You gotta hand it to the NRA. When a last-minute scheduling conflict prevented Sean Hannity from delivering tonight’s keynote address, who did they tap to take his place? Last year’s keynoter, Glenn Beck. (For Conservatives, that’s like saying “hey…Thomas Paine had to cancel…but it’s okay. We got Patrick Henry to take his place.”) So who’s the warmup act for Beck? None other than the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. (!) Now if you’ve never heard Newt speak, you need to remember that he’s a rare blend between a orator and a teacher. That’s mostly a wonderful thing – Newt can teach you something when you hear him speak (as opposed to losing brain cells listening to most pols). Every now and then, though, you realize that he’s teaching you something, and it becomes a little bit like going to school.

I’m listening to – and learning from – Newt now. More details as events warrant. Next up: Glenn Beck.

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UPDATE: Newt inserts a second plug for his new book, available everywhere, tomorrow.

UPDATE: 3 minutes later, he plugs his two movies about Ronald Reagan.

UPDATE: Newt gets a really cool award from the NRA – a document signed by Jefferson and Madison. And it’s NOT a copy, but the real deal. Nice.

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