In April of 1995, I visited Washington D.C. as a junior in high school for a journalism conference. It was an exciting time for politics and journalism because of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” and Contract with America. I didn’t identify as a Republican at the time, I just knew that I often argued with my teachers about political matters. I liked then-Speaker Newt Gingrich because he shook up the establishment on both sides (sound familiar?) and bringing him up in a positive light in class really annoyed the teachers.
A little over 10 years later, I witnessed former Speaker Gingrich reinvigorate the conservative movement when I was the Director of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). In his speech harkening back to one of Ronald Reagan’s CPAC speech, Speaker Gingrich spoke about a conservative movement that paints with “bold colors not pale pastels” on issues of tax reform, deregulation, and fighting government bureaucracy.
Another 10 or so years later, Speaker Gingrich has just released his latest book, Trump’s America: The Truth About Our Nation’s Great Comeback, which details how many of the bold measures he talked about at his speeches at CPAC have come to fruition in just over 500 days. President Trump’s style may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying the results – unprecedented unemployment and economic news, which made the New York Times declare in a recent headline, “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are."
Speaker Gingrich is not only a master at bridging historical and political moments of importance, but also a pivotal figure himself. I am honored that the man who inspired my rebellious streak as a teenager took the time to think about some less important subjects for the latest Dozen interview.
The De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures, free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their culture obsessions.
1. What's your favorite movie line and to whom would you like to say it?
“You played it for her, you can play it for me. … If she can stand it, I can. Play it [Sam.]” I just like the line and can’t imagine using it, but Bogart did well with it in Casablanca.
2. What canceled show would you put back on the air?
3. If you could be paid to do anything besides your current job, what would it be?
I would be a zookeeper or a paleontologist.
4. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you?
To never give up.
5. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
My favorite childhood present was a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo.
6. What’s the best present you ever gave?
I think that would be when I took the family to Alaska on a cruise.
7. If you hosted a late-night show, who would be your guests and band?
I would probably have a boring program with no band and lots of scientists and inventors as guests —maybe better for C-SPAN than commercial television.
8. What books are on your summer reading list?
Daniel Silva’s The Other Woman, Gerald Seymour’s No Mortal Thing, Ezra Vogel’s Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China, along with books by Thomas Ricks’s Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom, and Lindsay Powell’s, Marcus Agrippa: Right-Hand Man of Caesar Augustus.
9. How do you unplug from the news cycle?
I will ignore it for days at a time. Instead, I watch movies, read books, go to the zoo, and do other things that I enjoy.
10. What’s the last picture you took on your phone?
The last picture I took was of Callista talking to a famous Estonian composer.
11. What can the Left learn from Trump’s America?
That America needs solutions, and a Left that offers real solutions will do much better than a Left that offers ridicule and hate.
12. What can doubters on the Right learn from Trump’s America?
That we are in the midst of an amazing period of historic change. While President Trump can be tactically frustrating – even infuriating – he is strategically an amazing historic figure, and America is at a point where we need leadership willing to confront and change our problems. The approach of the past has not worked.