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August 10, 2010 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican. In the twelve years since he resigned in defeat and disgrace, he has been carefully plotting his return to power. As 2012 approaches, he has raised as much money as all of his potential rivals combined and sits atop the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. But just who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really? (SLEsquire)
posted by The Card Cheat (95 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like Mr. Gingrich - he used to be the example of the hypocrisy inherent in the social plank of the Republican party, before Larry Craig.
posted by muddgirl at 12:42 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


posted by The Card Cheat who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really?

The loser in the next election.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:43 PM on August 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


Seems less neo-con than just plain old conservative.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:45 PM on August 10, 2010


A smarmy man with a seamy personal history who is not nearly as smart or well read as he believes himself to be.
posted by bearwife at 12:47 PM on August 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


I'm trying to find the 80s "Doonesbury" cartoon where one of the characters says they don't want to "wake up someday in a country run by Newt Gingrich."
posted by brundlefly at 12:47 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd like to think Republican voters are smart enough to not vote for Newt in the prim.... Strike that. Should Newt be the Republican candidate Obama will win re-election handily.
posted by Rashomon at 12:48 PM on August 10, 2010


One quote that tells me all I need to know about Newton Leroy Gingrich:

"It doesn't matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live."

-- quoted in an Esquire profile, on the hypocrisy of his extra-marital affairs and his family values rhetoric
posted by darkstar at 12:48 PM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh jeez, that's the same article. D'oh!
posted by darkstar at 12:50 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


A smarmy man with a seamy personal history who is not nearly as smart or well read as he believes himself to be.

So he's ....a republican candidate?
posted by The Whelk at 12:51 PM on August 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really?

A man whose last name is not "Gingrinch," however much some comedians wish it were so. I'm looking at you, Greg Proops.

Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine. Nobody in this thread has done that yet, but I'm heading it off early. And to answer the question seriously, he is a dreadful, dreadful man whom I would not trust around my personal belongings.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:51 PM on August 10, 2010


When I think about people who knowingly use bad logic and bald faced lies as rhetorical tactics, Gingrinch is pretty high up on the list. How did anyone allow such an uncharismatic and insincere heel to ascend to any kind of influential position? He should be pissing off freshman history students in some junior college in the middle of nowhere.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:52 PM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


He's the loser in the next primary who makes Romney look sane by comparison, thus allowing him to adopt a "centrist" posture designed to drive "moderate" political conversation even further right.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:52 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


He's always been more of an idea man than a true GOP leader. He did a great job mobilizing Republicans out of permanent minority status to take over the House in 1994, but proved unable to make "Congressional government" a reality. I don't think many GOP financiers think he's made of Presidential timber, but that won't stop him from impacting the policy debate.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:52 PM on August 10, 2010


Please, please, PLEASE run! I can't wait for the showdown between Newt and Sarah. It will be so delicious!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:52 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Gingrich Suggests Taking Out The Remaining ‘Axis Of Evil’ Members: ‘We’re One Out Of Three’
posted by homunculus at 12:53 PM on August 10, 2010


Should Newt be the Republican candidate Obama will win re-election handily.

Yeah, no. The Republicans could run a ham sandwich with an R after its name and win in 2012 if unemployment is still above 9%.

Especially with Obama furiously busy pissing off everybody on the left who phonebanks or knocks on doors.
posted by zjacreman at 12:54 PM on August 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


That's awesome. How does he suggest paying for invasions of Iran and North Korea? Oh, that's right...he's an "ideas" man.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:55 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Burhanistan loses!
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:56 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Laughable. He's hated by the left and right alike and is most famous for deliberately shutting down the government and wasting millions of dollars attacking the President, the two things the Republican Party is trying to do while pretending they aren't. His very existence blows their cover.

The Beltway GOP is going to be spending the next 18 months trying to figure out who is, literally, their great white hope, not just to save them from another four years of Obama but to save their party from Sarah Palin (or rather, who she endorses while she continues to make millions). It sure as hell ain't him.

