ORLANDO, FLORIDA—Newt Gingrich has publicly pledged to have the single most productive day in presidential history. Gingrich has taken to listing his first-day proposals during recent stump speeches, but he promised to take it a step further when he spoke last night. He promised to release a new Contract With America during his non-concession speech— "a personal one between me and you"—that would detail his plans once he enters office. "We're going to put this together in a way that you will be able to see in writing with my signature, and you'll be able to hold me accountable," Gingrich said.
For Gingrich, it's not enough to promise voters that you'll bring change to Washington—you have to bring about that change in the span of a few hours. By my assessment, it seemed like far too ambitious of a plan, just given the taxing schedule of inauguration, what with changing tuxedos between each ball and whatnot. But Gingrich offered a rebuke to my timekeeper's cynicism last night. "All of this is going to happen about two hours after the inaugural address," Gingrich said.
Having knocked aside that pesky problem of feasibility, Gingrich added another pledge, "I will sign that day an executive order reinstating Ronald Reagan's Mexico City Policy, no U.S. money will go anywhere in the world to pay for abortions, period.”
These first day pledges have an almost mystical power in Gingrich's worldview. It's not enough to encourage Congress to deconstruct all of the accomplishments of the Obama presidency in a matter of weeks; he'll also implement every conservative pipe dream with a stroke of his pen. Since the world will be aware of his arrival in the Oval Office, Gingrich thinks the economy will change on a dime. "People say to me 'how quickly will things turnaround?'" Gingrich told a large rally in The Villages on Sunday. "Let's talk about jobs. Late on election night when we defeat Barack Obama people will start making decisions to create new jobs."
With everything planned for that first day, Gingrich will quickly run out of plans to enact. My guess: should Gingrich's presidency become a reality (a dwindling proposition after last night) he'll roll out a mission accomplished banner by the start of the second week and send himself on a congratulatory tour of the country—likely hawking a book collecting all of his grand accomplishments.