Newt Gingrich has released the handout from his meeting Thursday with House Republican freshmen, and it includes some points that may be surprising to those who understand him only as a caricature:
1. Do not focus on November 2012. Instead, focus on January 2021. The goal between now and January 2021 should be to govern so well, communicate so clearly, and include Americans from all backgrounds so consistently that a second wave of House Republicans are being sworn in to build a better future around our values and principles.
6. Inclusion is fundamentally different than outreach. Outreach is when you and insiders make a decision and then start calling people to tell them what it is. Inclusion is when they are in the room to discuss the challenges and help reach the decisions. For Republicans to become a stable governing majority, we must be able to win a majority of Hispanic Americans, four or five times our current share of African Americans, a decisive majority of Asian Americans, and a significant share of Native Americans while keeping our traditional base. This requires deep changes in scheduling, staffing, internships, communications, and networking.
7. Be smart, not cheap. Get to a balanced budget by being smart rather than cheap. Cutting spending in areas that produce long term savings, such as the National Institutes of Health is destructive to the goal of a sustainable, balanced budget.
I don't always agree with Mr. Gingrich about either goals or methods, but this nonetheless strikes me as newsworthy.