 19% for Palin, 17% for Gingrich, and 13% for Romney. Gingrich and Huckabee splitting these two states is somewhat emblematic of the fact that for either to win the GOP nomination may take the other not running since a strong across the board performance in the South would be vital for both of their chances.
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