Once, a first-term Democratic president failed to deliver on healthcare reform and found his party USA-POLITICS/swept from office by a wave of voter anger that brought Republican Newt Gingrich to the forefront of American politics. Could this history lesson from the Clinton era be repeated?

Healthcare reform is stalled, voters are angry and Gingrich — who rose to prominence as House speaker after Republicans won Congress in 1994 — is again leading the pack, this time among  potential White House hopefuls for 2012.

The Washington-based political news outlet, Politico, says Gingrich’s political action committee is raising money far faster than those of 2008 campaign veterans including Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

OBAMA/Gingrich’s group, American Solutions for Winning the Future, pulled in $6.4 million in the second half of 2009, says Politico, citing finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That compares with about $1.6 million for Romney’s PAC, $1.4 million for Palin’s and $519,00 for Huckabee’s.

The PACs exist ostensibly to support Republican candidates, promote the party and advance conservative policy. But according to Politico, they also help boost the visibility of White House wannabes. (Gingrich’s PAC spent $585,000 just to fly him around the country.)