THE PLANK SEPTEMBER 28, 2007
In other Newt news, the former Speaker's "American Solutions" campaign to "outline the challenges facing our country" (motto: "Real change requires real change") seems to be off to a somewhat bumpy start. On the group's web site there's an engine for finding workshops in your area and, if you're Newt, you probably hope it's not running properly.
By my count there've been 88 workshops announced in the DC area, which sounds pretty impressive--at least until you notice that 86 of them are currently listed as having "0 People Attending." The two exceptions are a workshop being hosted by "David," which has one person listed as attending, and one hosted by Nancy Bocskor (whom a quick google search reveals to be Newt's former chief legislative assistant) which is raising the roof with eight planned attendees.
Now one might surmise that this is because Newt is no Beltway phenomenon and is rather tapping into Real America--but there doesn't seem to be much evidence of that either. There are over 200 workshops listed in Newt's native Georgia, but all but one of them are listed as having zero attendees. (The exception, in Forsyth County, hardly looks as though it'll be standing room only either, with one slated attendee.)
It may be that the site's software isn't working properly--though, keep in mind that this is how interested parties are supposed to be able to locate nearby workshops; any prospective Newt enthusiast is presumably looking at the exact same column of zeroes as I am. Or perhaps there are pockets of furious Gingrichian problem-solving hidden in unexpected corners of this land of ours.
Otherwise, that goal of $30 million is looking harder and harder.