Newt Gingrich: This will be an historic campaign year



We are now living through the longest general election campaign in history.

With President Donald Trump’s victories in Iowa and New Hampshire – and his massive lead for the Republican presidential nomination in national polls – the Republican nomination was decided on Jan. 23.

No one has ever tried to have a national conversation for 286 days before an election.

The only president to lose re-election and then come back and win was Grover Cleveland, who won in 1884, lost in 1888, and then won again in 1892. However, in that era campaigning was relatively short and episodic. There was no television, radio, or social media.

Now, we have a country with a high capacity for boredom (there is a reason virtually all the top-rated television shows are NFL football games, and that various fake reality shows can be found all over the place).

Furthermore, the news media is desperate to fill the air 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. The news producers, editors, and reporters were hoping for a long nomination fight to give them lots to cover. They are now in a state of shock – and even more desperate to find some news hook that will draw in viewers and readers.

There will be constant pressure to find something negative with which to attack and undermine the Trump campaign in particular – and Republicans in general.

In the short run, Congress will get more coverage than it normally would during primary season. However, most Americans do not follow congressional activities. While important, most debates on the floor of Congress are not terribly exciting.

A long campaign is also a significant challenge for the Biden administration. Joe Biden’s people would have loved to watch the Republicans tear each other apart for months (and catalogued every candidates’ opposition research on Trump).

In the ideal Biden world, all political coverage for the next six months would be negative – and about Republicans.

Instead, the 2024 political drama will be about President Trump dominating the landscape and leading a political movement unlike anything we have seen in modern times.

A vigorous series of Trump rallies will be an amazing contrast with the passiveness, slow, meager Biden campaign effort. You aren’t going to be seeing 20,000-plus excited Biden supporters relishing a 90-minute speech by their candidate. The rhythm and pattern of the two campaigns is going to be a case study in asymmetry.

The biggest advantage President Trump has is the ability to campaign in states where he can grow the party and strengthen candidates for governor, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House.

The second great advantage of being finished with the nomination campaign is Trump and his team will now have time to develop positive issues and themes throughout the country.

The American left and President Biden would like to make this election about the recent past – and especially Jan. 6. They want to create Trump into a fantasy demon who poses an existential threat to the survival of American freedom. (Note, as the left is actively trying to arrest and strike from ballots its political opponent, it is also claiming democracy will die if he wins the election.)

For their leftwing fanatic base, that image is real, powerful, and emotionally fulfilling. For the rest of the country, it is dwarfed by the realities of Biden’s practical failures on virtually every front – and the degree to which most of the country rejects the radical left’s values and actions.

President Trump and the Republicans have a simple model to follow that will create a trap in which to capture the Biden record. Essentially, it’s a sandwich.

For the bottom piece of bread, they can refer back to the achievements from Trump’s first term. As a former president, Trump is in a unique position to describe what he has done and what he will do. His administration grew the economy. It made America energy independent while lowering the price of gasoline, natural gas, and heating oil. The Trump administration kept inflation under control. It controlled the border. It supported law enforcement and fought crime. It stopped terrorism and exercised effective power in the world. It rebuilt and strengthening NATO and negotiated with foreign governments on trade and other issues with great effectiveness.

The middle of the sandwich contrasts Trump’s achievements with Biden’s failures. Virtually, every public opinion poll shows that most Americans think Trump’s past policies worked better for them than Biden’s current policies.

For the top slice of bread, Trump and Republicans can project forward and describe a future of extraordinary opportunities that will strengthen America. They can talk about increasing Americans’ standard of living, and stopping illegal immigration, drugs, and crime. They can describe a dramatically better education system. They can talk about a renewed and reformed military that can protect America, help our allies, and deter our opponents. They can outline breakthroughs in space, health outcomes, and artificial intelligence that will improve Americans’ lives.

Ideally, each layer would get roughly equal time and focus. Biden will be painfully trapped between Trump’s success in the past – and his promise of a better future.

With the nominating race over – and 286 days to campaign – no Republican has ever had the potential to grow such a startling majority. If Trump cheerfully contrasts his past success with Biden’s failure – and focuses on a positive future, he could attract people who have never talked with or joined Republicans.

This is going to be an extraordinary campaign.

For more commentary from Newt Gingrich, visit Also, subscribe to the Newt’s World podcast.

This article was originally published by RealClearPolicy and made available via RealClearWire.


  1. “This will be A historic election year”

    The word “historic” begins with a consonant and not a vowel, so it is proper to use “a” and not “an” with it.

    The use of “an historic” originated with the clueless English, who regularly do not know how to speak their own language, and often drop the initial “h” in words beginning with h + a vowel. We Americans, however, know better, and do not do that.

    • “An” before “h” was taught to us in school and has only been dropped in common (mass media) use in the last 30 years, starting with off-the-wall decision making by the US News and World Report style book people. As faar as people’s speech, it’s not worth arguing about or even aksing about.

