Beltway Happenings
April 9, 2007--In a speech sponsored by Young America's Foundation and GW College Republicans, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said America is in the opening stages of a great wave of change.  Gingrich said we are today about where the progressives were in 1896 to1900.  He set out a distinction between a "fossilized, unionized bureaucracy" exemplified by a government that cannot locate millions of illegal immigrants and "more choices of higher quality at lower cost" seen in the fact that companies deliver millions of packages and it is a matter of little consequence to a call up and track an individual package.  "The systems don't work anymore," Gingrich said.  There is a need to migrate government at every level, he said, noting that there are 511,000 elected officials around the country from school boards to county officials, mayors and state legislators.  Pointing to the reduction in crime engineered by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Chief William Bratton in New York City, Gingrich asked the audience to imagine if that big a change could be achieved in other areas of government.  Before taking questions, Gingrich turned to the international situation, arging that the world is dangerous to a point comparable to 1935 to1938 in Europe. 
After his speech, Gingrich took questions.  The first question was, "What are the chances that you're going to be a presidential candidate?"  Gingrich said he is focused on the American Solutions workshops he is organizing on September 27 and 29 and is "not going to begin to think about it until the 30th of September."  He derided the current long campaign as "a consultant full employment process" and said that with the aid of the Internet "you could have a campaign launched in three to six weeks."  He also repeated his call for a series of nine 90-minute dialogues between the nominees in Fall 2008.

Copyright © 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action