Ellis is an animal. Gingrich is an animal lover. He's even starting a site called "Pets with Newt." We found many, many photos of Gingrich posing with mammals.
Gingrich says little Ellis is a happy, positive creature. That's how Gingrich sees himself too. In fact, he pledged not to get into any negative attacks
against his fellow Republicans. (Sticking to that promise proved difficult
.) Gingrich's daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, who has recently been defending her dad on family matters, calls him a "happy warrior
." So does the Daily Caller
. So does Rick Tyler, the Gingrich staffer who quit and then begged to come back. He told the Associated Press' Shannon McCaffre
y, "Newt is a happy warrior. He's optimistic. As long as he has an audience to talk to and feels his ideas are making a difference he will keep plugging away."
Callista's book opens with these words: "Ellis the Elephant was a smart little guy, with a curly grey trunk, and a twinkling eye. He liked asking questions, he was eager to see how America became the land of the free!" Gingrich, too, thinks he's pretty smart. He's embraced the "ideas man" tag in his TV adsas Politico
points out, saying "I believe bold ideas and new solutions will unleash America’s creative spirit." He told a Harvard audience in November, "I don’t think it hurts to have a president who is reasonably smart," Politico
reported. He noted reviews of his debating skills used "various phrases about smartest guy in the room."
When Ellis wants to learn about America, he goes to the library. Callista writes, "Ellis went to the library, an amazing place, and looked at the books with a grin on his face. 'These books hold the secret, I'm sure it is true, why America is special, full of red, white, and blue.'" Gingrich has long been a fan of libraries. In the 1990s, he tried to make going to the best libraries in America easier by pushing
for the New York Public Library's contents to go online helping to create the Library of Congress' THOMAS system, which puts all congressional action online.
Callista is writing a sequel. Will Ellis become president? "Ellis will remain a patriotic elephant, an elephant that loves American history," she said, according to Politico's Ginger Gibson
. (Did we mention that Newt loves history!) But, Gibson explained, "In addition to getting a more in depth history lesson, Gingrich joked Ellis may get a girlfriend named Ellie." The plot thickens.
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is the former politics editor for The Wire