Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who wrote this endorsement of Newt's first book?

The vision of Window of Opportunity is a vision of the American Dream in the 1980s and beyond; a challenge to mobilize the spirit, wisdom and strength of our nation; a source of new hope for building an Opportunity Society that sparks the best in each of us and permits us to chart a better future for our children and our children's children.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Washington Post: "Newt Gingrich, underrated"

Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post makes the case today that -- "[a]mazingly" -- Newt is underrated as a candidate by many.

Gingrich is also a charismatic speaker and able debater, and almost certainly will occupy the "ideas guy" space in the field -- no matter who winds up running....

[E]very candidate in the 2012 field has a major flaw (or flaws), meaning that the nomination is likely to be won by the candidate who best minimizes his problems and plays up his assets.

Given that, dismissing Gingrich out of hand -- particularly given his skills as a candidate -- seems foolish.

And, one look at Gingrich's strength in Iowa -- the state that will kick off the 2012 nomination fight -- should cure any doubts about his viability in the field.

Eyebrows were raised recently when Iowa state House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer said Gingrich was the 'right guy to be president of the United States.' But, veteran Hawkeye State observers said that the Upmeyer endorsement was evidence of the deep connections the former House Speaker has cultivated in the state.

'Newt has a long history with Iowa Republicans,' said one veteran Iowa Republican strategist. 'Throughout the 90s all the way to today, he is one of a handful of Republicans who consistently draws large crowds and attracts attention and support for his work. Iowa Republicans feel like they know him.'

Gingrich has been a regular presence in Iowa of late; late last month he spoke at the Iowa Renewable Fuel Association's annual gathering in which he called for the abolishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. He made seven stops in Iowa during 2010.

Gingrich also donated heavily to Iowa Republicans at the state legislative level -- contributing $100,000 from his American Solutions political action committee to the Iowa House Majority Fund. (Republicans re-took control of the state House in 2010.) Gingrich also raised and donated a combined $250,000 for Iowa Republicans and various conservative organizations in the state, including $80,000 alone at a Polk County Republican dinner in May 2010.

And, as one senior Republican strategist in the state noted, one of Gingrich's closest advisers, Joe Gaylord, is an Iowa native and 'knows the terrain here well.'

A win in the Iowa caucuses would almost certainly propel Gingrich into contention in primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond where his staying power -- always a question mark with the mercurial former Georgia congressman -- would be tested.

'No matter who gets in the GOP presidential race, Newt will be in the final three,' predicted one senior Republican consultant who is currently unaligned in the presidential contest.

That sort of statement might be dismissed as hyperbole by some within the party but Gingrich's inroads in Iowa suggests that simply writing the former Speaker off is a major mistake.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Newt and Moneyball

In May of 2003, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game was released. I quickly bought the book, having had heard of it on several websites that I visited regularly, and couldn't put it down.

In short, it's about how the Oakland Athletics' general manager, Billy Beane, goes beyond the typical offensive stats in baseball -- batting average, home runs, and RBIs -- to find players who are undervalued. Beane was one of the first GMs to look at on-base percentage, and because so few did, he was able to build one of the league's best offenses with one of the lowest payrolls.

Now, Beane has had to adjust, since more and more teams are understanding the value of OBP, but the A's still compete with teams that spend 2-times, 3-times, and even 4-times as much money as they do.

Why is this on a political blog, you may ask? Because the book is a favorite of Newt Gingrich. It makes sense that he would like it, for it details three things that he likes: new thinking, metrics-based solutions, and an anti-establishment approach.

The baseball "establishment" hated the book, even though many have not read the book -- and one person, Joe Morgan, is so ignorant of it he thinks that Beane himself wrote it. Not knowing what they were talking about did not stop the old guard from dismissing the book, and four years later, they still go on bizarre rants on TV, in newspaper articles, and on radio.

Since the book has come out, many company managers have had their employees read it; many of those companies are on Wall Street, which the author of Moneyball, Michael Lewis, had written a book about before.

The fact that Newt likes the book exemplifies why I think he should be president: He looks outside the box and is always looking for new information -- two qualities not commonly found in politicians.

(Note: There will be a movie based on the book coming out later this year.)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Newt having conversations with potential donors, says Wall Street Journal

"Newt Gingrich...has 'stepped up' conversations recently with potential donors, according to Republican operatives and fund-raisers," writes Neil King Jr. and Brody Mullins.

Just another sign.
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