Callista Gingrich’s Elephant Tales
November 25, 2013
For the spouses of 2016 presidential wannabes, Callista Gingrich has some good news about campaigning: It’s not as bad as it might seem.
“It’s really a blessing to be a part of the process, to travel across this country, to see so many wonderful people, to experience so many wonderful things,” said Gingrich, who toured the country in 2012 alongside her husband, Newt Gingrich, during his bid for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. “Hard to complain,” she added.
That might come as a surprise to many who see the spousal role on the campaign trail as a more quiet one, doomed to sit back while your significant other endures the body blows of the primary process. Gingrich admits that it can be challenging.
“It’s really hard some days,” said Gingrich. “You really have to keep your focus, and you have to keep your attention on the issues that are really important for the future of the country, and you have to ignore all the noise that doesn’t matter. I think that’s the most important thing.”
Her role in her husband’s 2012 campaign included not only appearing alongside him but also solo campaigning efforts and various public speeches. She even caught the attention of “Saturday Night Live,” which had Kristin Wiig portray Callista Gingrich in one skit about her husband’s space program policies.
“Some days are better than others, obviously, but you do have to keep your best attitude, be positive. You gain a lot of energy from people because the American people are overall positive. We have a can-do spirit in this nation and we want to see this remain and when you’re out with the people, you gain energy and that’s what keeps you going.”
Currently, Gingrich is busy promoting her new children’s book, “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” her third featuring the Ellis the Elephant character that aims to teach children about U.S. history, a topic that Gingrich says too many children are coming up short on.
“I write these books because I love America, and I believe America truly is an exceptional nation and I think it’s more important now than ever that our children understand just how special this country is and unfortunately today many of our kids are failing to learn our American history, including our founding principles and values, and instead learning revisionist or politically correct history and, as a result, really have no idea about the basic history of this nation.”
Gingrich calls recent statistics on student knowledge of government and history “sobering.”
“Only one in three fourth-graders today can tell us the purpose of the Declaration of Independence. And fewer than 50 percent of all fourth-graders know why George Washington was an important American leader. So we have a lot of work to do.”
Gingrich says that, despite her own background in conservative politics, these books aren’t meant to bring the next generation into Republican ledgers.
“They’re not supposed to be conservative books or Republican books but pro-America books,” said Gingrich, conceding a tiny bit of bias in Ellis himself.
“It’s not a donkey.”