"Indispensable?" He was disposed of over a decade ago when he had to resign in disgrace. Good riddance.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:57 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


How did anyone allow such an uncharismatic and insincere heel to ascend to any kind of influential position? He should be pissing off freshman history students in some junior college in the middle of nowhere.

He's on Fox News every other day. That's close enough, don't you think?
posted by atypicalguy at 12:57 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't help but think of this song (video) every time I hear his name. I know that makes me about five years old, but there it is.
posted by immlass at 12:58 PM on August 10, 2010


Looking back on Newt's Contract With America, it's a little jolting to realize how sane the Republicans seemed then compared to now. There are some sensible policy ideas in there (though not all). Now they seem utterly bereft of any ideas but cutting taxes and bombing foreign countries.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:58 PM on August 10, 2010


RHAM SANDWICH 2012! It's Right to be Delicious.
posted by Skot at 1:00 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Burhanistan loses!

?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:01 PM on August 10, 2010


Oh, right. Grinch. Heh.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:02 PM on August 10, 2010


The 10th Regiment of Foot: Please, please, PLEASE run! I can't wait for the showdown between Newt and Sarah. It will be so delicious!

On one hand: No doubt -- it'd be like the travel agent battle here writ large.

On the other hand: As much as I would enjoy it, I'm sure in the end it would make me very, very sad.

On the other, other hand: The Republican primary will probably made me very, very sad anyway, so might as well have an enjoyable sideshow.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:03 PM on August 10, 2010


Yeah I read about Newt's recent AEI war dance when the story broke over a week ago, and I thought: surely this will kill his candidacy. I mean who in their right mind wants America engaged in more wars we can't win, right? Right? And then I remembered it's America: all bets about sanity in politics are off.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 1:03 PM on August 10, 2010


RHAM SANDWICH 2012! It's Right to be Delicious.

I see the GOP has given up on trying to court the Israel lobby.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:03 PM on August 10, 2010


He tried to get his first wife to sign divorce papers while she was still in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. His second wife divorced him for having an affair with his third wife. That affair was going on at the same time he was attacking Clinton over Monica Lewinsky, by the way. Family Values all the way.
posted by tommasz at 1:07 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


According to the book Republican Gomorrah, that fact that Newt has gone on Dobson, admitted his personal crises, and asked Mr. Jesus for forgiveness, coupled with his platform of Christian-Right wedge issues—anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, etc—means that Evangelicals will look past his hypocrisy, because hey, we all make mistakes, but fuck the progressisociaimmamusligays, amirite?

He'll lose anyway.
posted by defenestration at 1:09 PM on August 10, 2010


While what he has done sexually may be a bit off putting, he is not as yet in the White House, where a number of our Left of Center presidents had affairs that make Newt seem a mere beginner. Perhaps being in the WH helps moves things along and poor Newt remains as yet a rank beginner.
posted by Postroad at 1:11 PM on August 10, 2010


I would like to think he's the loser of the next presidential election but, well, I just don't know anymore.

Who's Newt Gingrich? A bad, bad man. Might be a good person in some ways, but he's a bad man.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:11 PM on August 10, 2010


Bullshit, Postroad. Newt left a wife while she was in the hospital. And he broke the news to her over the goddamn phone.
posted by defenestration at 1:13 PM on August 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


a number of our Left of Center presidents had affairs that make Newt seem a mere beginner.

Well, we have rumours and innuendo about Kennedy, and Clinton admitted. Who else?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:13 PM on August 10, 2010


Whenever I think of Newt, I think of him divorcing his cancer-stricken wife in the hospital, and then I think of the smile on his face in this story:

