Live Chat 12 p.m. ET: Newt’s March to the White House?


December 22, 2011

His momentum may be slowing, but a recent national poll placed Newt Gingrich in a dead heat with Mitt Romney at the lead of the Republican pack challenging President Obama in 2012.

His campaign — and recent stunning comeback — is the latest chapter in his long, determined march from a small town in Pennsylvania to the heights of power in Washington D.C.

We’ve been revisiting Gingrich’s dramatic story all this week with our classic 1996 investigative biography The Long March of Newt Gingrich.

As Gingrich’s campaign surged, the questions addressed in the film have taken on new urgency:

Who, really, is Newt Gingrich? What drives him? What kind of a leader is he? And what could we expect from a Gingrich presidency?

We asked two of the reporters behind the film, Peter Boyer and Stephen Talbot, to join us for a live chat to discuss these questions and take yours. Boyer still covers Gingrich today for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Here’s his most recent piece on the campaign.

Chris Moody, a reporter covering the presidential race for Yahoo!’s The Ticket blog, will be our guest questioner.

Peter Boyer is a reporter at the Daily Beast/Newsweek, which he joined after spending 18 years as staff writer at The New Yorker. In addition to The Long March of Newt Gingrich, Boyer served as a correspondent in a wide range of FRONTLINE episodes, including Waco: The Inside Story (1995), The Killer at Thurston High (2000) and L.A.P.D. Blues (2001).

Stephen Talbot is a reporter, producer and writer who has produced more than 30 documentaries and written for Salon, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post Magazine, among other publications. In addition to The Long March of Newt Gingrich, Talbot has produced a number of FRONTLINE films, including Why America Hates the Press (1996), and News War Part III: What’s Happening to the News? (2007).

Our guest questioner Chris Moody is a political reporter covering the 2012 presidential race for Yahoo!’s The Ticket blog. You can follow him on Twitter @chris_moody.

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

Get the Backstory on Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs’ as ICC Green Lights Investigation into Philippines Killings
With the International Criminal Court authorizing an official investigation into Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody “war on drugs," these two documentaries and one podcast episode offer context.
September 17, 2021
What Has Happened to Boeing Since the 737 Max Crashes
Since 346 people were killed in two crashes involving Boeing 737 Max planes in 2018 and 2019, the airplane maker has faced a number of changes. Here, a brief look.
September 14, 2021
In 737 Max Crashes, Boeing Pointed to Pilot Error — Despite a Fatal Design Flaw
Watch a scene from ‘Boeing’s Fatal Flaw,’ a documentary on the 737 Max plane crashes that killed 346 people.
September 14, 2021
Minneapolis’ bloody summer puts city on pace for most violent year in a generation
A surge in gunshots in some areas have put the city on pace for its most violent year in a generation.
September 11, 2021