John McCaslin

A trio of influential former congressmen, Newt Gingrich, Richard Armey and John R. Kasich - among the chief architects of the Republican Party's "Contract With America" 10 years ago - will convene at the American Enterprise Institute Monday morning to discuss an extension of the contract through the 21st century.

Moderating the discussion will be Tony Blankley, editorial-page editor of The Washington Times and former communications director for Gingrich when he was House speaker.

The contract was adopted in 1994 by the Republican majority of the 104th Congress, its aim being to "restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives" through government accountability and efficiency, fiscal responsibility, U.S. sovereignty in national security issues, legal reform, welfare reform, strengthening families and personal responsibility, job creation, and middle-class tax relief.

"There was full legislation for each proposal, not just slogans," Blankley recalled yesterday. "Minute by minute, hour by hour, we were punching away at the world - what I remember being a furious battle to turn the world around."


House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri celebrated a "decade of accomplishments of the House Republican majority" yesterday by criticizing congressional Democrats for being no different than presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry. None has a campaign message that resonates with Americans, he said.

House Democrats, Blunt said, are "frustrated" by their decade in the minority and have "turned to Madison Avenue and Hollywood to help them develop a catchy election-year slogan."

Thus, he said, the 2004 election will come down to Madison Avenue vs. Main Street.


Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, will be happy to learn that his alma mater, Episcopal High School in Alexandria, most likely has the largest club of National Teen Age Republicans (TARS) in America.

"They are certainly among the top, if not the top," says an impressed Barby Wells, TARS' national director.

"We have 223 members out of 420 students at EHS," confirms G. Craig Stewart III, the school's associate director of development who oversees the club. In fact, the Republican club has gained such prominence that recent guest speakers have included CNN political commentator Tucker Carlson, Virginia congressional candidate Lisa Marie Cheney, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and former Rep. Bill Paxon of New York.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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