Kip Carter was a fellow faculty member at West Georgia College where Newt and his first wife Jackie Gingrich met and married. Kip was a volunteer in Newt's first two Congressional campaigns. "Kip Carter, who lived a few doors down from the couple, saw more than he wanted to. 'We had been out working a football game --- I think it was the Bowdon game --- and we would split up. It was a Friday night. I had Newt's daughters, Jackie Sue and Kathy, with me. We were all supposed to meet back at this professor's house. It was a milk-and-cookies kind of shakedown thing, buck up the troops. I was cutting across the yard to go up the driveway. There was a car there. As I got to the car, I saw Newt in the passenger seat and one of the guys' wives with her head in his lap going up and down. Newt kind of turned and gave me his little-boy smile. Fortunately, Jackie Sue and Kathy were a lot younger and shorter then.'"
posted by Auden at 1:15 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


While what he has done sexually may be a bit off putting, he is not as yet in the White House, where a number of our Left of Center presidents had affairs that make Newt seem a mere beginner.

Our left-of-center presidents don't, generally, pretend to be part of the Moral Majority, the Holier-than-Thou brigade.

Adultery is wrong. Adultery with a side of blind hypocritical pandering is both wrong AND infuriating.
posted by muddgirl at 1:16 PM on August 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Gringrich/Jindal in 2012!!!

Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
posted by KokuRyu at 1:22 PM on August 10, 2010


"It doesn't matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live."

Like Bush and Buchanan before him, Gingrich is a living simulacrum. His existence to others is predicated on his right-wing brand, the symbolism of his message, not anything about his inherent nature or real-world behavior:

"That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:25 PM on August 10, 2010


While what he has done sexually may be a bit off putting, he is not as yet in the White House, where a number of our Left of Center presidents had affairs that make Newt seem a mere beginner.

How many times has Clinton been divorced again?
posted by me & my monkey at 1:27 PM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Newt has recently converted to Roman Catholicism and the Republican Party, to the best of my knowledge, has never fielded a Catholic Presidential candidate. They never fielded a woman before Palin, of course, but methinks the GOP is divided much more sharply along religious lines than gender lines.

Time will tell, I guess.
posted by Azazel Fel at 1:27 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


John McCain left his first wife after a disfiguring car accident to marry a Paris Hilton, so I don't think giving his wife divorce papers while she was recovering from cancer would hurt him much with the right, as long as he hates all of the right people.
posted by stavrogin at 1:28 PM on August 10, 2010 [11 favorites]


Oh and Romney will never get the nomination. He's Mormon, and therefore torpedoed.

Ya'll are kidding yourselves if you don't think religion is that important to the Republican base.
posted by Azazel Fel at 1:28 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Fuck, this sounds just like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of the neo-Liberal troglodytes who conspired to make the last decade such a clusterfuck.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:29 PM on August 10, 2010


It was a quote from an anonymous source in the Bush Administration, KokuRyu. Wikipedia.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:31 PM on August 10, 2010


As scuzzy as Mr. Gingrich's personal life has been, he should be reviled for an even bigger offense against this country: He was the person responsible for the "Contract with America" and the "take no prisoners" approach to partisan politics.

He stipulated that the Republicans had been given a mandate and, as the chosen masters, it was not necessary (or philosophically pure) to engage with the other side of the aisle at all. The R's were 100% correct and the D's were 100% wrong.

We can all see where that's gotten us.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:33 PM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


While what he has done sexually may be a bit off putting, he is not as yet in the White House, where a number of our Left of Center presidents had affairs that make Newt seem a mere beginner.

Yes, because announcing to your wife who's lying sick with cancer in a hospital bed that you're leaving her for another woman and then eventually leaving that woman for a third woman is so characteristic of Democratic presidents.
posted by blucevalo at 1:36 PM on August 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


"If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don't have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they're relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn't matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes."

Adjunct Professor Newt Gingrich, Reinhardt College, January 7, 1995, "Renewing American Civilization."
posted by mattdidthat at 1:41 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


LBJ...FDR (where did he die?)
posted by Postroad at 1:42 PM on August 10, 2010


A smarmy man with a seamy personal history who is not nearly as smart or well read as he believes himself to be.

Spot on.

He tried to get his first wife to sign divorce papers while she was still in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. His second wife divorced him for having an affair with his third wife. That affair was going on at the same time he was attacking Clinton over Monica Lewinsky, by the way. Family Values all the way.

