October 1, 2007
By Robert B. Bluey
Thirteen years ago, then-Rep. Newt Gingrich stood on the steps
of the U.S. Capitol to unveil the Contract with America, a document
that crystallized conservative principles and led Republicans to a
remarkable triumph on Election Day. Gingrich was at the top of his
game and the country was following closely behind.
Of course, times have changed drastically since then. Gingrich
was driven from elective office and along the way Republicans lost
their way -- and control of Congress to boot.
For a moment last week, however, Gingrich was once again the
great conservative hope. On the very anniversary, Sept. 27, of the
day Republicans unveiled their Contract with America, and at the
very place, the Cobb Galleria, where Gingrich celebrated the GOP's
return to the majority on Election Day in 1994, he made a passionate case for solving America's greatest
problems with common-sense solutions.
Solutions is my best effort to launch a movement that
understands that you have to have real change, that the real change
has to be at every level of government, [and] that science and
technology are going to be great drivers over the next 40 years,"
he told me and Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters in an interview last week.
"If you take three things -- science and technology, the principles
that worked historically (such as the free market, entrepreneurship
and the work ethic), and the core values of American civilization,
which have made us the freest, wealthiest and most integrated
society in American history -- and reapply them again and again,
you begin to see specific solutions to the mess we're currently
That mess has driven trust in government to all-time lows not
seen since the darkest days of Watergate, according to a new Gallup
Poll. Will Gingrich lead America out of that mess?
Gingrich said that's a question for another day. Right now the
former House speaker is devoting his energy to finding solutions
rather than pursuing the presidency. Last week's event was the kick
off for Solutions
Day, an event that continued on Saturday with 35 workshops
taking place across the country. Anyone from any party, ideology or
belief was invited to share ideas -- and solutions -- for problems
Gingrich's goal isn't to fix all of America's problems in sixth
months. But he does hope American
Solutions, complete with a Solutions Lab, can bring people together to
share common goals toward reasonable solutions.
"I'll give you an example," he said. "Sen. [Hillary] Clinton
issued a 10-page outline of a health plan. Large parts of that I
don't agree with because it's big government, it's high taxes, it's
red tape. But surely out of 10 pages there are six or seven things
you could say, 'You know, that's a pretty good idea. Could we do
that?' And try to find common ways to talk together about the world
you want to create rather than seek out how to fight each other all
Gingrich cited three areas where an overwhelming percentage of Americans are in
"What's red vs. blue when you're at 85 percent?" Gingrich said.
"The truth is you have a liberal minority that dominates The
New York Times, the academic world and Hollywood. Then you
have this huge, massive 70-, 80-, 90-percent majority. And the
combination of Republican incompetence and Democratic cleverness
makes it look like it is a narrowly divided country, when in fact
the country's not divided, the politicians are. I want to reunify
the country around values that are absolute massive
It would seem logical that in order to achieve his goals,
Gingrich would want to seek the presidency. But when asked
repeatedly if he's going to run, Gingrich played coy. Given the
fact he's having so much fun in his current role, it seems hard to
imagine him doing anything else.
Robert B. Bluey
is director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The
Heritage Foundation and maintains a blog at RobertBluey.com
First appeared in Townhall.com
Thirteen years ago, then-Rep. Newt Gingrich stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to unveil the Contract with America, a document that crystallized conservative principles and led Republicans to a remarkable triumph on Election Day. Gingrich was at the top of his game and the country was following closely behind.
Robert B. Bluey
Director, Digital Media, and Director, Center for Media and Public Policy
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