Thirteen years ago, then-Rep. Newt Gingrich stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to unveil the Contract with America, a document that crystallized conservative principles and led Republicans to a remarkable triumph on Election Day. Gingrich was at the top of his game and the country was following closely behind.
Of course, times have changed drastically since then. Gingrich was driven from elective office and along the way Republicans lost their way -- and control of Congress to boot.
For a moment last week, however, Gingrich was once again the great conservative hope. On the very anniversary, Sept. 27, of the day Republicans unveiled their Contract with America, and at the very place, the Cobb Galleria, where Gingrich celebrated the GOP’s return to the majority on Election Day in 1994, he made a passionate case for solving America’s greatest problems with common-sense solutions.
“American Solutions is my best effort to launch a movement that understands that you have to have real change, that the real change has to be at every level of government, [and] that science and technology are going to be great drivers over the next 40 years,” he told me and Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters in an interview last week. “If you take three things -- science and technology, the principles that worked historically (such as the free market, entrepreneurship and the work ethic), and the core values of American civilization, which have made us the freest, wealthiest and most integrated society in American history -- and reapply them again and again, you begin to see specific solutions to the mess we’re currently in.”
That mess has driven trust in government to all-time lows not seen since the darkest days of Watergate, according to a new Gallup Poll. Will Gingrich lead America out of that mess?
Gingrich said that’s a question for another day. Right now the former House speaker is devoting his energy to finding solutions rather than pursuing the presidency. Last week’s event was the kick off for Solutions Day, an event that continued on Saturday with 35 workshops taking place across the country. Anyone from any party, ideology or belief was invited to share ideas -- and solutions -- for problems facing America.