      • Rich, I disagree — it is always VERY worth taking about speech!

        And it makes utterly no sense for Americans to use “an” before a word beginning with the letter “h”, your (mis)education notwithstanding. The word “an” is used before words beginning with vowels ONLY, in every other context, and for the phonemically good reason of breaking up the awkwardness of having one word end with a vowel and the next word beginning with a vowel, and have both vowels run together.

        The Spanish language, incidentally, does the same kind of thing, for example using “el agua” rather than the expected “la agua”, for the same reason.

    • Jeff,
      I thought you were opposed to using the word “American” because North and South America are continents and so anyone living on these continents are “Americans”. Did you recently have a change of heart and realize that nobody calls a Mexican, or a Canadian, or a Venezuelan, or a Paraguayan an American?

    • If you’re not an American, thank God! If you are, you are one of the worst readers of all time. With all the bad events taking place, including OUR soldiers being attacked and now killed. You don’t need to approach grammar on stuff like this,but I find that people that disagree with that comment are most likely the ones who can’t respond that the nation, as a whole, is going downhill rapidly and the beginning of WWIII happening, as we speak. Perhaps you could worry more about the happenings than a mistake in grammar. 🙄

  2. “You aren’t going to be seeing 20,000-plus excited Biden supporters relishing a 90-minute speech by their candidate.”

    I would pay big money to go see even a 20 minute un-teleprompted speech by dementia-addled Cadaver Joe, which would most likely consist of 40 seconds of semi-coherent anti-MAGA ranting, followed by 10 seconds of bizarre whispering, followed by 60 seconds of incoherent slurring, followed by 70 seconds of dazed confusion, followed by 16.5 minutes of blank-faced befuddlement as his adult diaper fills and sags, followed by 30 seconds of repeated petulant demands of “Where is my ice cream, dammit?!”, followed by the final 30 seconds of “Dr. Jill” coming out to lead him off stage.

  3. News of a defamation case giving some old lady $88 million in punitive damages because Trump called her a liar ………that’s the headlines today. All phoney. But it’s Trump. That’s the only thing the Democrats will have to campaign on. Their own perverted, mindless, lying, cheating candidate will live in the basement of the White House and eat lobster and caviar at the expense of taxpayers, defending his miserable, drug-crazed son from those evil Republicans. Yep,
    it’s gonna be quite a campaign.

      • Obamas always ate lobster and caviar in the White House. Michelle had it served to her in bed. That is, when they weren’t eating New York cut steak and king salmon in bed.
        The rest of us little Republicans ……..

  4. Every POTUS election is historic. A better turn of phrase is uniquely historic. Or if preferred, unusually historic.

    -1. The candidates under genuine scrutiny for potential illegal activities.
    -2. Essentially a battle of octogenarians.
    -3. The world coming apart at the seams.
    -4. Two particularly unlikable candidates.
    -5. The most divergent political points of view in my lifetime.
    -6. An electorate who will deny the legitimacy of the results, regardless of outcome.
    -7. A nation nearly at war with itself. War in the shooting and killing kind.
    -8. A media which has openly taken sides and deals in the most yellow of “ journalism”.
    -9. Unprecedented levels of censorship and meddling by the modern Robber Barons.

    And so much more.

  5. Lots to comment upon but I will limit a bit. The former Speaker, himself 80 years old, misses or purposely omits a discussion of the ages of BOTH candidates. Grandpa Biden is already 81 and the Donald will be 78 by election day. Each will be challenged to complete the term of office. While no explanation is necessary for Biden, Trump is not immune from the ravages of time and is missing a few steps these days.

    Most critically, neither offers anything new. Biden is incoherent at times; Trump seems incapable of moving beyond past grievances. Both spend their time looking backwards. At least for me, those flaws are fatal. I will not vote for either man.

    Speaker Gingrich further stubs his toe by trying to argue that Donald Trump will somehow build the Republican Party and carry other conservatives to victory. That is most certainly a joke. If anything has been learned from previous elections, it is that Donald Trump has no political coattails at all. Worse still in my view is that there is NOTHING beyond and after Trumpism. Trump seems likely to kill principled conservatism for a generation or more. I will not support any more steps down that road.

    • and your failure to vote for Trump gives another advantage to the communist brandon handlers. Please swallow your disgust and vote Right to save our nation from tyranny. We must do better. Who has the gravitas to carry the ball when the Donald is gone?

    • I understand the distaste for both candidates. But I’m curious: how does your sitting out voting help anyone?

      If anything, it’s a de facto vote for status quo.

      • A vote for either cannot improve our nation. If I can discover a candidate that might produce something positive for the country, I will vote for that candidate. As noted, both Biden and Trump are looking backward and have no new ideas. Biden is senile and Trump is aging and irrational.

