Some of what I heard on Trump and Trumpism from Newt Gingrich has subsequently become a lot more interesting. On January 17, I visited the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC for one of a series of presentations on Trump and Trumpism, given by Newt Gingrich. This post captures some of the notes and recollections that have become more interesting in the intervening nine or so weeks. I’ll include at the end an overview of the presentation.
Many of the things that now strike me as I now look at my notes were about specific individuals. This was in mid-January, remember.
Gingrich can forgive Trump virtually anything for at least the next two years, because he is not Hilary Clinton. I am not on a Newt-watch to determine the limits of Gingrich’s forgiveness.
Trump’s “team of winners”… yes that’s a quote.
Balancing the budget under the Clinton administration: who does not deserve credit? Bill Clinton and John Kasich seem to head Gingrich’s list. He was particularly keen to deny credit to Kasich, who was then chair of the House Budget Committee.
I suspect that the reason Gingrich was careful to downplay Kasich’s role is buyers’ remorse–actual and potential–on the part of Republicans. Gingrich may well have been addressing any Republican regret for not nominating and electing Kasich: the grown-up, the political veteran. Don’t think that Kasich was the hero of the balanced budget (that would be Gingrich himself).
The balanced federal budget included an increase in funds for the National Institutes of Health. Gingrich stated that funding medical research makes financial sense for the federal government. He said that it had been a mistake not to increase funding for the National Science Foundation also.
The cost of White House travel needs to be cut, Gingrich said, remarking also on the cost of Obama’s vacations.
I don’t think I need to join the above dots to some of the dots and other marks on the Trump administration so far. Instead, I’ll move on to the promised overview of the presentation. It covered:
- Balancing the federal budget.
- The November 2016 election as a watershed in American Politics.
- The imminent Trump presidency.
- Technology and change.
Gingrich did not focus on:
- Conflict of interest between Trump as President and as businessman.
- Anything else negative about Trump.
Gingrich’s emphasis on the positive and on potential was not at all surprising. I don’t think that anyone goes to a conservative organization to hear a Republican politician talk about a Republican president-elect expecting balance. I certainly didn’t.
After the presentation, he took about half a dozen questions.
There were about 100 people in the audience, in a room that could hold about twice that many. (That was my estimate, and a person at the Heritage front desk said that it sounded about right.)
Thanks for being in the audience for this post. Your comments would be most welcome!