And still - because he seems to be the only Republican with anything resembling a cogent thought - he remains one of the top dogs.

Which tells me "family values" has less value in the GOP than might be assumed.

The Democrats should not be so smug. An empty paper bag could have beaten McCain/Palin and the shadow of GWB. There is a huge opening in the GOP for someone who is actually what Newt pretends to be - an intelligent, small "c" conservative, with ideas and leadership skills.
posted by three blind mice at 1:45 PM on August 10, 2010


Newt not alone, though not a president

http://hubpages.com/hub/Sexual-Affairs-by-US-Presidents
posted by Postroad at 1:45 PM on August 10, 2010


leaving that woman when she found out she had MS for a third woman

FTFY.
posted by epersonae at 1:47 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


How many times has Clinton been divorced again?

I suspect that this has more to do with Hillary than anything Bill has done.
posted by redyaky at 1:48 PM on August 10, 2010


There is a huge opening in the GOP for someone who is actually what Newt pretends to be - an intelligent, small "c" conservative, with ideas and leadership skills.

No, unfortunately there isn't - the GOP is dominated by, and exclusively does the bidding of, reactionaries that are determined to expand and consolidate their privilege by whatever means are required. No matter how much damage that does to society, including long-standing institutions and traditions.

This is not compatible with small "c" conservative thinking.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I suspect that this has more to do with Hillary than anything Bill has done.

And that really cuts to the heart of the contradiction of family values rhetoric. The conservative family values types seem to think marriage is a very weak and fragile institution; one wonders, then, why they value it so highly.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Gingrich is not attractive nor a veteran, meaning he has no chance for the presidency. None.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:01 PM on August 10, 2010


Azazel Fel: "Newt has recently converted to Roman Catholicism and the Republican Party, to the best of my knowledge, has never fielded a Catholic Presidential candidate."

Interesting sidenote: Most adult converts to Catholicism are required to go through a roughly nine-month discernment and educational process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults before recieving sacraments the day before Easter. Newt instead studied with Msgr. Walter Rossi, the rector at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (where his wife is a prominent member of the choir), and read some books. Subsequently, he was given the sacraments at St. Peter's on Capitol Hill the week before Easter and attended dinner with some "Catholic luminaries."
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 2:06 PM on August 10, 2010


"The conservative family values types seem to think marriage is a very weak and fragile institution; one wonders, then, why they value it so highly."

The same reason the fragile blonde white woman needs to be protected (see: missing white woman syndrome). There was something similar said in the recent discussion (where was it?) on defining/defending whiteness.

May also be related to the need to defend our most fragile businesses through bailouts (which people still associate with Obama rather than Bush; Mission Accomplished) rather than letting the free market swallow them whole.
posted by Eideteker at 2:08 PM on August 10, 2010


Azazel Fel: Newt has recently converted to Roman Catholicism and the Republican Party, to the best of my knowledge, has never fielded a Catholic Presidential candidate.

Both Alan Keyes and Rudolph Giuliani are Catholics. Rick Santorum, who is probably running in 2012, is also Catholic. Jack Kemp was Catholic.
posted by blucevalo at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2010


Writing Tip #436: Do not use second-person unless you know how to do it well.
Corollary 1a: You do not know how to do it well.
Corollary 1b: Seriously. Just stop.
posted by dephlogisticated at 2:14 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is ridiculous. NEWT. No one named Newt is ever going to be president of any English speaking country. The problem is, being a former Presidential candidate is very profitable right now.
posted by SkinnerSan at 2:18 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


While what he has done sexually may be a bit off putting,

Personally, I couldn't care less about what he has done sexually, however his treatment of his spouses speaks volumes about his personality, and his hypocrisy in preaching about family values while all this was going on speaks tomes about character.
posted by quin at 2:19 PM on August 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'd have preferred not knowing that Newt wasn't his real full name. A case for spoiler tags if ever there was one.
posted by gregjones at 2:23 PM on August 10, 2010


I swear to gods I have a picture of Jackie Sue Gingrich sitting next to me on my dorm-room couch, holding my Godzilla.

