For much of the year, Newt Gingrich has helped to lead the Republican opposition to President Obama. Gingrich talks regularly with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), sits in on GOP House caucus meetings, fundraises for Republican candidates, sponsors attack ads through his political 527 group, and even used his insurer-funded consulting firm to write a piece of alternative healthcare legislation. Last month, at a right-wing conference hosted by David Horowitz, Gingrich outlined his vision for how Republicans can win control of Congress in 2010. After the victory, Gingrich said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) should become a committee chair (her only current committee assignment is Financial Services):
GINGRICH: I think that both Ed Royce and Michele Bachmann, who are here today, are going to end up being chairs, probably in January of 2011.
When Gingrich steered Republicans to victory in the 1994 midterms, he similarly bypassed seniority and appointed his most trusted lieutenants to powerful committee chairs. Bachmann, who is popular among conservative partisans, has spent much of her tenure on the Financial Services Committee attacking financial reform, while concocting conspiracy theories about ACORN and a “one world” currency.