‘Top Line’ Book Corner: Jackie Gingrich Cushman and ‘The Essential American’

By Jenny Schlesinger

Nov 22, 2010 1:52pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: The rise of the tea party movement has brought with it a renewed interest in America’s founding documents, with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence providing political inspiration to a new generation.  Jackie Gingrich Cushman, an author and the daughter of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has compiled 25 documents and speeches that she considers critical to understanding US history in her new book, “The Essential America.” “Part of what I wanted to do when I compiled these documents and speeches to give Americans their national stories, so they can understand what has happened, what can we learn, what we have gone through,” Cushman told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today.  “The important part is that we do need to look at our foundation. It is important to understand that we are different and the Constitution is important,” Cushman added. “The Constitution is like our operating document — how are we supposed to be operating, what are we supposed to be doing? I think it is very important that we look to our roots before we go forward.”  Regarding her father’s political future, Cushman said to expect an answer on a 2012 bid in February or March of next year.  “He’s thinking about it very hard. We spent two hours recently, just the two of us — and trust me, ever since I had two grandchildren, it very rarely happens — so you know he was serious. He is serious. I think he is very worried about where we are going as a country. All my life, he has been very involved in politics. And he’ll take it to heart where we are, and February or March, you will have your answer.”  Cushman said she also expects former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, to join the presidential field.  “Her role is very interesting. She excites the crowd, she makes people look and listen, and I think that is great. And I am all for people getting excited,” Cushman said.  “I do not think we are going to know for a while. My guess is that she is going to run. and I think she will make the primary run very exciting.”  We also featured Jonathan Karl’s “Subway Series” interview with Sen.-elect Mike Lee, R-Utah, who’s set to become the youngest US senator – and, perhaps, the most conservative.  “I could not be more serious when I say I’m not going to vote to increase the national debt limit,” Lee told Karl.

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