Friday, March 4, 2011

Newt on Hannity.

Hey Folks,

About an hour ago Newt Gingrich was speaking to Sean Hannity (Fox News, 9pm ET.)


About to go 2seg's w/ @newtgingrich does he have an announcement? & Giuliani on the Freedom agenda
posted by @seanhannity from Twitter for BlackBerry 1 hour 33 mins ago
Unfortunately no video as of this very moment, but hopefully it'll become available soon. As for what was spoken of, there was some exciting news! I'm not a word-for-word type of guy, but I can give you the points:

  •  Failures of Obama
  • Youth and inexperience quote from Ronald Reagan came up (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoPu1UIBkBc
  • What he'd do as president for Israel.
  • Information about Soviet Russia and the comparison to Iran.
  • Defeating Iran.
  • Exploratory committee should last at least six weeks, then we'll know. Get out and like him, dammit!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Newtexplore2012 now live!

newtexplore2012.com

You can sign up, offer a message of support or an idea, and contribute.

Here is the Facebook group and the Twitter page.

The Latest News: newtexplore2012.com to go live today and Georgia radio interview

The website that will be used to gauge support for a Gingrich run is newtexplore2012.com.

And here is a radio interview in which he mentions the website.

From ABC, here is the relevant section of the interview:
'Callista and I promised, as you know, for well over a year that we would make a decision in late February or early March and we have kept our promise,' Gingrich told [Martha] Zoller. 'We will have a Web site up later on today, people can go to it. It’s newtexplore2012.com and it’s an effort to reach out to folks and say if we really want to get back to being a country of American exceptionalism and we really want to create jobs competing with Germany and China and India and we really want to shrink government, get power out of Washington, balance the federal budget and we really want to have a stronger national and homeland security so we’re safer. Lots of folks are going to have to decide if that’s a project they want to be engaged in.'

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gingrich's outreach to Christian conservatives

Much has been written over the last few weeks about Newt's efforts to have a dialogue with evangelicals and other Christians. The Los Angeles Times, however, was more specific than the other articles.
This year, several potential presidential candidates are vying for attention among religious conservatives. But only Gingrich was instrumental in the most heralded event of recent Christian political activism: The effort last fall to remove the Iowa judges.

'It wouldn't have happened without Newt,' said David Lane, executive director of Iowa for Freedom, the organization that led the campaign. 'Newt provided strategic advice and arranged the initial seed money, about $200,000, which is what got everything started.'

The money came from an anonymous donor whose contribution was arranged by Gingrich, Lane said.

Robert L. Vander Plaats, chief spokesman for the judicial campaign, said the former speaker provided key strategic advice.

He said Gingrich had won over pastors in the state with his 'open and transparent' approach.

'Does the faith community have high standards? You bet,' said Vander Plaats, who was Huckabee's state chairman in 2008. 'But do we also understand that we all fall short of the standards? Yes, we do.'

...

In October, more than 40 prominent pastors came to Virginia for a private lunch with Gingrich at Liberty University, the Christian college founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Last month, Gingrich met with 10 prominent clerics at a gathering organized by Richard G. Lee, founding pastor of First Redeemer Church in the Atlanta area. Lee said Gingrich impressed the group with his leadership proposals and his repentance.

Gingrich has had similar meetings in the key electoral states of South Carolina, Florida and New Hampshire, where he met late last year with nearly 100 pastors.

Newt "will begin raising money to test whether a bid for the GOP presidential nomination is feasible"

From the AP:
Gingrich is set to talk about the step at a news conference Thursday at the state Capitol in his home state of Georgia where he has a meeting with the governor. Tyler told the AP that Gingrich 'is entering the exploratory phase' of a presidential candidacy.

He is stopping short of setting up an exploratory committee, which would have made him a legal candidate. Gingrich and his wife, Callista, oversee a web of commercial and nonprofit ventures and must tie up some loose ends with those businesses before they can take that step, Tyler said.

However, 'this is a serious exploratory phase,' Tyler said.

...

The 67-year-old Gingrich is doing what is known by the Federal Elections Commission as testing the waters.

