Newt Gingrich: “So I don’t shy away from my career as a lobbyist. I was a pretty good one” ?

Newt Needs a Course in the Haley Barbour School of Political Strategy

Bookmark and Share   Now that Newt is the latest candidate to wear the Republican presidential badge of honor ……… a red ribbon dangling from a target engraved cork-like medallion, everything he has ever done in his life is wrong.  The latest headlines tout Newt’s evilness based on money that he earned for services rendered to such outfits as Freddie Mac, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, and insurers like WellPoint and UnitedHealth. 

All totaled, over  a  dozen or so years, Newt received earnings from these and other entities which amounted to a figure in excess of $20 million.  Now I personally can’t fathom my own ability to make such earnings in that period of time.  If I could, I wouldn’t be typing out this blog post, I would be out there making such sums.  But that’s me, others, as we know, make multiples of that figure in just a year or even a few months.  And most, like Newt,  do so legally, and legitimately.  It’s called capitalism and thank God for it.  But now the attempt is on to make Newt out to be some sort of Bernie Madoff-like version of a lobbyist.  Yet there is no evidence of any improprieties by Newt in these instances.  I mean, you don’t even have “unnamed” accusers coming forward.  You just have a conservative leader who is, at least for the moment, making a credible run for the Republican presidential nomination. 

The bottom line is the issue here is really a non-issue.  There is nothing to it.  You may not like the fact that Newt made that money, but this your Uncle Joe “Stalins” government.  This Uncle Sam’s nation and whether wer like it not, he’s everyone’s Uncle, either by birth or adoption.  And it’s not like Newt, a former elected official, took a position as the head of Wall Street firm and then subsequently took it from a thriving business and turned it into the eighth-biggest U.S. bankruptcy in history and the largest collapse on Wall Street since Lehman Bros.   

But former liberal New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine did. 

Now there is a $600 million dollar criminal inquiry in to Corzine’s actions as Gary Gensler, the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, tries to find out how hundreds of millions vanished from the accounts of clients with MF Global while under Corzine’s watch.

This isn’t the first time that Corzine mishandled such large sums of money either.  He did so when he governed New Jersey into debt and made it one of the most expensive states to live in and the state with the worst business climate in the nation.

This is the same man who President Obama and Vice President Obama considered for Secretary of the Treasury and even declared was the first guy they went to for advice on how to handle our nation’s economic crisis. 

That explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Yet it is Newt Gingrich who the media now tries to hang in effigy as a symbol of corporate greed and Occupy Wall Street paranoia.

This is the man who as Speaker of the House, led the effort that allowed a balanced budget to be reached under the Clinton Administration.  Who else can make such claims? 

But with the media being what it is, the darts and arrows and Occupy Wall Street produced feces are being flung Newt’s way. 

However; it is to be expected and the very last person it should come as a surprise to is Newt Gingrich.   Yet he seems to have been caught off guard and stumbling through the defense of something that need not be defended.

The biggest mistake Newt is making is that he is denying that he did any lobbying.  Even I will admit that that at the very least, that is a stretch.  And as a fan of Newt, I can easily make that admission because being a lobbyist, or lobbying for a specific measure, is not a bad thing.  Unless of course you are in sleeping bag in Zuccotti Park, bought by Daddy’s stock earnings, with a sign on it that reads, “Tear Down this Wall Street”. 

Haley Barbour understood that and it was the very first obstacle he tackled when he was in the exploratory stages of a 2012 run for President.

Back in the late Spring of this year,  according to an article by Paul Bedard of  U.S. News & World Report,  when asked about the charges that Barbour would face because of his of his years as one of the most successful lobbyists in the nation, Barbour stated;

“Advocacy, whether it is in the courtroom, like I did when I was a young lawyer, or a lobbyist, is something presidents have to be very good at.”

The statement reveals Governor Barbour’s tendency to take issues head on and apparently when it comes to the lobbying background that many were going to try to use against him, Barbour was prepared to  turn that perceived negative into a positive.  Newt should have done the same thing.

For proof as to why Barbour’s lobbying experience would have been a positive, one needed to go no further than Hurricane Katrina, a natural disaster that hit Barbour’s Mississippi as hard as it hit New Orleans. Yet unlike like Louisiana, under Haley Barbour, the recovery effort in Mississippi was much more fluid and effective. This was mainly due to Barbour’s exceptional connections and ability to successfully  ‘lobby’  for the state he was advocating for.   Newt should have done the same thing and gone a step further by making the point that that is what a President is suppose to do.  They are suppose to lobby Congress for that which is best for the nation.

Based on his handling of Hurricane Katrina, Barbour went as far as to say;

“So I don’t shy away from my career as a lobbyist. I was a pretty good one.”

Haley Barbour understood what Newt seems to not understand.  Barbour knows that when you’ve got a cart overflowing with lemons, you don’t tell people their peaches, you just sell them lemonade.

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