Winning The Future is the title of a 2005 book by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. In the book, he outlined his solutions for the problems plaguing our nation – excessive government spending, declining math/science education, terrorism, fading patriotism, and godlessness.
Now fast forward to 2011: “Winning the future” was used by President Obama in his State of the Union speech no less than 10 times. It is his new theme to showcase his platform of infrastructure, education, and innovation as he gears up for re-election.
Could opposing versions of “winning the future” also be a preview of the 2012 presidential race?
Let’s face it: Right now the Republican Party is split between the conservative/establishment wing and the even more conservative/tea party wing. This great schism was on display with dueling State of the Union responses between Paul Ryan (R-WI), the official establishment choice, and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the tea party choice. The battle lines between these two factions will become even more entrenched as we move closer to 2012.
As I look over the twelve-pack of undeclared presidential hopefuls, there is one candidate who may “win the future” by being the GOP’s best “hope” for “change” in 2012.
His name is Newt Gingrich, and here are five reasons why he could win the nomination.
Gingrich would be acceptable to both wings of the Republican Party.
In order to win the 2012 nomination, the victorious candidate must unite an increasingly divided party. Newt has the potential to emerge as this candidate. He then could help avert an intra-party “uncivil” war that could erupt if a candidate perceived as too “moderate” were to win the nomination. Knowing this, Newt may actively position himself as the uniter candidate.
Gingrich can raise the millions needed to win the nomination.
It has been reported that Gingrich was able to raise $21.5 million for Republicans, with much of that going to candidates and organizations in New Hampshire and Iowa.
Newt’s successful 2010 fundraising is proof that he has an extensive national network of supporters from which to draw when he announces his presidential intentions this spring.
Gingrich is an inspiring leader who knows the issues and offers solutions.
Former speaker of the House, commanding general of the Reagan Revolution, and credited with ending 40 years of Democratic Party rule in the House, Newt Gingrich is a man who knows how to build consensus and lead.
When I asked James Farwell, a longtime Gingrich friend and advisor, to comment about Gingrich’s leadership, he said, “Newt has the rare ability to build coalitions. It’s a talent that has gone largely unsung, but it was on full display when he was speaker, and is vitally important for any president. If he runs, he would dominate the agenda of debate. That is a powerful advantage and provides him with a decisive edge. He has a kinetic quality to connect with crowds, rooted in his ability to present tightly reasoned arguments with good humor and huge intellect. That is a gift and Newt’s got it.”
On the campaign trail, that gift could keep on giving and help Gingrich clinch the nomination.
Gingrich commands the media.
Newt has spawned a vast multi-platform media and organizational empire.
In addition to being a Fox News contributor, Gingrich appears regularly on the Sunday morning news shows and talk radio. But most importantly, he knows how to leverage his brand through being a prolific author, producing numerous films through Gingrich Productions, and mastering social media. Since he resigned as speaker of the House in 1998 (yes I will get to that), Newt’s love of policy and problem solving has spawned various non-profit organizations and political action groups. Besides the aforementioned American Solutions, there is Renewing American Leadership, the Center for Health Transformation, and The Americano, his newest organization with a bilingual web site targeted at conservative Hispanic-Americans.
If you are a Republican primary voter, you are already aware of Newt as a force and his many organizations that motivate, inform, and address your concerns about the future of this nation.
Newt is a great debater.
The first debate for the 2012 nomination takes place on May 2, 2011, at the Ronald Reagan Library.
On stage could be a flock of presidential hopefuls all trying to break through the ice.
Many believe Newt will not only break through, but that he will melt the ice and emerge the winner.
His extensive knowledge of all issues foreign and domestic will wow the audience and build an emotional connection with viewers. For Newt, who just produced a documentary titled Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny, there is no better place for him to display his leadership and debating skills than on the hallowed ground that honors his hero.
What about Newt’s personal baggage?
The sentiments I hear most often from Republicans about Newt Gingrich’s chance of winning the 2012 nomination always include a “but.” “I like Newt. He is brilliant, but…”
“He would give Obama a real challenge, but…” “I like him, but … my wife doesn’t.”
“He would be great for the nation, but he has too much personal baggage.”
Gingrich is now happily married to his third wife and has converted to Catholicism.
When he announces for president he must address those personal issues and the cloud that surrounds his resignation as speaker of the House in 1998. Gingrich needs to express honest and full contrition, ask for forgiveness, and move on down the road. Americans are a forgiving people and respond well when leaders or celebrities are truthful and sincere.
“Winning the future,” whether it’s Obama’s new theme or Newt’s 2005 book title, is serious business right now because America is on a path to losing the future. Newt Gingrich, with his potential for party unity, grasp of the issues, command of the media, and superb speaking skills, may be the GOP’s best chance of winning the future and the White House in 2012.