That means he can raise and spend money to hire staff and conduct polling to gauge how much support he would have for a presidential bid.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is the timing right for Newt to get in?

From RealClearPolitics:
Tim Albrecht, the communications director for Republican Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, suggested that Gingrich would be wise to jump in now and seize the political treasures that might be gained from being the most aggressive contender.

'Being the first candidate to announce carries with it a great opportunity to generate a lot of buzz with your entrance,' Albrecht said. 'It effectively means the staring match is over, and somebody blinked.'

Now that a major candidate appears ready to enter the race and begin to more actively seek out the services of aides and activists in Iowa, Albrecht said that his would-be rivals might not want to cede additional ground....

'This is still Iowa, and while some could be tempted to rely on media stories and paid advertising, someone like Newt understands grassroots politics and will work very actively to recruit precinct captains beginning on day one,' Albrecht said.
The last point Albrecht mentions is huge. Getting a strong grassroots organization going will be key.

That is how Barack Obama won Iowa in 2008.

Quick Hits

Newt's spokesman, Rick Tyler:
In noting Gingrich’s accomplishments as a Member, Tyler telegraphed what could be a campaign messaging strategy to contrast the former Speaker’s record of concrete achievement at the federal level versus his opponents’ 'rhetoric' of as-yet-unfulfilled promises.

'I imagine those are the same people who thought balancing the budget was just an idea; I imagine those are the same people who thought welfare reform was just an idea,' Tyler said, in response to critics who complimented Gingrich’s contribution to Republican policy but otherwise consider him to be a political liability to the GOP.
Palm Beach Post:
'If…I end up running we will create a channel called Learning From America and everyday, with volunteers carrying cameras, we will try to find at least three places where everyday Americans are doing smart things,' Gingrich said.

'And every night we will file on the Internet three more examples of why every American should be an optimist, every American should be hopeful and every American can believe there’s a better future. I have no interest in running a 30-second attack ad that is petty, trivial, negative and destructive. I have every interest in a national dialogue.'
Matt Lewis:
A new book about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich could provide a last-minute boost to his chances heading into the primaries if he seeks the GOP nomination for president.

The book, "Citizen Newt," is being authored by the respected Reagan biographer Craig Shirley (who has been interviewing Gingrich one day a week) and is set to land on bookshelves just one month before the Iowa caucuses next January.

Newt's spokesman: No announcement Thursday (update: he will announce intention to run but nothing formal)

Latest update from CNN:
Despite the conflicting messages emerging from the Gingrich camp, the former House Speaker is nevertheless expected to make presidential news following his appearance with Deal at the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday.

He is still likely to announce his intention to explore running for president on Thursday in Atlanta, but it appears he will not file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to form an actual committee.

It remains unclear whether Gingrich will continue working as a political contributor for Fox News as he explores a presidential bid. Fox News did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday0
Rick Tyler:
Over the past 48 hours, there has been much speculation in the press about former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s intentions with respect to a presidential candidacy. The attached article from the Des Moines Register which contains a significantly inaccurate statement is indicative of that speculation.

Speaker Gingrich’s long-standing visit to Georgia on Thursday has been on his schedule for months. As a senior fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, Gingrich will participate in the Annual AEI World Forum. He accepted that invitation last spring.

His plans for being in Georgia also include an event for his American Solutions organization. As a regular part of his travel schedule in his role as general chairman, Speaker Gingrich holds meetings with potential supporters and concerned citizens to raise the resources necessary to fund American Solutions’ mission and its important projects like Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less and Jobs Here, Jobs Now, Jobs First.

Gingrich will also visit the State Capitol in Atlanta to discuss with Gov. Nathan Deal the American Solutions 'Replace not Reform' project. As part of the project, he will ask the governor to establish a 'Tenth Amendment Team' within the governor’s office that focuses on defending Georgia’s 10th Amendment rights under the Constitution.

Gingrich is not traveling to Georgia to announce that he will form 'an exploratory committee' as stated in the Des Moines Register. To be clear, while Speaker Gingrich is in Georgia on Thursday, he will NOT announce the formation of an exploratory committee.

