|In Brief - General chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future, a 527 organization he founded in 2006. Founder of the Center for Health Transformation, begun in 2003 as a project of the Gingrich Group. Chairman of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm he founded in 1999. Senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1995. Elected Speaker of the U.S. House in 1995 and served to Jan. 1999. In 1994, Gingrich drew up the "Contract with America" that helped Republicans gain a majority in the U.S. House for the first time since 1954. Elected to Congress in 1978, after unsuccessful campaigns in 1974 and 1976. Professor of History and Environmental Studies at West Georgia College, 1970-78. Master's (1968) and doctoral (1971) degrees in Modern European History from Tulane University. Bachelor's degree from Emory University, 1965. Born June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, PA. [Timeline].|
Man of Ideas
in the years leading up to 2008, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich served as a virtual one-man think tank offering a conservative vision and a steady stream of ideas on how to achieve limited, effective government that had a number of Republicans around the country hoping he might run for president.
In January 2005, more than a decade after the "Contract with America" helped Republicans gain a majority in the U.S. House for the first time since 1954, Gingrich came out with a new book Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America. He described Winning the Future as "kind of a workbook to start the dialogue and start the discussion on." In the book he addresses subjects ranging from the terrorist threat to personal savings accounts to restoring God and religion to public life. At the time the book came out, Gingrich said on the possibility of a return to public office that, "It strikes me as implausible." He emphasized that he was seeking to advance his ideas. However as 2005 progressed Gingrich seemed to grow more open to the possibility of running; indeed he made several visits to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Late 2005 provides a good example of the breathtaking array of issues that Gingrich has addressed. On October 19 he testified before a House subcommittee on "Status of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence." On November 15 he testified before a Senate subcommittee on "The Threat of the Current Regime in Iran." With former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell he chaired the United States Institute of Peace Task Force on the United Nations which issued its report on December 16. In January 2006, in response to the Abramoff scandal, Gingrich issued a white paper on "Principles for Cleaning Up Corruption in Washington."
Gingrich developed particular expertise in health care reform. He presented some of his ideas in a 2003 book Saving Lives & Saving Money: Transforming Healthcare in the 21st Century, and he has formed Center for Health Transformation, described as "high-impact collaboration of private and public sector leaders committed to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that saves lives and saves money for all Americans." According to CHT's website, "Small changes or reactionary fixes to separate pieces of the current system have not and will not work. We need a system-wide transformation."
In the latter part of 2006 Gingrich formed a 527 organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, which became a major vehicle for his activities. Specifically, American Solutions organized a "Solutions Day" on September 27, 2007, the 13th anniversary of the launch of the Contract with America, and again on September 29. According to the American Solutions website, Solutions Day was an effort to "reach out across the country to activists, volunteers and all 511,000-plus elected office holders in America, their staff, and the citizens who are serving or seeking to serve in these offices." "Our goal is to create a wave of change that meets America's challenges, seizes our opportunities and builds a better future for all Americans," the site stated. Gingrich even reached out to the other presidential candidates of both parties seeking to involve them in some of American Solutions' activities [letter]. Gingrich meanwhile said he would put off any decisions on a presidential run until after "Solutions Day." In an article appearing in the Sept. 12, 2007 Washington Times, Gingrich told reporter Ralph Z. Hallow, "I will decide based on whether I have about $30 million in committed campaign contributions and whether I think it is possible to run a campaign based on ideas rather than 30-second sound bites." (more) However on September 29 he ruled out a presidential run:
"...under the McCain-Feingold law that it was impossible as a citizen for me to both continue to lead American Solutions and to even assess whether or not a candidacy made sense. And that the law basically so severely restrictes citizen activity that you had to make a choice. And as you can see from all the things in here, the things we did Thursday night, the launch we just did, American Solutions is in the early stages, I think, of becoming a genuine national citizens movement with over 2,000 sites around the country, and with a tremendous amount of interest in new solutions with over 35 workshops today. And to walk out of it just as it's getting launched struck me as absolutely irresponsible..."Although Gingrich has at times been a controversial figure, his thought provoking ideas would no doubt have elevated the discourse had he decided to run.
Readings and Resources
REDISCOVERING GOD IN AMERICA (Integrity Publishers, Aug. 10, 2006)
WINNING THE FUTURE: A 21st Century Contract with America (Regnery Publishing, Inc., Jan. 2005; revised edition in paperback June 2006)
With Dana Pavey and Anne Woodbury SAVING LIVES, SAVING MONEY (Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, 2003)
LESSONS LEARNED THE HARD WAY: A Personal Report (HarperCollins, 1998)
TO RENEW AMERICA (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1996)
RESTORING THE DREAM: The Bold New Plan by House Republicans (Times Books, 1995)
CONTRACT WITH AMERICA: The Bold Plan to Change the Nation (Times Books, 1994)
With with David Drake and Marianne Gingrich WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY: A Blueprint for the Future (Tor Books, 1984)
Also, with William Fortschen,
Gingrich has co-authored these works of fiction (all published by Thomas
PEARL HARBOR: A Novel of December 8th (May 15, 2007)
NEVER CALL RETREAT: Lee and Grant, The Final Victory (2005)
GRANT COMES EAST (2004)
GETTYSBURG: A Novel of the Civil War (2004)
1945 (Baen Books, 1996)
Steve Talbot, producer. "The Long March of Newt Gingrich" FRONTLINE. Jan. 16, 1996.
Mel Steely. 2000. THE GENTLEMAN FROM GEORGIA: The Biography of Newt Gingrich. Mercer University Press.
Nina Easton. "The new Newt thing." Fortune. January 22, 2007.
Jason Zengerle. "The Thinker." The New Republic. July 24, 2006 (cover story).
Sept. 11, 2006-Speaking on "Lessons from the First Five Years of War: Where Do We Go from Here?" at the American Enterprise Institute.
Aug. 11, 2006-At the Iowa State Fair.
July 16, 2006-After an appearance on NBC News' "Meet the Press."
June 21, 2006-At NFIB luncheon.
Feb. 11, 2006-Wrapping up CPAC 2006.
Nov. 6, 2005-After an appearance on ABC News' "This Week."
Aug. 19, 2005-Speaking on "A Vision for a 21st Century Medicaid Solution" at the National Press Club.
Aug. 13, 2005-At the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, IA. [Photos courtesy of Rick Tyler]
Feb. 25, 2005-Discussing his book "Winning the Future" at the American Enterprise Institute.
On the Web
Jan. 23, 2007
March 31, 2006
|Nov. 16, 2005|
|Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action||