If you know what I mean. And I mean this.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:25 PM on August 10, 2010


Gingrich Reconciles Cheating On His Wife While Harping On Family Values: ‘It Doesn’t Matter What I Do’
"Gingrich’s second wife Marianne — whom he cheated on with his current wife, Callista — breaks her twelve year silence on her relationship with Gingrich to reveal a portrait of man who understood the deep hypocrisy of his actions, but simply didn’t care:
He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, 'How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?'

'It doesn’t matter what I do,' he answered. 'People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.'
Marianne, who was Gingrich’s 'closest advisor' during his reign in the 1990s, went on to say that Gingrich 'believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected.' But of course, as Gingrich himself demanded when he led a crusade to impeach President Clinton for personal infidelity, politicians’ private lives are inevitably connected to their public ones. Nonetheless, Gingrich has himself admitted to continuing his illicit affair with Callista — 23 years his junior — while simultaneously prosecuting Clinton’s adultery."
Fuckin' hypocrites!
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on August 10, 2010


"There's a large part of me that's four years old,"

Finally, an honest Republican.
posted by codacorolla at 2:47 PM on August 10, 2010


Both Alan Keyes and Rudolph Giuliani are Catholics.

Neither one ever had a snowballs chance in hell of being nominated for anything other than "President of Black Republicans" and "President of 9/11", respectively.

Rick Santorum, who is probably running in 2012, is also Catholic.

Honestly? That makes even less sense than Palin running in '12. He was absolutely SPANKED in the '06 elections after saying, among other things, that the women of Pennsylvania should stay home to take care of their children instead of working. He can't open up his mouth without sounding like some 15th century Catholic monarchist. Even Repubs think he's off his medicines. I have no idea what he's thinking.

Jack Kemp was Catholic.

Wikipedia says he was raised Christian Scientist and died a Presbyterian.

Anyway, my point is that the GOP only gives vague lip service to Roman Catholics in the form of anti-abortion and anti-gay public stances, but the party's base is broadly and robustly anti-Catholic. Don't get me wrong, they're tolerated, just not welcome to be in the driver's seat.

There's also a perception among rank-and-file (Evangelical) Republicans that Catholic Republicans are wolves in sheep's clothing when it comes to Latino immigration. They see the Catholic church playing a cynical game to turn America Catholic via our southern border.
posted by Azazel Fel at 2:52 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I really liked this quote from Marianne Gingrich (from the "behind the scenes" blog post):
Newt grew up poor, always wanted to be somebody, make a difference, prove himself. That was his vulnerability, do you understand? Being treated important. Which means he was gonna associate with people who would stroke him, and were important themselves. And in that vulnerability, once you go down that path and it goes unchecked, you add to it. Like, "Oh, I'm drinking, who cares?" Then I start being a little whore, 'cause that comes with drinking. That's what corruption is: when you're too exhausted, you're gonna go with your weakness. So when you see corruption, you don't wanna say "They're all corrupt." You wanna say, "At what point did you decide that? And why? Why were you vulnerable?"
posted by kipmanley at 2:55 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, we have rumours and innuendo about Kennedy, and Clinton admitted. Who else?
posted by Pope Guilty


Four words: Jimmy Carter Stag Film
posted by Ufez Jones at 3:02 PM on August 10, 2010


FDR (where did he die?)

In a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down by either polio or Guillain-Barré Syndrome as he had been for the last 24 years of his life. Lucy Mercer had an affair with him 30 years before, but sexual liaisons in the White House were out of the question and the affair wasn't public knowledge until two decades after his death. Newt's in a different sort of boat.
posted by el_lupino at 3:12 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sometimes, I listen to Gingrich, and he actually seems like an intelligent man who is engaged with the issues and really wants to make America a better place. I thought that, for example, he was unduly maligned in the 90s for suggesting that we give laptops to poor kids, and he was way out in front in terms of understanding the importance of the internet. And, I think, in general, the contract with America was not a completely terrible thing.

