The Agony of Newt Gingrich


By David French

I’ll never forget the moment.  It was very late on election night in November, 1994, and I was at a friend’s house transfixed by election coverage.  The Republicans had done it.  Led by Newt Gingrich, the combative Georgia congressman, they had ended decades of Democratic dominance in the House, they were taking the Senate, and Bill Clinton was on the ropes.

Here was the triumph, recorded for posterity on YouTube:

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This was the “Republican Revolution,” the moment when the party — demoralized by defeat in 1992 — was reborn, when the grassroots conservative movement cultivated by Ronald Reagan finally achieved Air Force One, ethics, repVictories in Congress would be followed by victory two years later, and Reagan’s vision of a conservative America would finally be realized. It was a great night.

Sadly, it was also our best night. What followed was perhaps the most agonizing slow-motion train wreck of my political life.

Our champion walked into the arena, faced off against Bill Clinton, and was crushed. For those with long political memories, the stories are well-known:

-Gingrich shut down the government partially because he was annoyed at his seating on Air Force One . . . and admitted it to the press.

-He was the first sitting Speaker reprimanded for ethics violations, with the vast majority of Republicans voting against him.

Complete story here:

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