Newt Gingrich: 'Americans are Inherently Grandiose'
Newt Gingrich Scores a Point by Calling Americans Pretentious
Saying calling Americans pretentious and extravagant is not a sensible way to win favor, or so you may think. However, it seemed to work for Newt Gingrich. During a speech in which he promised a US base on the Moon by his second term, Gingrich went on to say that "Americans are instinctively grandiose". Gingrich got a standing ovation.
'You Keep Using that Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means'- Inigo Montoya
Newt Gingrich's pie- (or base-) in the sky promise was indeed grandiose, but, in common usage of the word, that's not really a good thing:
1: characterized by affectation of grandeur or splendor or by absurd exaggeration 2: impressive because of uncommon largeness, scope, effect, or grandeur
Newt clearly used the wrong word; at least, one hopes he did. Don't call us pretentious and then hope for our vote. Nevertheless, the audience didn't catch it.
One could argue for the secondary meaning of "grandiose", but, seriously, nobody using it as an adjective really means it in a nice way.
Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have each accused Gingrich of grandiosity, however, using the primary definition found above.
A note on promising a moon base: One would think that, considering the problems facing Florida that are closer to sea-level, literally promising voters the moon might not have been in the Florida primary game plan. However, Newt Gingrich, apparently a sci-fi fan, has been big on space exploration for a very long time.
However, despite what we may have seen in Armageddon, you can't just take earthbound farmers and miners and shoot them into space. It's actually a bit more complicated than that.