Newt polishes his crystal ball |

Newt polishes his crystal ball

Don Rogers

Newt Gingrich will be this year’s public face of the annual gathering of conservatives and neo-cons, the World Forum.Primary author of the “Contract With America” that helped sweep the Republicans into congressional power in 1994, speaker of the house, author, professor, potential presidential candidate, Gingrich will speak at 1 p.m. today at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek.His chat is free, and really, a great opportunity to see and ask questions of one of the main political figures of our time.His latest book is “Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America.” Naturally, he plans to discuss the things he talks about in his book: terrorism, the global economy, reforming Social Security, improving the health-care system.Fair enough. If he has real answers for health care, and a better idea for Social Security reform, maybe he should be president, right? For now, though, the Republican models for reform of both are about as close to the mark as Richard Perlman’s smug assertion in this same session two years ago that those weapons of mass destruction would turn up within weeks, if not days. Oops. And so has gone the credibility of the neo-cons ever since.Maybe Gingrich, no neo himself, can nudge along some better answers, now that he’s done for the moment with rewriting Civil War history for fun and presumably profit. It is nice to see his writing turn toward reality again. Love or hate him, Gingrich’s ideas were the catalyst for a seismic political shift in this country. They well could be again. So, whether your ideology leans left or right, his session today should be well worth your time. And maybe Newt’s crystal ball is clearer than Perlman’s. The GOP should hope so.Vail, Colorado

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