- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 25, 2014

Well somebody remembers. The Ripon Society points out that the 20th anniversary of the Contract with America is Saturday, marking the moment when a phalanx of Republican hopefuls gathered on the West Front steps of the U.S. Capitol and signed a document penned by Newt Gingrich and Richard Armey that set forth GOP principles and clarified their promises to voters.

“Twenty years ago this fall, 367 Republican candidates from all around the country gathered on the West Front steps of the U.S. Capitol and signed the Contract with America. At the time, it was an historic moment because it helped give Republicans control of Congress for the first time in four decades,” says Lou Zickar, editor of The Ripon Forum, the public policy organization’s primary publication.

“Today, it is a moment worth remembering because it was also a time when the GOP loudly and proudly proclaimed not what they stood against, but what they stood for,” he adds.

Well, now there’s a thought. And one that would resonate with disenchanted voters weary of a negative political battlefield. The Forum itself is devoted to the “Contract” this month, with observations from, among many, Hayley Barbour - who says the document gave people “something to vote for” - and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Find the document here:

In June, a group of 45 Republican lawmakers called for the Party to come up with a new “policy manifesto”.

“I think it’s a strategic mistake for our party leadership not to come up with a document that has four or five action items. I’ve tried to allow those in leadership to do this. If they don’t move forward soon, there will be a rebellion among the rank and file,” Rep. Lindsey Graham predicted to Politico at the time.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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