"Last week, Newt Gingrich showed why he will be a more than formidable candidate," Lee wrote. "During a series of events, he displayed how he can combine politics, policy, and publicity to leverage his ideas and brand."
Lee then recaps Newt's week. It started with a tele-townhall with Tea Party groups in which "Gingrich showed his depth and range on a variety of issues ranging from immigration, to allowing people to opt-in to a flat tax rate, to criticizing President Obama for seemingly caring more about offshore drilling in Brazil than in America."
Then he called on George Washington University to invite Paul Ryan to give a response to President Obama's speech in which he attacked Ryan after inviting the Wisconsin Republican to it.
Newt told CNBC host Larry Kudlow that he would not reappoint Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
In front of Tea Party groups in Charleston, South Carolina, Newt ran through what his energy policy would look like:
1) Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy.Gingrich wrapped up his week at the Brookings Institution ,at which he gave a detailed speech about health care policy.
2) End the ban on oil shale development in the American West, where we have three times the amount oil as Saudi Arabia.
3) Give coastal states federal royalty revenue sharing so that state’s budgets directly benefits from offshore development.
4) Enact a loser-pays law to force the losers in environmental lawsuits to pay all legal costs for the prevailing side, which will reduce frivolous lawsuits that are employed simply to stop energy production.
5) Finance cleaner energy research and projects with new oil and gas royalties.
6) Appoint a commission of engineers and scientists, not politicians, to study the damaged nuclear reactor in Japan and determine if any changes need to be made to US nuclear power standards.
When on his A-game, Gingrich is an intellectual force and heavyweight who knows how to market his ideas in a compelling way that is understandable by the general public. Gingrich is also savvy and nimble in framing how his ideas can be solutions for contemporary problems that the country faces at the moment.Lee's point about Newt being able to market his ideas is an important one. He not only is the best ideas man in the party; he also is the one who comes up with such slogans as "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less."
The more the 2012 contest is focused on wonkish policy, Gingrich will have more of a homecourt advantage and the better off he will be.