But sometimes he says shit that seems so wrong on the face of it that I think he must be either be completely detached from reality or a sociopath.
posted by empath at 3:20 PM on August 10, 2010


Possibly the most shocking revelation in this article: Newt Gingrich has read Foundation.
posted by malapropist at 4:16 PM on August 10, 2010



'It doesn’t matter what I do,' he answered. 'People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.'


He's just saying directly what has always been true about politics: all that matters is what you say. Election (and re-election) success is completely disconnected from any measure of performance, i.e. 'doing'.

He is also literally right in that people need to hear what he says, because the more he says it and people hear it, the more likely people are to hate liberals - and this is what gets conservatives elected.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 4:28 PM on August 10, 2010


No one named Newt is ever going to be president of any English speaking country.

Not a reassuring argument, since I heard the exact same thing said about Barack Obama.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 4:31 PM on August 10, 2010


He tried to get his first wife to sign divorce papers while she was still in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. His second wife divorced him for having an affair with his third wife.

Gringrich ditched his second wife shortly after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Callista, make sure you keep up your insurance payments.
posted by JackFlash at 4:36 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who else?

I think he might be talking about Eisenhower and GHW Bush.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:04 PM on August 10, 2010


From the article: "there are pizza parlors passing themselves off as HIV-treatment facilities"

W.T.F.?
posted by docgonzo at 5:12 PM on August 10, 2010


one wonders, then, why [Republicans] value [marriage] so highly

Indeed. They value it so much that I was unable to find a Republican Congressman who had done it less than twice.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:13 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not worried people named "Newt," just like people named "Mitt," can only gain so much political power.
posted by jonmc at 5:26 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Since we're on the name derail, the only reason he's "newt" rather than "Newton" is due to that whole science baggage with a historical Isaac. Similar for "Dar" insead of the given "Darwin." It is like a phobia.
posted by yesster at 5:36 PM on August 10, 2010


Ever the optimist around here, I love the idea of a Gingrich/Palin primary. It's easy to see the Right as monolithic, but they're being portrayed incorrectly by some people here. A lot of Republicans are still rolling their eyes at the tea-party movement, and are disgusted with the idea of Palin as their standard-bearer. You say Gingrich is raising as much money as anyone else? That's who he's getting it from.

Palin, meanwhile, hasn't had to go through a primary yet (and for that matter, neither has Newt.) Neither has had to attack anyone on their side of the aisle from a big public stage, and that will be a big moment for both of them - one which I guarantee Gingrich will be better prepared for. Republicans who long for the pre-Batshit years will welcome him with open arms, while tea-partiers will cheer for Palin, and in the end, one of those two groups will end up very dejected.

If Palin wins the nomination, she's completely unviable, and a good amount of those small-c folks will either hold their noses and vote for Obama or more likely just stay home. If Newt wins it, he wins over a few people from the centrist-left, but most on the left will still recall him as the villain of the Clinton years. And then a bunch of the latent tea-partiers stay home or else, if we have un-earned luck, launch a third-party bid.

Obama's biggest threat remains Romney, in other words. Hopefully a well-funded-from-both-sides Palin/Gingrich battle could shut him out, however.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:59 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm seeing a Palin/Gingrich ticket in our future to be honest. Gingrich really wants to be Cheney.
posted by empath at 6:03 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama's biggest threat remains Romney, in other words. Hopefully a well-funded-from-both-sides Palin/Gingrich battle could shut him out, however.

