What both sides should know about Newt Gingrich's Republican road map
And former Speaker, current small business owner Newt Gingrich did speak. As usual, provocatively.
They raised nearly $15 million. And Gingrich acknowledged the Palins, to applause.
But what was really important, politically, from the evening event were his heartening remarks to the Republican faithful, offering encouragement and historical precedents, including how quickly the GOP rebuilt after major defeats in 1964, 1976 and 1992.
He also noted, to some audience murmuring, that while Barack Obama won 61% of California's presidential vote in November, six months later in the recent referenda, fully 64% rejected raising taxes and spending.
Partisans of either side may be pleased or angered by his words. They'll boo or cheer while watching this C-SPAN video. Which is fine. But they'll miss Gingrich quoting Democrat Al Sharpton positively. And outlining ways Republicans should ally with the new president.
And for those historical political observers who value a strong two-party system duking it out while Americans watch and make their choice, Gingrich's remarks offer the first actual proposed, detailed road map since November for a 21st century Republican reconstruction.
Whether Gingrich's familiar fountain of ideas triumphs, his thoughts are certain to become a part of the ongoing political debate leading up to the 2010 midterm elections -- and beyond.
And, if speaking about such things in 2009 helps position Gingrich for 2012, well, maybe he won't mind.
As we often do here, we'll let the political actors speak for themselves.