IDA Caucus Countdown #3: Newt Gingrich
I would like to welcome you to the fifth installment of the Iowa Defense Alliance Caucus Countdown. We are now past the halfway point in the Countdown list. Today we unveil the candidate that occupies the third spot in my preference list. But first things first, we need to provide a short recap for those that are just joining us. Last week when we launched the IDA Caucus Countdown it was former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman that found himself trailing the rest of the field, resting securely at number seven. Next up was Texas Congressman Ron Paul sitting solidly at number six. Number five was fairly close, but in the end it was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney that found himself in this position. And then yesterday we unveiled Romney’s closest competitor for my caucus vote, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Now without further ado, let us discuss candidate number three; former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.
Entering this caucus season I did not have former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich ranked very high on my preference list. To be frank, I really did not know much about him beyond the fact that he was the architect of the 1994 Contract with America, a policy that was instrumental in allowing the Republican Party to regain majority control of Congress for the first time since 1969. My original opinion, prior to doing any major research, was that Speaker Gingrich was nothing more than a washed up political hack attempting to make a comeback. Upon doing just a small amount of research I learned much more about the former Speaker, both positive and negative.
Among the first pieces of information that I discovered, although it seems to have been common knowledge to those that had been active in politics for far longer than I have. Speaker Gingrich’s marriage infidelities have been well documented and disseminated, particularly now that he is running for the Republican Presidential nomination. It is widely known that Gingrich is on his third wife after having two affairs while married to his previous wives. I find his actions during his first two marriages absolutely abhorrent. However it does appear that Gingrich has learned from past mistakes as he has been married to his current wife, Calista, for close to twelve years. And while it is impossible for a mere mortal to know what is in his heart; it is not hard to forgive him for past transgressions.
One of Speaker Gingrich’s greatest assets is his mind. In my honest and humble opinion, Speaker Gingrich is quite possibly the most intelligent man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The vast amounts of knowledge that his mind holds is absolutely breathtaking. Never before have I seen an individual with the ability to accurately utilize facts and figures contained within his memory without the use of a memory aid. However this very same intellectualism that he holds can lead him astray. There are times where he lets himself be duped by faulty information.
One such example is the issue of Global Warming. In 2008 Gingrich filmed an ad with then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urging people to contact their leaders to address Climate Change. It is clear from the video that Speaker Gingrich had indeed bought into the theory of manmade climate change. That is until he decided to run for President. In July of this year he told Politico that he “regretted” the ad and that he did not think that scientists have proven the theory to the point that action was warranted.
Another area that Gingrich’s intellectualism may have caused him some headaches is the issue of healthcare, in particular the issue of Obamacare. On his own website Speaker Gingrich has posted a video in which that he claims that he is opposed to the Obamacare health insurance mandate. He asserts that it is not just wrong, but unconstitutional. That was not the case; however, in 1993 when Gingrich proclaimed that he supported the idea that individuals be required to have health insurance. On May 15, 2011 on an episode of “Meet the Press” Speaker Gingrich continued to assert that he was indeed supportive an individual mandate.
I have to admit that I do love the idea of Newt Gingrich debating President Obama. I have absolutely no doubt that Gingrich would dominate Obama. But the problem with Newt is his baggage. In a general election campaign the Democrats would shred Gingrich’s credibility beyond the point of no return. Speaker Gingrich also seems to have contracted Romney Syndrome, the ability to change one’s position on a particular issue and still deny that it is a flip flop with a straight face. It is these flip flops that cause me the greatest concern because it tells us that we do not actually know where Gingrich stands on the issues. We only know where he claims to stand on the issues. So the primary reason that Gingrich placed third is the fact that I find it difficult to trust him. Seems to be a lot of that going around this year.
Posted on December 28, 2011, in Commentary, Iowa Caucus, Politics and tagged Al Gore, Climate Change, Contract with America, divorce, Individual mandate, Infidelity, Intelligent, Iowa Defense Alliance Caucus Countdown, Jon Huntsman, marriage, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Nancy Pelosi, Newt Gingrich, Obamacare, Republican Revolution of 1994, Ron Paul, Speaker of the house. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.