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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gingrich's Self-Image

Now that Newt Gingrich is rising in the polls, it is appropriate to consider how he views himself. One set of clues lies in the 1997 report of the House Select Committee on Ethics. The committee looked at questions surrounding a course that he had taught:
In his interview with the Special Counsel, Mr. Gingrich said the idea for the course was first developed while he was meeting with Owen Roberts, a GOPAC Charter Member and advisor, for two days in December of 1992. Mr. Gingrich wrote out notes at this meeting and they were distributed to some of his advisors. A review of those notes indicates that the topic of discussion at this meeting centered mostly on a political movement ... Mr. Gingrich's role in this movement was to be the "advocate of civilization," the "definer of civilization," the "teacher of the rules of civilization," the "arouser of those who form civilization," the "organizer of the pro-civilization activists," and the "leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces."

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Another page from his notes literally pictures him at the center of action, with "build up," "preparation," and "attention focusing" converging on him, and "follow through," "dissemination," and "consolidation" among the things radiating from him.

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