Thursday, May 17

I recently answered a few questions about Newt Gingrich and the Draft Newt movement for the Conservative American blog. Here is a link to the original post, and I'm posting the content below.

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Hello everybody! I recently managed to send a few questions to the Campaign Manager of (of which I am a member), Steve Parkhurst. Here you go ;)

Q: First of all, tell me about is the website and blog portion of the overall Draft Newt '08 movement. Our movement has blossomed to a great grassroots presence and the website/blog is an online gathering portion of that presence. is a blog for everyone to participate in and we always have great links to youtube videos, facebook and myspace pages and other interesting news as it relates to Newt.

Q: How did you manage to get your position with the movement and what exactly do you do?
I got the position by literally being a lifelong fan of Newt Gingrich and getting involved with the Draft Newt movement early on. When the original founder of Draft Newt found himself overwhelmed with the positive response to Draft Newt, he needed to hand it off to someone who was as devoted as he was. I am the National Chairman for Draft Newt '08 which basically means I am a campaign manager on a national level. I coordinate with all of our leaders across the country, and some of those overseas, to make sure things are getting done that further our cause. I also work to make sure all those leaders have the things they need to be successful.

Q: I know there are many, but give me some reasons why you think Newt should be our next President?
I think Newt, with his knowledge of world history, has a vision and a knack for finding not just the problems, but the solutions, to some of the biggest issues of our time. I appreciate his intellect and his wit.

Q: What can you tell me about the size and awareness level of the movement?
We are growing everyday and we have volunteers all over the country and even some overseas.

Q: Are there any trends that you have noticed between the people that have joined and where they are from? That is, does there seem to be certain geographic areas where membership and activity seems to be concentrated?
I have been pleasantly surprised that we have had folks from all over the country, and even overseas, who believe in Newt and this movement. There is not one particular region more popular than the other.

Q: What is DraftNewt planning to do if/when Speaker Gingrich announces his candidacy?
We will hand over our information to the Newt Gingrich folks and they can do with it what they like. We will have prospective e-captains, activists, fundraisers, students and workers ready to go for Newt should he get into the race. Then we will all get to work, as a team, to elect Newt President.

Q: What, in your opinion, makes the Speaker stand out and tower above the other candidates?
Like from a previous question, I think Newt, with his knowledge of world history, has a vision and a knack for finding not just the problems, but the solutions, to some of the biggest issues of our time. I appreciate his intellect and his wit. Though I would add, that Newt didn't recently come to conservatism, he has always been a voice for everyone who wants America to be a place where everyone has a chance to succeed with limited government interference.

Q: What kind of things is DraftNewt doing to spread the word and build support?
We are advertising on the internet. We also have some Draft Newt fliers on our website that people are posting in coffee shops or on campuses and places like that. Once we get people to the website, they get signed up and we get them in contact with the Draft Newt leader in their area.

Q: Is DraftNewt affiliated with other websites or with anyone in particular?
No. Draft Newt is one of a kind.

Q: Without getting into the amount and sizes of contributions, what do you do, if I may ask, with the donations?
We take care of our internet site fees first. After that, we do web advertising and that sort of thing. We have not spent most of our money, though there were some fees involved with getting started.

Q: What are your plans for DraftNewt and what do you intend on doing to further increase and expand the movement’s reach?
I plan to have solid teams built all across America so that if Newt gets in the Presidential race later this year, he will have a team of volunteers ready to work so that on January 20, 2009 Newt Gingrich is sworn in as President Newt Gingrich. We have radio time reserved in certain markets and we plan to continue to be a presence.

Q: Do you have members from all 50 states? Which one(s) seem to have the most?
Yes we do have people in all 50 states. Like from an earlier question, I have been pleasantly surprised that we have had folks from all over the country, and even overseas, who believe in Newt and this movement. There is not one particular region more popular than the other. 

Q: Any celebration plans if Newt is successful in 2008?
America will celebrate if Newt becomes President.

Q: What kind of advertising products and merchandise do you have or plan on working on for the movement?
We have a Cafe Press store where a person can get just about anything. We do plan to carry our own line of t-shirts and bumper stickers soon. We might add additional products based on demand.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to say? Any questions you think others might ask that you might want to answer?
We are open to everybody who wants to get involved. There is something for everyone, we are more than just a website. Folks who want to help us reach a wider audience are invited to contribute to Draft Newt though where they can use PayPal or a secure credit card system. This helps us insure that Ideas Today become Solutions Tomorrow. Thank you for your time.

And thank you for your time, Steve ;) Steve has also had various other interviews, including and 
I'll be back tomorrow with a new podcast ready to be uploaded. Until next time!

Wednesday, May 2

Gingrich Remains a Speaker, But Won’t Say Until September Whether He’s a Runner

The New York Times

May 1, 2007

Gingrich Remains a Speaker, But Won’t Say Until September Whether He’s a Runner


Though former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to hedge about his interest in joining the 2008 presidential election — saying he will wait until late September to decide — he is in demand on the Washington, D.C., media and speaking circuits. The longtime conservative firebrand, who led his party to a takeover of Congress in the 1994 “Republican revolution” elections, remains loquacious, brainy, often controversial and seldom dull.

He appears popular among a significant segment of Republicans around the United States as well: When his name has been added to preference polls of Republican voters taken since January, Gingrich has generally remained close behind the front-running two GOP candidates — former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain. He has vied for third place in those polls with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and more recently the hypothetical candidacy of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, the “Law & Order” actor who is considering entering the race.

Among those urging Gingrich to take the plunge is Steve Parkhurst, campaign manager for the movement, who said the former Speaker’s appeal extends beyond those who knew him from his days leading the House.

High school and college students have joined the draft movement, which has members numbering in the thousands, Parkhurst said. Most students signing up with developed an interest after hearing him speak, whether at their university, on C-SPAN, at a youth leadership program or in a Webcast on his new site, American Solutions for Winning the Future.

With most of this group of Gingrich supporters too young to remember the 1994 campaign and the conservative “Contract with America” platform dreamed up by Gingrich, there is a sense of political reverence as well, Parkhurst said.

“A lot of them will act like the Contract with America’s like the Constitution of the United States, where it’s such an old document that they don’t remember it,” he said of young supporters. “So it’s definitely what Newt is doing recently that goes to him being a kind of figure from the past who’s all of the sudden resurrected.”

Gingrich has said he will not make a decision about whether to run until after a series of online debates in late September, scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the Contract with America. Gingrich currently plans to hold two days of online meetings on the American Solutions site with supporters and will announce on Sept. 29 whether he intends to run for president.

He is using the American Solutions Web site to spearhead the efforts. Gingrich announced the creation of the organization last November and in a letter posted on the Web site explained that it was established to help work toward bipartisan solutions to the problems facing the country.

“If you want to focus on much more fundamental change than a presidential campaign by itself could possibly achieve, then American Solutions is a useful place to invest in a better future for your children, your grandchildren and your country,” Gingrich said in an open note on the Web site.

Speaking just before an address in Washington on Thursday, Gingrich said he felt no compunction to be president. That, in part, was why he was not concerned about whether September would be too late to enter the GOP field.

“It doesn’t matter. I don’t have to be president. I don’t have to be the nominee,” he told
But, he added, front-runner status can be deceiving. He noted that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was sailing ahead of his Democratic compatriots in the run-up to the first-in-the-nation Iowa presidential caucuses in 2004. “He was the front-runner until three weeks before Iowa when regular Americans looked up and said, ‘That’s crazy,’” Gingrich said.

© 2006 Congressional Quarterly