Tuesday night's victory by President-Elect Barack Obama left former House Speaker Newt Gingrich impressed, but not speechless.
"It's a very impressive achievement. And anybody, no matter what your political background, if you have eyes and ears, you have to believe you're living in a moment of genuine history," said Gingrich.
The former House Speaker came to town for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's Annual Awards Dinner. Beforehand, he sat down with reporters to talk about the future. He made it clear that no one knows what's going to happen.
"Anybody who tells you right now they know for sure what's going to happen, probably thought Senator Clinton was going to be sworn in as President."
The topic turned to the recent past, namely earlier this week. What happened to the Republican Party? His answer was simple. "The Bush administration failed," he said, "Republicans have got to come to a firm understanding." At the same time, he had nothing but praise for the Party's presidential nominee. "You've gotta give Senator McCain credit. At a time when the President was at a 23-percent job approval (rating), McCain got 46-percent of the vote."
Gingrich also said Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will become a major player in the country and the Republican Party. "She may decide to replace Senator Stevens in the Senate. I have zero doubt that if she does, she'll win. If she doesn't go to the U-S Senate, she'll certainly be re-elected as Governor and she'll be a formidable force."
When asked if the Republican Party was struggling to find its identity. "No," said Gingrich, "The Republican party's struggling to get beyond incompetence."
As for the challenges ahead for President-Elect Obama, he responded "We had two straight days of the stock market dropping after his election. Not exactly the kind of welcome I suspect, he wanted."