Your Daily Newt: Gingrich Gets Blanket-Tossed

Blanket tossing looks like one of the funnest things in the world. It was also one of Newt Gingrich's final acts as speaker.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ocarchives/3984556821/sizes/z/in/photostream/">Orange County Historical Society</a>/Flickr

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As a service to our readers, every day we are delivering a classic moment from the political life of Newt Gingrich—until he either clinches the nomination or bows out.

Newt Gingrich called his 1998 swing through Alaska’s North Slope “an eye-opening experience” that helped him better understand the challenges that environmental regulations pose to residents of the Last Frontier. “Don Young has been telling me for years—come to Alaska and see for yourself,” he said, of the state’s Republican congressman. “Seeing is believing!”

Crippling nanny state regulations weren’t the only revelation of the trip for Gingrich, though. He also participated in his first traditional blanket toss, an activity in which a tossee is tossed (by tossers) about 20 feet in the air—ostensibly so that they can look across the tundra for caribou, but mostly because it looks really, really fun:

Things didn’t go quite so smoothly for Gingrich, though. As Jack Hitt explained in MoJo later that year:

At an Eskimo blanket toss in Barrow, Alaska, when Gingrich insisted on having a turn, 15 Native Americans heaved-ho (for the love of God, have they not suffered enough?) to try to pop the enormous Gingrich off the blanket. An unidentified bystander observed, “He never really caught major air.”

Maybe it was symbolism. A little more than two months later, Gingrich announced that he was stepping down as speaker of the House.

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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