        Another element, not previously mentioned, is that Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the skill set to get things done. He fulminates and thrashes around but is not effective. He’s a one-trick pony.

        • JMARK, I largely agree with your portrait of the two candidates, however with some revision. T is not unlike a wounded Bear, gnashing his teeth biting his own wounds and swinging wildly while groaning. Biden is less animated but like a creepy villain from a horror movie , he just won’t go away.

          Poor choices both for developing our Nations future, but nonetheless a choice that we must make.

          I’m inclined to go with Trump this time, if only because T represents a vote against the evil machine. If you cannot vote for T, I suggest looking at RFK jr.

    • You are so wrong. Unfortunately, he was blocked by RINOs on achieving what he tried to do is. (PS I’m neither Dem or Rep), But he did fulfill a lot. The border was stronger and the wave of Fentanyl now shows the effect of NOT making a stronger border. He placed sanctions on countries that wouldn’t work with us or try to sell us things that Americans can provide. Shop local, right? He made sure that he held his words. Remember MOAB? I remember what we paid in gas for our vehicles when Trump was President and what it is now. He made us energy independent. First time in all my life and I’m 67 years old! We are a sovereign nation and the radicals need to start thinking of the amount of money we now pay for food (food warehouses burning suspiciously and frequently…go figure. Stores are constantly out of stock, people stealing so much that stores are now required to hit things in locked cases. 🙄) Housing,, utilities and travel costs. Now, when you book a trip, you wonder if the flight will be cancelled because of crappy work done by Boeing. Trump would be fixing that too and not by an injection of $$$ that the American taxpayer will owe back. We are being taxed to death to accomplish the radicals vision. And, lastly, the faces have been shown as to who fabricated the Russian hoax, no repercussions and it seems they are trying to one up each other. The Constitution being stomped on lying to courts and with courts who are controlled by the radicals and judges who, with impunity, go against the very thing they were supposed to do. Mediate between plaintiffs/defendants and not having a political agenda. I DO believe the FBI, CIA, WHO (get Fauci and his wife off the government tit) and the UN agenda. They have long outlived their original creation and we need to keep them at arms length.. We need to stay sovereign and take care of all Americans. Also, we weren’t in a war with Trump. Being 67, I see how many times our government put its nose where it didn’t belong. Protecting Americans FIRST as it should be.

  6. It is interesting that Donald Trump is running his campaign as an insider – cowering down to a constituency he was not accepted by the first time around.

    His first campaign was inspiring to me because he was a perceived renegade that banked on the West and rural America for his win.

    He is short-sited this time around by focusing on his leverage with the population that rejected him the first time around.

    The voters have not changed.

    And we do not adhere to getting accustomed to him.

    It is a tale as old as time…(beauty and the beast)

    Leaders need to represent people- that is why we have the right to vote.

    We do not ever have to ‘get used to’ anyone. Any One. That is the power of we.

  7. Do not get my words twisted. Donald Trump started out as the best leader of the free world.

    It is a role that is a moving target- his was COVID 19.

    George W. Bush had September 11.

    Isn’t it interesting that all the other traumas in world and domestic affairs never hold a Democratic President accountable?

    How can that be?

    • It’s easy. The media is part of the Democratic machine. It doesn’t advance the narrative to hold Democrats accountable.

    • It’s the press that doesn’t Democrats accountable. History certainly does:
      Clinton severing ties between CIA/FBI leading to 9/11.
      Obama backing down from Bashar Assad leading to untold Arab deaths, and handing Crimea to Putin
      Biden, border, illegal aliens, Ukraine, Mid-East in flames, Afghan cut and run, loss of American energy security. Etc etc. etc.
      These are events that shape the world in an uglier way and History and broken bodies know it. “CNN” doesn’t need to tell them.

    • Trudy,
      The answer to your question is this:
      The media helps control the Democrat’s agenda by filtering whatever means available to them? A truly free country relies on a truthful, objective, fully reporting news medium. Americans have been fed a bunch of malarkey and propoganda. Fortunate, most of us freedom lovers, including you, see through the dishonesty of it all.

  8. As we’ve seen in the past two presidential elections, it all hinges on a few thousand voters in each of a handful of states. Just a few thousand. Trump flatly surprised everyone in 2016 by swaying just enough of them to win these battleground states’ electors. Biden surprised everyone in 2020 with an concentrated and well-funded effort to turnout enough voters in just a few key precincts to swing these same states back in the other direction.

    The real campaign this time is going to end up being between each party’s voter turnout efforts, and will include a lot more of things like door-to-door ballot harvesting and targeted ballot mailings that the democrats used so successfully the last time.

    I can hope that the republicans are up to that game.

    • You are overlooking the Democrat’s massive voting fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

      Any argument that does not take that massive, obvious and coordinated fraud into account is meaningless.

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