Guest Blog: Newt Gingrich not new to the game

Photo by Gage Skidmore (used through Creative Commons Licensing)

By Caroline Foster

Newt Gingrich is not new on the political scene, or new to controversy for that matter.

Gingrich’s name is extremely recognizable for many reasons. Supporters of the former Georgia congressman, a Pennsylvania native, hope it’s because he was the Speaker of the House from 1995-1998. He was the first Republican to hold the position in 40 years, and he is often credited for the Republican take over in Congress after the 1994 elections because of his “ Contract with America.”

While holding the title of Speaker of the House, Congress cut taxes for the first time in over a decade, reformed welfare, and increased funding for National defense and intelligence.

But during his time leading Congress Gingrich was known as very outspoken and strongly partisan. He commonly referred to the opposing party as the corrupt left-wing machine” when he was in office.

Unsurprisingly, Gingrich’s critics think his marks on Washington were anything but positive.

Washington Post blogger, Joe Nocera, wrote

Gingrich was too partisan and “ power hungry” to be a good leader. He didn’t care about the parties working together; instead he promoted a political climate that was “ Us vs. them.”

This time around Gingrich hopes to instate a new “ Contract with America” if he is elected. This plan will balance the budget in 5 years, eliminating the country’s debt, and focus on economic growth. Another issue Gingrich believes in is using American oil supplies instead of those abroad.

One thing that can’t be debated is Gingrich has been involved in his fair share of controversy. His 2011 campaign for the presidential nomination has already had its share of newsworthy drama. In early June news broke that almost all of Gingrich’s campaign staff resigned due to disagreements about the direction the campaign was headed. Even now it seems his campaign is not well- managed.

Other problems arose when reports surfaced that Gingrich had a fondness for jewelry from Tiffany Co. where he had a six-figure debt to his name.

But much of Gingrich’s scandal is related to his private life. When he was the U.S. House speaker he admitted that he had an affair with a former congressional aide, Callista, as he was married to his second wife. This was all taking place at the same time he was publically criticizing President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. These days he is married to past mistress Callista, making her wife number three.

As far as his chances of landing in the oval office go, many analysts and political contributors think it’s out of the question for the man who was once seen as frontrunner for the nomination. Syndicated conservative radio host, Charles Krauthammer said on Fox as early as May that Gingrich is “contradictory and incoherent,” and that his fight for the bid for the nomination is “over.”< /span>

But GOP strategist Rich Galen thinks there is still some magic in Gingrich’s name. Galen said that Gingrich’s continual dedication to new ideas and politics has made him a strong political player for decades. When Gingrich announced he was running, Galen said the work necessary for Gingrich to win is vast. He must convince a significant portion of voters, those who know him and those who don’t, to like him. Only time will tell if Gingrich can complete this task, which could be the most significant in his political career.

Posted by on September 15, 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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