Monday, February 27, 2012

The Newt Gingrich First Tuesday luncheon experience

Tim Skow introduces Newt Gingrich
Today I had the privilege to attend a luncheon featuring Presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The event was a special meeting of the First Tuesday Group.

 First Tuesday is a monthly luncheon that normally occurs the first Tuesday of the month and thus the name. It has been going on in Nashville for about 15 or more years but I only learned about it about four years ago. I have been attending faithfully ever since. It takes place downtown on the top floor of an large office building which is occupied by the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. Each month Republicans gather for lunch and hear an engaging speaker. Tim Skow is the host (Chairman? Organizer? Moderator?) of the events. First Tuesday has become quit influential. No Republican running for County or State office skips making an appearance at a First Tuesday event. In addition to local Republican citizens and activist there are always various State representatives and Metro councilmen in attendance.

At today's event, First Tuesday members were offered tickets before the event was opened to the public. The room can only hold about 80 people and it was packed. I had the good fortune to have a seat at the table immediately in front of the podium and had the opportunity to have my picture taken with the Speaker and shake his hand.

 I personally think Newt Gingrich is one of the smartest political thinkers of our time. When I look back at other people in my lifetime who I think were exceptional and should have been President- people who I felt a passion for, it is a small list: Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Jack Kemp. I feel the same way about Newt Gingrich. He is on that list. I feel we are at a pivotal point in our nation's history when it is not a matter of simply a slight change in direction but one of those occasions when we can continue down the wrong road toward European style socialism and national decline and mediocrity or reclaim our heritage of American exceptionalism and put our country back on the road to greatness, prosperity and liberty. So, for me today was a thrill.

 If you have watched the debates or heard Newt speak then there were no real surprises in today's speech, but it was a thrill to hear his proposals and opinions from his own lips, up close and personal. He said that it is time we had the guts to tell the truth about who it is that is trying to kill us. He said it is time to admit we are in a war with radical Islam. He said when American's are being killed, an American President should not be apologizing to foreign leaders. He said we need a bold energy policy that will bring down the price of gasoline. He said we need a major reform that would allow one to choose the current tax code to file their income taxes or choose a new simplified system. He advocated offering younger tax payers a choice between the current social security regiment or a privatized social security investment plan that they actually own. He said we not only need to repeal Obamacare but need an alternative of market based health care reform. He said now is not the time for tweaking of policy but a time for bold thinking outside the box.

He said that if elected he would ask congress to stay in session and repeal Obamacare so that he could sign the bill within two hours of being inaugurated. He said that two hours after the inauguration he would sign several executive orders. One would be to abolish all of the positions of "Czars" created by President Obama, another would be to prohibit any use of federal funds to implement Agenda 21, and another would be to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Rod Williams, Newt Gingrich, Linda Knight
I am glad I got to be at this event. I still think it is possible for Newt to win the nomination. If Newt is the nominee we will have a clear choice of two dramatically different visions for our country. If Newt is the nominee we will have a candidate who can inspire and motivate and articulate a vision. I don't think any of the other remaining candidates offer that; certainly not Mitt Romney.

Other Newt Gingrich activities in Nashville included a health care panel discussion earlier in the day and a 2PM a receptions for Callista Gingrich, a 3PM Capitol Hill rally, and tonight a fund raising receptions for high rollers.

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