Newt not necessarily native to the high country

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich brings his latest book contract with America to Vail-area bookstore June 20 as a sidelight to the main event in Beaver Creek, where a conservative confab known as the AEI World Forum holds court in relative secrecy and swank security every June.

Gingrich will be shilling for his new book, “Days of Infamy,” about the critical decisions made in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, at 2 p.m., June 20, the Bookworm bookstore in Edwards – one of the few public events associated with the World Forum, which was launched by Beaver Creek’s most famous former resident, the late President Gerald R. Ford in the early 1980s.

Sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the Vail Valley Foundation, the forum brings together current right-leaning politicians, former heads of state and heavy hitters from the business world to discuss the most pressing public policy issues of the day.

“The discussions are informal, off the record and carefully structured to be provocative and informative,” according to the Vail Valley Foundation website, which hosts this year’s event June 19-22.

AEI fellows and scholars include Lynne Cheney, wife of the veep and former chair of National Endowment for the Humanities, on culture and education; Paul Wolfowitz, former head of the World Bank and deputy secretary of defense, on entrepreneurship, development issues, Africa and public-private partnerships; and Richard Perle, former member of the Defense Policy Board, on defense, Europe intelligence, the Middle East, national security and Russia.

In the past the event hasn’t managed to stay completely off the public radar screen, however, with dustups like the Eagle town manager getting into an altercation with local police when he was stopped by Dick Cheney’s motorcade and a 2006 incident in which a Denver man was arrested after confronting Cheney on the Iraq war. Charges were later dismissed, but the man’s lawsuit against Cheney’s security is still pending.

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail and Real Aspen.