Tony Blankley
Almost all political commentators agree on one thing. The Republican presidential campaign is unlike any we have experienced. It is not a campaign of steady trends and continuities, but rather of emotional reversals and discontinuities. Perhaps this is so because the last 3 to 4 years have been a shocking time of discontinuities and reversals for America. Really, America has been bewildered, shocked and disoriented since Sept. 11, 2001. The economic collapse and the unprecedentedly statist policies of the last three years have just compounded the anxiety. The rise of China, the fall of Europe and the chaos in the Middle East have been startling in their swiftness -- and the lack of American leadership as these dramatic events unfold is sending a shudder throughout the world.

We don't know what to make of events. We have not been convinced that either President George W. Bush or incumbent President Obama have had a clue about how to make things right.

The GOP primary voters reflect this helter-skelter search for leadership. And I predict that when the general electorate is engaged in the general election campaign next year, the independents and some Democrats will reflect the same desperate confusion and search for the right kind of leadership for these treacherous times. But what kind of candidate is most likely to make sense of the terrible events and forces that weigh down our country; be capable of vividly describing our plight and what needs to be done; and convince the public that he or she has the intelligence, courage, experience and sheer willful capacity to force events favorably to America's historic interests and needs?

As I have chosen to phrase that question, the question answers itself. It is the GOP candidate currently at the top of the polls -- my former boss, Newt Gingrich.

But most Washington politicians don't see it that way. They see a conventional, close election -- not a bold, historic lunge by the voters to save the country. They suggest Mitt Romney may be better positioned to stitch together a safe campaign that noses out Obama by a point or two, or comes up short by a point or two. He might be that candidate.

Thus, Romney received the endorsement of the GOP political types -- congressmen and former congressmen. Now they are doubling down on their early bet and are out telling reporters that Gingrich was never much of a leader and never got much done.


Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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