Gingrich Brought Change And Controversy As Speaker
Robert Siegel speaks to Janet Hook of the Wall Street Journal about Newt Gingrich's time as speaker of the House. Hook covered those years as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. When Gingrich became speaker, he brought a tremendous change to the House and the Republican Party. But he caused a lot of trouble for his rank and file. In 1997, there was a secret attempt to overthrow him as speaker by a group of "back benchers," who thought he was flying off the handle. They wanted a conventional leader, and he kept doing things on his own, without telling people. They felt he was not leading with a steady hand.