California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom's media tour behind his new book "Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government" has been profoundly odd.
The former San Francisco mayor was grilled for his use of technobabble by Stephen Colbert and sparked a racially-tinged firestorm with former "Man Show" host Adam Corolla.
And now, Newsom's book has received high praise from a most unexpected source: former Republican House Speaker and erstwhile presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
In a speech over the weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which made headlines for slamming current GOP leadership as being "mired in stupidity," Gingrich argued that individual citizens need to take a more active role in public affairs in a way that circumvents government's inherent inefficiencies. He said Newsom's book, which looks at the wide variety of ways governments could become more effective by embracing technology, was a good primer in how to do just that.
"The best single book on moving out of bureaucracy into a Tocquevillian society where you, the citizen, are empowered to solve your own problems -- this tells you a lot about where we are in the Republican Party –- the best single book is by Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco and lieutenant governor of California," said Gingrich.
"Every single conservative in this country should read it," he added. "It is a practical textbook for all the opportunities in the information age to get rid of government and replace it with citizen activism."
The speech wasn't the first time Gingrich was complimentary about Newsom's book. In a recent column for the conservative political website Human Events, Gingrich once again urged all conservatives to read it and praised Newsom's bipartisan bona fieds:
I disagree deeply with Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, on many social issues. But Republicans won’t find much objectionable in his new book. Newsom's praise of efforts by Republicans such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa makes clear this vision can be bipartisan.
In fact, the book is a blueprint for a Republican Party focused on a better future for all Americans, with more freedom, more prosperity, and lower cost.
On Twitter, Newsom thanked Gingrich, tweeting:
Thanks @newtgingrich 4 ur support #Citizenville. Gov't innovation isn't an issue 4 the left or right. It's the future...