By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Don't count Newt Gingrich, the GOP's big thinker, down on his party despite the collapse of the GOP at the polls. A student of history, Gingrich said over bacon and eggs today that it's totally reasonable to think that the Republicans could stage a comeback in the next presidential election. The former House bomb-thrower, who used his 1994 Contract With America to become speaker, says history can repeat itself, especially if the GOP can nominate a charismatic leader who knows how to use the mechanics of the primary and caucus system. He's not endorsing, but he said that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will arrive in Iowa first in line. Her advantage: Iowa, the first state to vote in the primary-caucus season, loves Christian conservatives, and her crew there will be large. "Palin starts in Iowa with a substantial base," he said. And, yes, Iowa matters, having put Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter in the lead during their races for the White House. Others in the running: Mitt Romney, if the economy still stinks, and maybe Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana guv.
But that's not to say he isn't supportive of some of what the Obama team is doing. Heck, he said that he's among those giving advice to some of President Obama's cabinet, like Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and health and human services nominee Tom Daschle. BTW, he wasn't too critical of Daschle's failure to pay some $128,000 in taxes on time.