Jim Galloway offers this take:
One suspects that a possible conflict has been detected between Gingrich’s private affairs, involving American Solutions, and his public aspirations. Bottom line, reporters on Thursday will ask Gingrich whether he’s entering an exploratory phase of a presidential campaign. What he answers is his business.
So maybe not every 't' was yet crossed and not every 'i' was yet dotted concerning the separation of American Solutions and Newt.

A wild day.

Tom Beaumont interviews Joe Gaylord about possible Gingrich candidacy; NYT: no announcement speech, just Q&A session

On the Des Moines Register website, Beaumont asked Gaylord, who is Newt's senior political adviser -- and "a Des Moines native who has been Gingrich’s top strategist for 20 years" -- about the news of starting an exploratory committee.
Gaylord said the development will allow Gingrich, who has said he would announce his plans in the coming days, to raise money, conduct polling and hire staff to be dispatched to early nominating states, including Iowa.

Iowa’s precinct caucuses are expected to start the 2012 Republican presidential nominating sequence in less than a year.
The New York Times has another detail:
Mr. Gingrich is not preparing to deliver an announcement speech – that, aides said, will likely come later – but he will hold a question-and-answer session with reporters. He is not expected to file paperwork immediately, but rather announce plans to do so in the coming weeks.

Announcement will be at 2:30 ET Thursday and some other notes

The announcement will be outside the Georgia Statehouse. Newt and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who has endorsed a Gingrich run, will also talk about reasserting the 10th Amendment.

Fox News has some details on his upcoming schedule:
He has been flirting with the idea for months and will travel to the First in the Nation Presidential Caucus state of Iowa on March 7th where he will address the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. The trip will be Gingrich's third to the Hawkeye State in 2011 and his ninth visit since 2010.

Gingrich will also make an appearance in the first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire on March 17th when he attends Bernie Streeter's Wild Irish Breakfast. The annual St. Patrick's day breakfast in Nashua is a major political event in the Granite state that typically draws both Republicans and Democrats.
From CNN:
Will Rogers, the former chairman of the Des Moines-area Polk County Republican Party, told CNN that Gingrich is certain to run 'a high level campaign operation here' if he decides to move beyond the exploratory phase.

"My feeling is that he looks like somebody who is going to run," said Rogers, who has known Gingrich for six years and plans to work for him if he embarks on a full-fledged candidacy. "He is doing the things that people need to do in order to become a frontrunner in the state of Iowa."
ABC:
Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn said he has been one of the most frequent visitors among likely GOP candidates.

"He's been helping local candidates and the parties raise money and appearing at local grassroots events -- the kinds of things you need to do in a caucus state like ours," Strawn said.
Mississippi Governor and potential 2012 rival Haley Barbour had this to say of Gingrich: "I'm crazy about him." Barbour was RNC chairman during Newt's Speakership.

Multiple sources: Newt will announce this week; ABC says he will "tout" his time as Speaker

ABC was the first, then National Journal confirmed the news: Gingrich will announce this week that he will open an exploratory committee.

ABC:
His advisors say a Gingrich campaign would tout his accomplishments as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999 -- most importantly under his speakership the budget wasn't just balanced but generated more than $400 billion in surpluses. Advisors say this sets him apart from the field. He won't just talk about the federal debt, but can take credit as the only candidate with a record of dealing with it effectively. He also oversaw comprehensive welfare reform, tax cuts and a reduction in the growth of government spending.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Speculation on where Newt's headquarters could be

From Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
We’ve heard that Gingrich has had his eye on Buckhead – which is logical. Many Republicans for statewide office have located themselves in the same general area. Eric Johnson and Nathan Deal, both candidates for governor, did so last year. Sonny Perdue’s 2006 re-elect was there, too. The state GOP headquarters was within a stone throw of all.

