Friday, December 02, 2005

Gingrich and the "Contract"

This from today's Fix on Washington Post:

* Wildcard -- Newt Gingrich: The rehabilitation of Gingrich's image is worth a column in and of itself. Seven years ago when he resigned from the House, he was a figure of significant scorn among the very Republicans who had ridden his "Contract with America" to the House majority just four years earlier. In the intervening years, Gingrich has emerged as one of the leading ideas men among Republicans. Plus, national polling shows him with a small-but-solid following among likely GOP primary voters. Gingrich is a long shot to win the nomination, but he has proven his doubters wrong before.

Interesting for a number of reasons, not least of which are recent indications from Rahm Emmanuel and others that democrats plan to unveil a midterm agenda modeled on Newt's "Contract" of '94. With dems splintered on the approach in Iraq and silent so far on specific domestic priorities, it is difficult to envision a clear articulation of specific policy promises to the electorate. The Contract with America resonated because folks knew what they were buying--the Democrat brand doesn't have much meaning at the moment.

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