Jackie Gingrich Cushman

"California and New York remain bastions of liberalism despite the economic decay brought about by bad government and high taxes. Learning to win in those two states is one of the greatest challenges facing Republicans."

If you were an advisor to President Obama, what would you recommend he do in the next two years?

"He should focus on job creation and use the Eisenhower style of co-opting the opposition. He should appear reasonable and share the stage with Boehner and (Mitch) McConnell so they come to share the responsibility." (McConnell is the Republican Senate minority leader from Kentucky.)

Does this election result make it more or less likely that you will run in 2012?

"This election proves there is a potential to repudiate the left, but now we have to think through how to replace it with a center-right governing majority. The challenge of thinking through, explaining and implementing a replacement strategy as national policy is very intriguing."

What is the tipping point that would make your running in 2012 inevitable?

"Support so widespread and enthusiastic that we could not reject it and remain good citizens."

A few words and phrases in his answers struck me as particularly interesting and illuminating.

His note that "Boehner today" is a more managerial leader than Speaker Gingrich was 16 years ago.

Reinforcement that there was no alternative to the government shutdown during his speakership, as it "convinced our voters we were serious and convinced Clinton he had to deal with us."

His comment that "the challenge of thinking through, explaining, and implementing a replacement strategy as national policy is very intriguing."

I can almost see the gleam in his eye.

As for running in 2012, we'll have to wait to see if the tipping point for his potential candidacy is reached.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.