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As Speaker, Gingrich Brought Change, Controversy
Robert Siegel speaks to Janet Hook of the Wall Street Journal about Newt Gingrich's time as speaker of the House. Hook covered those years as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. When Gingrich became speaker, he brought a tremendous change to the House and the Republican Party. But he caused a lot of trouble for his rank and file. In 1997, there was a secret attempt to overthrow him as speaker by a group of "back benchers," who thought he was flying off the handle. They wanted a conventional leader, and he kept doing things on his own, without telling people. They felt he was not leading with a steady hand.