Newt Gingrich Has Always Wanted to Be President of Something

  • Share
  • Read Later

The opening of the Wall Steet Journal‘s profile of young Newt’s teaching days is a gem:

A year into his first full-time teaching job, Newt Gingrich applied to be college president, submitting with his application a paper titled “Some Projections on West Georgia College’s Next Thirty Years.”

Mel Steely, a history professor who played a role in Mr. Gingrich’s hiring in 1970, said the bid drew “a chuckle” from administrators. The following year, Mr. Gingrich applied to be chairman of the history department. That wasn’t greeted so kindly, Mr. Steely said, with some favoring a longtime professor and World War II veteran.

“We weren’t going to make Newt our chairman, but he liked the idea of competing for almost anything,” said Mr. Steely, who later wrote a complimentary biography of Mr. Gingrich titled “The Gentleman From Georgia.” “He figured ‘I’m capable of doing this,’ and it didn’t bother him so much that it offended anybody.”

The whole story is well worth a read—he started something called the “The Institute for Directed Change and Renewal”–and, as it turns out, ’70s Gingrich was a dead ringer for Dwight Schrute. Classic.