Newt Gingrich was in Iowa yesterday lending a helping hand to Iowa Republicans. Gingrich was the headliner for Third District Congressional candidate Brad Zaun at a breakfast fundraiser at the Des Moines Christian School. Gingrich then headed to downtown Des Moines where he and his staff from American Solutions participated in a candidate training program for candidates running for the Iowa House of Representatives.
During his morning press conference, Gingrich gave Republican candidates some great advice. He encouraged candidates to briefly define the problems that either the state or nation currently face. Then he said that they should devote the majority of their time talking about solutions to those problems. Finally, Gingrich believes that Republicans should campaign everywhere, not just in your typical forums with only Republicans and conservative-leaning Independents.
Gingrich also indicated that Republicans should pick four or five major themes and run on them. If it were up to Gingrich, those issues would be spending reform, national security, education reform, and energy. Gingrich also made a plug for ethanol and biofuels while making his statement.
Like a lot of potential presidential candidates who come to Iowa to help Republicans, Gingrich says that the only election he is focused is the one that occurs this fall. While there is no doubt that he and the others want Republicans to make huge gains on election day, there is no doubt that 2012 is on his mind.
Gingrich can offer a different kind of help than the other potential presidential candidates. Like the others, Gingrich can lend his celebrity status to events he attends like he did for Zaun yesterday. Doing so creates an opportunity for congressional candidates to ask their supporters for financial resources, and it can also help them attract new backers who give to the campaign because of Gingrich’s involvement.
What makes Gingrich unique is that he involves himself at a greater level than the other Republican candidates who visit the state. Instead of creating a leadership PAC that can make contributions to other candidates, Gingrich’s American Solutions is a conservative think tank that is equipped to arm candidates with information that will actually help their campaigns.
It’s also important to note that Gingrich isn’t a Johnny-come-lately. Gingrich has been a regular visitor for at least the past five or six years. His commitment to helping Iowans over a long period of time could become an extremely valuable asset if he ultimately decides to run for president.
While Iowa caucus goers are often intrigued and interested in the same candidate that the national media obsesses about, that only gets that candidate in the door. Iowans expect the opportunity to meet the candidates, look them in the eye, and ask a question or two. Over the years, Gingrich has made a lot of connections with people all across the state. If he runs in 2012, there is no doubt that he will be one of the top contenders, no matter who else joins the race.
Gingrich said yesterday that he will make a decision on whether or not to run for President in February or March of next year.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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