HIGHTOWER: Newt's Back!

I have wonderful news. He's back! Newt Gingrich -- the shooting star of right-wing politics.

The Georgia firebrand streaked to power in 1995, becoming Speaker of the House, only to fizzle out three year's later, not only resigning in infamy as leader of his party, but also resigning his seat in congress. Then he fell further into the cold political darkness, because The Newt, who'd been such a loud proponent of family and personal morality, confessed that he was dumping his loyal, second wife, Marilyn, in favor of a young congressional aide with whom he'd been having an affair. This was especially poignant, since, at the time, Newt had been something of a scold about Bill Clinton's marital infidelities. It was a case of Gingrich being hoisted on his own petard, so to speak.

Well, I'm delighted to report that Newt is back on the scene -- not as a politico, but (get this) as a "corporate strategic consultant." How appropriate. This is the guy who literally waved corporate lobbyists directly into the lawmaking process when he was in charge of the house, allowing them to draft anti-environmental, anti-consumer, and anti-worker legislation. But now, he's advising corporations on marketing strategies, and his Gingrich Group claims to have lined up 20 clients trying to sell everything from water-soluble golf tees to computer hookups at truck stops.

"At his core, Newt is a visionary," says one of his G Group colleagues, adding that newt "can walk into a particular context, analyze what's going on, and from that comes an EXPLOSION of ideas and action items." Hmmmm. That combination of raw ego and explosiveness is what messed him up before. He is the guy, after all, who once described himself as the "teacher of the rules of civilization."

This is Jim Hightower saying ... In its promotional materials, the Gingrich Group says: "There is only one Newt Gingrich." Thank God.

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