Newt Who?

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image by Joe Fournier

It’s a foreign policy proposal plucked from the left’s pipe dreams: The new U.S. president-elect should take a pre-inauguration tour of the globe, sitting down with world leaders not to talk, but to listen. Sure, the idea isn’t jaw-dropping, but the person pitching it is: Newt Gingrich, the take-no-prisoners architect of the 1994 Republican Revolution and the Contract with America. “This simple exercise of asking for advice and listening carefully and sympathetically will, in almost every part of the world, lead to dramatically improved relations and perceptions,” Gingrich writes in Foreign Policy (Jan.-Feb. 2008). He isn’t just talking about dropping in on London, Paris, and Jerusalem, either. The leader of the free world should also brave the less cozy political climes of Ankara, Amman, Beijing, and Cairo. “There should be no formal agenda, only questions. How do these other leaders think the United States can be most effective with its economic, military, and cultural might? And in turn, how do they propose to help achieve mutual goals during the next four years?” Next up: Former president George W. Bush launches a task force for government transparency.

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