- Last Updated: 11:38 AM, February 26, 2012
- Posted: 11:14 PM, February 25, 2012
It has been a long-standing observation in Washington that the longer you work with Newt Gingrich, the less you like him. After seeing him nearly a year on the campaign trail, many voters apparently agree with that assessment.
Yet Newt stays in the race, and occasionally he dazzles. The reason? Gingrich’s ability to come up with a salient insight about key issues at least once a week. In other words, he has the “vision thing” in a race where it is sorely lacking in both parties.
Such was the case this past week at the CNN debate in Mesa, Ariz., where Gingrich honed in on the No. 1 kitchen-table issue facing most Americans at the moment: gas prices that are headed to $5 a gallon and beyond. (On Friday, oil closed at an eye-popping $110 a barrel.)
Gingrich has pivoted to the gasoline-price problem in recent days and is now rolling out a 30-minute ad about his energy policy in advance of Super Tuesday.
But what is brilliant about Gingrich’s take isn’t his crowd-pleasing bromide about how he will make sure “an American president never again has to bow to a Saudi king,” but rather his ability to connect the dots between energy independence and our national debt.
In Gingrich’s vision, a new gold rush for energy by drilling on-shore and off will mean a flood of money into Uncle Sam’s coffers in the coming years.
Drill on government-owned land and seas, and it’s even better for America’s bottom line, according to Gingrich, as the nation reaps trillions in royalties in the process. Tap into our bountiful natural-gas resources, and the virtuous cycle gets even stronger — trade and budget deficits shrink, unemployment declines, and the dollar will be almighty once more.
It’s the Republicans’ job to drill these facts home — not just to win elections, but to make Americans partners in an energy policy that could end up fixing much of what ails our economy.