Richard Viguerie, direct mail pioneer and one of the founders of the modern conservative movement, tells Campaign Insider that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich might be the only hope for the hapless GOP.

Of Gingrich’s possible bid for RNC chairman, Viguerie says “it would be an enormous coup if they can talk Gingrich into chairing the Republican Party. I think that would do more to advance the cause of conservatism than almost anything that I can think of.”

Outside of that, Viguerie says conservatives won’t be looking to congress to bring them out of the wasteland. In an interview with Campaign Insider Monday, Viguerie outlined the strategy that he thinks will bring conservatives back.

It starts with an Obama presidency and an overwhelmingly Democratic congress enlivening the conservative grassroots as Washington shifts in a leftward policy direction.  Viguerie is planning to help lead the resurgence.

What’s the blueprint? In the mid 1970’s when President Carter held the White House and the Democrats controlled Congress, Viguerie says conservative opposition was organized and built on the ground, not in Washington.

“We used to meet at my home and we would plan and strategize,” he says. “We were the alternative to Carter and the Democrats. It wasn’t the Republican Party. It was us. That’s what we need again.”

One focus will be on building new conservative grassroots organizations to counter those on the left. “For every effective organization conservatives have, the left has 50 of them,” Viguerie says. “We need thousands of new organizations and I’m going to be right in the middle of building that.”

On the fundraising side, conservative direct mail fundraiser Richard Norman says Obama’s presidency will undoubtedly flood conservative coffers with money.

“Just the things [Obama] has already promised the left are absolutely terrifying to conservatives,” says Norman. “They will give generously to stop these policies from getting through.”

And he notes that conservatives aren’t down. Norman says they’re excited about the opportunity that Obama and a liberal Congress will provide to remind voters, “this is still a center-right country.”  

Of course Viguerie is quick to note that he’s laying out the direction for movement conservatives, not for the GOP. Still, he thinks the GOP bench is about as deep as it has ever been. He singles out Govs. Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford and Mitch Daniels. And in Congress, Sen. Jim DeMint and Reps. Mike Pence and Jeff Flake, among others. 

Underlying it all is the debate in Republican circles over where the party should go from here. After all, Michael Steele is a lot different than Newt Gingrich.

One thing is for sure though. Conservatives know how to organize, they know how to raise money, and they know how to build a party. If there is going to be a war within the GOP—conservatives  appear to have a hefty advantage.

Shane D’Aprile is web editor at Politics magazine. sdaprile@politicsmagazine.com