Thursday, February 4, 2010

Newt Gingrich in the O.C.!

Okay, got home a little after 9:00pm from the Newt Gingrich lecture at the Irvine Hilton. After I found a seat (reserved up front), I took this shot of the crowd while standing at the podium at the stage. The event is still filling up here:

As I was taking the picture, I saw a commotion at the back of the ballroom. I made my way back there to see what was happening. Newt Gingrich was preparing for his interview on Hannity:

Back up front, I'm photographed here with Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle. He's a true leader in the state's conservative movement, and was Speaker of the California State Assembly in 1996:

Here's Mayor Pringle introducing Speaker Gingrich:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich greets the crowd. And from the American Solutions website: "LIVE BLOG: Real Jobs Summit in Irvine, CA:

Beginning his talk:

You can see how packed it was in the ballroom during the lecture. Audience members were able to comment and ask questions:

Speaker Gingrich responding to questions:

I'm not particularly thrilled by Speaker Gingrich. He gave a very good speech, naturally, and he was especially strong in his views that enemy combatants should not be getting Miranda rights, etc. But last October/November I was really bothered by Gingrich's endorsement of RINO Dede Scozzafava. And even during his address tonight he came off a little too moderate. I'm with Michelle Malkin on this, for example: "Dear Newt Gingrich: Meet Ronald Reagan." Doug Hoffman ran within a couple of points of Democrat Bill Owens, NY-23's winner, on election night November 3rd. Had Speaker Gingrich endorsed Hoffman, and perhaps campaigned for him in New York, he could have provided the lift for the conservative Republican to take the seat. I don't really understand Gingrich's thinking on that one.

I bought a book anyway. Gingrich did a signing and I thought I might as well go for it rather than regret it later. I studied Gingrich's House leadership in some detail in graduate school, so better to be open-minded as far as historical significance goes. And honestly, I'm pleased so far with the book,
Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation's History.

And here's the obligatory picture. This was a high-speed production, as you can see. Speaker Gingrich was signing the next person's book while posing for a photo with me:

Anyway, I'm glad I attended, even if Speaker Gingrich was too businesslike and impersonal at this stage of the evening. There were roughly 75 people or so at the signing. Michelle Malkin had more people waiting in line when I met her, and she took the time to smile, shake hands, and stand for photos with those in attendence at her event.

All in all, though, a worthwhile evening.


Grizzly Mama said...

I have liked Newt for a long time - totally cool that were able to go. I have been quite shocked at Newt's seemingly new love for the left - what with his coziness with Pelosi and defense of Scozzafava. I'm like, DUDE, what is going ON with you???!!