House GOP Leader Hires Contract with America Director

House Republican leader John Boehner's new chief of staff is Barry Jackson, who directed the Contract with America that helped drive the Republican takeover of Congress in the 1994 midterm election.

Jackson replaces Paula Nowakowski, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.

"By bringing the director of the Contract with America back to the Hill during this important time for the nation, we're sending a message that Republicans are serious about listening to the people, building a principled and lasting majority, and renewing the drive for smaller, more accountable government," Boehner said in a statement announcing Jackson's hiring.

Last week, as the Associated Press reports, Boehner assigned a Republican colleague to come up with a new political platform for the GOP, which is hoping to make significant gains in the 2010 midterm elections.

Jackson has worked as Assistant to President George W. Bush for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs and as an aide to Karl Rove. He also served as Boehner's chief of staff in the 1990s.

The Contract with America, introduced six weeks before the 1994 election, laid out what Republicans planned to do if they took control of Congress. The ten-point plan, championed by Newt Gingrich (pictured above), included calls for tax cuts and term limits.