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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Gingrich Departs with Moon Colony Legacy: was he Don Quixote or Capt. James T. Kirk

Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich departed the Republican presidential campaign trail today suspending his White House effort at a press conference in Arlington, Va.

When Gingrich declared on Florida’s Space Coast in January that he wanted to build a U.S. colony on the moon by the end of his second term, it was widely mocked, but Gingrich did not give up the plan. He said his wife, Callista, a constant presence at his side and major influence on the campaign, reminded him repeatedly that “the moon colony was probably not my most clever comment in this campaign.” [2:22 in video above]

In departing the presidential stage for 2012, Gingrich said his moon colony statement was in retrospect a bad idea, but great for "providing fodder for Saturday Night Live" later adding, "I'm not totally sure I will get to the moon colony, but I'm sure [my grandchildren] Maggie and Robert will have that choice if they want it," he said with his Newtonian Mind.

“I’m cheerfully going to take back up the issue of space,” Gingrich proclaimed, in the same month as a private billionaire group formed Planetary Resources, Inc. to mine asteroids and the first commercial Falcon 9 rocket, owned by billionaire Elon Musk,  sits on a Cape Canaveral launch pad to delivery commercial cargo to the International Space Station later this month.

Gingrich said revitalizing NASA remains a crucial project for the nation. “This is not a trivial area,” he said. “It’s a fundamental question of whether we’re still a country that dreams and goes out to pursue adventure.”

An American moon colony, major investments in brain science research, defending against an electromagnetic pulse attack, even fixing a dysfunctional Congress will be part of the Gingrich agenda as a “citizen” rather than a presidential candidate.

Gingrich, according to James P. Pinkerton at Fox, "has always been one of the most intellectually interesting, and politically questing, figures on the national stage. And so if there’s a little bit of Don Quixote in Gingrich, there’s also a lot of Captain James T. Kirk; he really did want to boldly go where no politician had gone before. Indeed, we might say that progress depends on Captain Kirks, or their non-fiction equivalents."

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