We asked a GOP veteran with real estate experience what Gingrich might be looking for. Among his points:

– Gingrich will probably be looking for something in the 8,000 square foot range, with options to grow should things look good;

– Gingrich’s Center for Health Transformation has an office off the Glenridge Connector near the top of Perimeter. But he would more than likely want to put some geographic distance between his campaign and his business/private interests. The Federal Elections Commission gets very picky about these things.

– Quick access to Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, and the charter flights that will send the candidate to Iowa and New Hampshire, will be important. But the location needs to be near enough to Ga. 400 or I-85 to make it easy for low-ranking advance teams to make it to Hartsfield-Jackson without too much trouble.

– Given Atlanta real estate prices, Buckhead is a bargain. But Gingrich will probably want to stay away from Grade A space with its glass fronts and marble floors. Hard to ask contributors for money when your front office has valet parking.

– That said, volunteers will want to feel safe when walking to their cars. So Gingrich and his team will probably be looking for something in Grade B real estate. Or perhaps, they’ve already signed the lease.

– Visibility would be important as a backdrop for visiting TV reporters. The 2012 race for the GOP nomination could very well be wrapped up before the Georgia primary. But our GOP real estate veteran said he would recommend a building off a freeway, capable of carrying large signage, to catch those Yankees on their way to Florida.

POLITICO skews the truth -- again

POLITICO.com once again fudged the facts when it came to a conservative.

In an article about Newt's fundraising, the website makes it seem that Newt's groups only get money from millionaires. The article says, "And because Gingrich raises little money that comes with the strings of FEC rules limiting donations, his actual fundraising ability as a presidential candidate remains unclear."

To get a contrasting view, one need not read a conservative web site or get a statement from Gingrich's camp.

One would just need to read the Washington Post, in whose pages was an article last week that talked of Newt's "fundraising prowess" and mentioned that "Gingrich's donor base includes nearly 300,000 contributors who gave $200 or less to American Solutions."

Having the name and e-mail addresses of 300,000 small dollar contributors would seem to indicate that he could raise money as a Presidential candidate, no matter how POLITICO wants to spin the facts.

Newt will be in Iowa a day before his possible announcement date

From Tom Beaumont, who I figure to be quoting a lot of over the next year:
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is scheduled to participate in a forum of Iowa social conservatives on March 7, the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition said today.

The addition of Gingrich to the list of speakers, which includes fellow 2012 Republican presidential prospects, comes as Gingrich has said he expects to announce his plans within the next two weeks and as early as next week.

Former CEO Herman Cain, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, all weighing 2012 GOP presidential bids, are expected at the Faith and Freedom event, to be held at Point of Grace Church in Waukee from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Newt to announce exploratory committee within ten days

Randy Evans, a lawyer for Gingrich, said in an e-mail, 'My expectation is that he will make an official announcement about an exploratory committee within the next ten (10) days. I also expect that it will happen in Georgia.'

NYT: "A New Newt"

The New York Times wrote an interesting story about Newt's "reintroduction" to many conservative voters whereby he talks more openly about his faith now than he has in the past.

While it is worth reading the whole article, here is a couple of snippets:
Rival Republicans marvel at his deep well of ideas, his innate intellect and his knowledge of government. They also point to the strategic approach taken by the Gingrich team in the 2010 elections, including holding training sessions for a new generation of elected officials. He has secured important endorsements, including one from the new majority leader of the Iowa House, who has been courted by all potential presidential candidates.
Dr. Jack Willke, an early leader in the anti-abortion movement in Ohio and across the country, was among those waiting for an autograph. Dr. Willke said he was delighted that Mr. Gingrich had increased the role of faith in his public appearances, something that he said he did not recall during Mr. Gingrich’s tenure as speaker of the House.

'We were there long before he was,' Mr. Willke said. 'It was never a big public thing for Newt, but he’s surfaced now as considerably more so.'

As Dr. Willke and his wife, Barbara, mingled with others in the crowd, Mrs. Willke said she was delighted to read about Mr. Gingrich’s baptism as a Catholic in March 2009. When one woman asked about his conversion, Mrs. Willke replied: 'His Catholicism certainly sounds legit, and even more so since Callista is in the picture now.'
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