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Chris Field- Contributor

Chris Field is Editor of Human Events Online [go to Field index]

President Newt?
Who Wants to Be Commander-in-Chief...

[Chris Field] 5/16/05

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, author of "Winning the Future," has been making news lately with his recent book tour stops in Iowa and New Hampshire -- states pivotal early in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination.

Much speculation has been made about his political ambitions, mainly: Is he running for President? Mr. Gingrich agreed to answer a few questions submitted by yours truly on behalf of Human Events Online.

You'll notice that the question to which all political observers seek an answer -- does Newt want to be President -- wasn't actually answered. These politicians, on the Right and the Left, are so well trained to answer questions without answering questions.

Here's the brief Q & A:

HEO: You recently traveled to New Hampshire as part of your book tour and now you're in Iowa. What's the purpose of your trip to Iowa?

GINGRICH: We badly need a few years of focusing on big solutions to meet the big challenges we face. My book, "Winning the Future," is an outline of a 21st Century Contract with America that would transform health, balance the federal budget, create a much simpler flatter tax that would save every taxpayer time and money, among a variety of other key changes.

HEO: Why is Iowa significant?

GINGRICH: Iowa is a key state in shaping the ideas and the solutions for 2008. Talking about big solutions and big ideas in Iowa has a big impact on every reporter and every candidate who wants to campaign here.

HEO: There has been a great deal of speculation that you are preparing for a 2008 run. Do you want to be President?

GINGRICH: I want to help my two grandchildren, Maggie, 5, and Robert, 3, have a country as safe, as prosperous and as healthy as the country my parents and grandparents worked and fought to be able to give me. I will do anything I can that is helpful in that cause.

HEO: Time magazine recently listed you among their 25 Most Fascinating People. Why do you think so many people are still intrigued?

GINGRICH: I think the idea of someone who likes to learn and likes to develop new solutions and likes to teach is so rare in politics (think of the late Senator Moynihan as a great example) that reporters are curious as to what you will do next and what you will work on next. I was humbled to be listed six years after leaving the Speakership.

I suppose, though, that the question about wanting to be Commander-in-Chief is asked and answered in itself. Don't all politicians want to be President? I mean, once they get the taste of power -- for some, including Newt, I guess it's better termed "the taste of 'leadership'" -- nothing will quench the thirst for more.

Of course, many (I'm not talking specifically about Gingrich here, he might make a great President, our Q & A simply prompted this train of thought) will convince themselves, and us, that they're seeking higher office and greater influence "for the betterment of America," "to help mankind," "to forward an agenda that will create opportunities for all," etc.

But are they to be believed? They seem to believe it, but should we -- at least without significant scrutiny?

And that's something that we voters must always keep in mind, regardless of party affiliation -- do we want the person to whom we are giving power, no matter how limited, to get more power? Because that's what they're likely to seek. tOR


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