The Secret Life of Newt Gingrich
I have a soft spot for Newt. He was, after all, my congressman the year he was voted Time magazine's "Man of the Year".
I actually have an anecdote! I met Mr. Gingrich once. I really did! In '95 or '96, don't remember which but I had Hayden with me in a Snugli, I went to a campaign rally for a friend of my wife's who was running for insurance commissioner as a Republican (he was all of 24, guess who won). It was up the road (Smyrna-Powder Springs road?) in the Smyrna Library. Hayden and I got there before the food, and before the canidate, but Newt was already there, drinking a Diet Coke and talking to political looking people in suits. At the time I was 24, looked 18 and weighed all of 150 and had a 12 pound monster baby in a Snugli on my chest. I must have looked like a poster boy for teenage pregnancy ( I was poor too, but he didn't give me a laptop computer, I was
sort of hoping). Anyway, he looked shorter and heavier in person, but as soon as he saw me he came right over, introduced himself and said lots of nice things about the unusually large and loud growth on my chest. People were beginning to show up, but as soon as he found out my wife was from Haddonfield, NJ he lasered in on me for at least 10 minutes (an eternity at one of those things) and lectured me on. . . . Dinosaurs
! It was very cool, I would have loved to take one of his classes, he's extremely charismatic. Before he let me go, I mentioned something that I, at the time, thought was one of the smartest things I had ever heard. The Dean of Engineering at Villanova University (my alma mater), a civil engineer, had opined at some dinner or another that the next war in the Middle East would be over water rights. Newt stopped dead, made a half turn and said, and I can still hear him saying this, "Interesting theory but totally wrong.", pretty typical Gingrich there, "The next war in the Middle East will be a result of jealousy, greed and rampant state sponsored anti-semitism." He smiled, waved bye-bye to Hayden and greeted the next person in line, there was, by now, a line forming behind him.
An extremely interesting guy, bigger than the room and full of energy, he talks super fast. I could see why a lot of people didn't like him, for a polititian, he wasn't very politic with his language, like Rumsfeld today. He had a gut instinct that there were a lot of people far removed from the urban ring around the edge of the country that believed in smaller government, lower taxes, fewer entitlements, and the freedom to live with as little government control as possible. In '94 and '96 he was right. By 1998 everyone was making too much money too give a crap about common sense, and he was gone. Our government lost a visionary, imagine what he could be doing as Speaker today. Goodbye "NoChild Left Behind"! So long prescription drug entitlement!
Oh Well, after what the press did to him, you won't see his like again.