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Posted at 2:30 PM ET, 01/26/2011

Did Obama take a page out of Gingrich's book?

By Stephen Lowman

WinningTheFuture.jpgHas President Obama been studying Newt Gingrich?

According to The White House, the theme of this year’s State of the Union address was “Winning the Future.”

"We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world,” Obama told the nation. “We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government. That's how our people will prosper. That's how we'll win the future."

But before Obama made the phrase the focus of his speech last night, Gingrich had made it the title of one of his books.

“Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America” was published in 2005 by Regnery. The hardcover edition sold approximately 70,000 copies.

Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has used the phrase in recent years, as well.

"The era of Republican navel gazing is over,” he told a gathering of party officials in May 2009. “We have turned the corner on regret, recrimination, self-pity and self-doubt. Now is the hour to focus all of our energies on winning the future."

By Stephen Lowman  | January 26, 2011; 2:30 PM ET
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"Winning the future" began its long, buzz-wordy life in the 1940s, when it was popularized by Max Lerner, among others.


Posted by: dbuck1 | January 26, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse


Gingrich stole the phrase from Ada U. Azodo, an Indiana Northwest Professor who in 1999 wrote an article titled: "Surviving the present, winning the future: revisiting the African novel and short story" See:

Here's the catch... there's a reason it's really hard to trademark descriptive phrases: if there are only a limited number of ways to say "Ice Cold Beer" then well, we can't expect others to not also advertize that their beer is, well... "ice cold."

"Winning the Future" falls in this category. So neither Gingrich, or President Obama can be faulted for adding their names to the list of folks who've used it in public discourse.

There's only so many ways to say "Win," "Triumph," "Conquer," "Kick A%%" and the like....and all of them have been said before. And, well when are we planning to win? "Winning the Past" doesn't exactly rally folks, now does is.

So, unless Pres. Obama said "Winning the Future: A 21st Century Challenge to America" this is really a non-story. Unless Gingrich fans want to brag that their guy was the 845th person to use the phrase in a public setting while the President is far behind at 908th. Now that's something to brag about!

Posted by: Cobalt1 | January 26, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I wish all you Pundits who are advocating the likes of Romney , Gingritch, Huckelbuck, Palin, Giuliani and the rest for a run again would cease and desist. Romney's Mormon past ,(and do you like Reid's reign cause he's one also ,) won't be forgotten and he had his chances and failed miserably. And last time I looked and we have an recent example with Edwards, the Nation isn't exactly in love with guys who desert their wives who lie on a bed of Cancer, and then run away with a Tramp. And at the late night hour when Huckleby comes up with a Rock Band and plays his little guitar, does a crawler come across the bottom of the screen saying : " Here ladies and Gentlemen, are what Presidents are made of ? " And if the old axiom has any validity and " Familiarity does Breed Contempt " then it must be obvious that we've all become a little too familiar with Sarah . And speaking of wife deserters, and deserters of their Faith, and a supporter of Abortion , then there lies Rudy Kazootie and his miserable run in 2008. Please, let not this election be another where the electorate is forced to vote against rather than for , again. Give us something to use when we get to the Voting Booth . Didn't last November tell you anything ? We weren't just sick of the Democrats . We're sick of the same ol' , same ol ' and " we're not going to take it anymore "

Posted by: puck-101 | January 27, 2011 4:54 AM | Report abuse

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