Julian Zelizer: Newt Gingrich is No OutsiderRoundup: Historians' Take
Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" (Times Books) and author of the forthcoming book "Governing America" (Princeton University Press).
Princeton, New Jersey (CNN) -- Newt Gingrich likes to fancy himself a counterestablishment rebel. He has attempted to tap into the anger of tea party Republicans by reminding voters about his glory days as a maverick conservative in the House of Representatives, which culminated in the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994.
On NBC's "Meet the Press," he said, "In Florida, my case is going to be very simple. You have a clear establishment candidate in Mitt Romney. ... And you have somebody whose entire career has been a Reagan populist conservative."
The trouble is that Newt Gingrich is about as establishment as one can get. The thinness of his claim to be some kind of populist outsider exposes the myth that many conservative Republicans promote when they distance themselves from the power they actually wield and claim that they are still outside the political system.
Gingrich's personal history shows how conservatives successfully entrenched themselves in Washington and learned to love the trappings of power, as well as the electoral benefits of government. Throughout his time in Congress, Gingrich played a key role in moving conservatives from being outsiders to insiders over the course of the 1980s and 1990s....
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- One of the last remaining Nazis goes on trial in Germany
- Inside story finally told of the young US diplomat who cracked the case of the murder of 4 nuns in El Salvador in 1980
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges