The Corner

The Gingrich Rollout

I liked everything Newt had to say yesterday at AEI. I agree with him. I agree with his efforts and the rest. It seems to me that this is the beginning of the rehabilitation of Newt. There are whiffs of Nixon’s self re-invention during the 1960s too. Nixon gave a series of important speeches and wrote some important articles after he told the press they wouldn’t have him to kick around anymore (he was wrong about that of course). Gingrich also seems to have taken Richard Perle’s place as the main voice of the Pentagon hawks. Intellectually and even ideologically I don’t have much quarrel with any of that either. But, I can’t shake the sense that we’re buying into a marketing campaign of some kind. I’m sure, for example, that Frank Gaffney is sincere when he writes for us today that Newt’s remarks amount to one of the most important foreign policy statements since Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech, but I still get the vibe that there’s a lot of saying-it-will-make-it-so salesmanship going on too. The World War IV theorists — with whom I largely agree — sort of need a Fulton speech to make the analogy work and I just find something unsettling about trying to recreate history on the fly. I’m not sure I’ve explained myself well, so I’ll keep pondering.


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