In his most important political battles, Newton Leroy McPherson Gingrich failed. Oh, sure, there was the Contract With America, 15 years ago, which got him a lot of press, but a year later the Republican engine stalled, and more Clintonistas were elected. Bill Clinton called Newt’s 10-point manifesto the “Contract ON America”.
In the 1998 mid-term elections, Republicans sustained their biggest losses in more than six decades, and, amidst ethics charges and declining popularity, Mr. Newt not only resigned as Speaker of the House, but resigned his seat in congress.
He hung out with the late Jerry Falwell and other God-in-Government types, and now runs a right-wing foundation. Monday, Mr. Newt was in Milwaukee to raise money for Scott Walker’s second run for governor. Walker ran in 2006 but dropped out when he ran out of money.
Mr. Newt himself is frequently mentioned as a Republican candidate for President in 2012, and he says he’s seriously thinking about it. Fox News Channel pays him to be on TV regularly, to keep his face in front of the public.
It’s not a scoop that this fundraiser Monday was pricey. The top ticket was five grand, and for that, you and your significant other (no pun intended) got your picture taken with Mr. Newt and got to participate in a round-table discussion with him. A grand got you the photo-op, and 250 bucks got you into the door, and that’s it. 800 people ponied up.
But the real kicker is that Mr. Newt didn’t even ENDORSE Scott Walker! Apparently Mr. Newt is hedging his bet on who’ll be the Republican nominee for governor, with Mark Neumann also in the mix. Whoever it is will likely face Jim Doyle, who’s giving signs that he will run for a third term. Diamond Jim had better have a few more of those pricey golf outings to fatten his warchest.
Mr. Newt says the voters will be desperate in October of 2010 for low-tax less-spending smaller-government candidates. He claims voters will have recoiled in dismay from the policies of the Obama administration.
I’m not sure if Wisconsin voters in general are still as tired of the same old failed politicians running for office as they were during the Presidential primaries last time around, but there’s sure nothing new about people like Mr. Newt, Mark Neumann, and that crowd. The Republicans seem to like these guys like McCain and Gingrich who have a lot of miles on the odometer.
Stay tuned. It’s gonna get real interesting in a few months.