TAMPA, FLORIDA—Newt Gingrich yesterday laid out an ambitious plan for his first 24 hours, speaking before a geriatric crowd in the Villages. His first day in office would include signing a repeal of three separate bills—because of course the weight of his victory would compel Congress to work past their differences for his grandiose vision—and a series of executive orders. He upped the ante on Monday in Tampa, adding even more items to this already-busy hypothetical agenda.
"I would sign an executive order authorizing construction as of that day," he said, referring to the new conservative hot-button issue of the Keystone pipeline. An executive order mandating an embassy in Jerusalem was included as well.
Gingrich's most severe condemnation was saved for the Obama administration’s decision to include birth-control coverage as part of the basic requirements for health-insurance companies. He referred to his Catholic faith and said that Obama was violating the tenets of the Constitution by forcing organizations to cover contraception. "I think we need to have a government that respects our religions," Gingrich said. "I'm tired of being lectured about respecting every other religion on the planet."
His solution? Yet another baseless promise for his first day in office. "On the very first day I'm inaugurated, I will sign an executive order repealing every Obama attack on religion across the board," he said.
If Barack Obama is not re-elected, the new president will be sworn in shortly after noon on January 20 of next year. That leaves just 12 hours for a first-day agenda, though of course the full pomp and circumstance of the day will eat up many hours as well (given his self-confidence as a world historical figure, it seems unlikely that Gingrich would skip any of the inaugural balls). At the pace he is currently making promises, Gingrich will be hard-pressed to find enough time to even sign his name that many times.