American Republicans will not elect a Mormon. Romney is a primary threat only in so far as he represents the Money Republicans that the Jesus Republicans will have to cater to. He is not a viable presidential candidate.
posted by kafziel at 6:16 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've always found Newt's resignation from Congress to be very suspect. Why do so, so many top republican leaders resign at the pinnacle of their power when things start to turn a bit? DeLay, Dennis Hastert, Gingrich, Bob Livingston... its hinky.
posted by Auden at 7:55 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


kafziel, I hope your right, but I grew up with the republican base, and my experience tells me that those who would keep Romney out because he's a Mormon are far exceeded by those who would vote for him because he's at least some form of Christian, is big on values, and has business interests in mind.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:58 PM on August 10, 2010


While what he has done sexually may be a bit off putting, he is not as yet in the White House, where a number of our Left of Center presidents had affairs that make Newt seem a mere beginner. Perhaps being in the WH helps moves things along and poor Newt remains as yet a rank beginner

Well, if Newt hadn't shut down the government and the regular office staff were furloughed, then Monica Lewinsky wouldn't have been working in such close proximity with America's last Left of Center president that fateful day back in November 1995.

(Of course, if Hillary has just turned over the Whitewater documents to Ken Starr when he asked for them and cooperated with his investigation, we never would have had known about any affairs Bill had while in the White House in the first place).
posted by KingEdRa at 8:13 PM on August 10, 2010


KingEdRa: Surely you jest. Ken Starr was running a fishing expedition, and no amount of compliance would have turned him away from it. The Rose Law Firm documents had nothing incriminating in them, when they finally did turn up.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:27 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok guys, the marriage problems for Newt or whoever? Not really about sexual morality, but about power. And in the Republican party (and lots of times, the Democratic one) getting what you want from some bitch and then dropping her in the dirt is considered a perk, not a crime. The difference is that you can still shame Edwards or Clinton types because they still want to appear to care about the ladies.

But no way is a Republi-dude going to raise a fuss about any other Republi-dude's inability to keep it in his pants, because Bitches Ain't Shit is pretty much Plank 1 of the Republican platform. (Republi-ladies are too busy pretending they hate women as much as the dudes do to raise a fuss.)

To think you can shame a Republican about his treatment of women (or really, anything) is to not have been paying attention. Plank 2 of the platform, by the way, is It's Ok if We Do It.
posted by emjaybee at 8:34 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Gingrich really wants to be Cheney.

Too baby-faced. Cheney had that WASP Luca Brasi thing happening.
posted by jonmc at 8:43 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Listen up, everyone. The Republican nominee for president in 2012 will not be Gingrich, Palin, Romney, Huckabee, Pawlenty, Lazio, whatever.

All clowns.

Somebody else is going to rise up and take that nomination because he or she doesn't have a record and is exciting in the primary months of 2012. Some great fascist oaf like Rand Paul or that infomercial suck who's running against McCain in Arizona.

Some failure. Some loser. Not to exclude the aforementioned from the failure and loser categories, but this coming presidential election is going to be between Obama and some extremely fresh-faced fascist loser -- not someone who has to revisit ten or twenty or . . . thirty years, like Newt Gingrich, of being a fraud.

No, the Republicans will settle on a far fresher-smelling fraud in the summer of 2012. But they still have no refrigeration.
posted by gum at 9:27 PM on August 10, 2010


I liked him in Merrie Melodies, but the Asimov thing is a real turn-off.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:24 PM on August 10, 2010


I thought Newt was politically dead. Now he is rising up? But it seemed such a grievous wound!
posted by Goofyy at 4:43 AM on August 11, 2010


Jimmy Havok: If Hillary has just turned them over when she was supposed to, any future fishing expeditions would have been easier to dismiss as mere politics. Instead, by consistently obstructing Starr, it just further gave the impression that Hillary/Bill had something to hide, and gave him the excuse to expand the scope of his investigation to ridiculous lengths. I'm not saying her compliance necessarily would have stopped ALL bullshit independent counsel investigations, but it would have taken a lot of wind out of the sails of them. Personally, I think the Clintons got some bad political advice. They should have just dumped a metric shit-ton of documents on Starr in the beginning and said 'see you in 8 years after you go through all this stuff, loser"

I do find it darkly amusing that the Republican goading of both Fiske and Starr, along with the White House's needless obstructions and obfuscations led to both l'affaire Monica and the end of Newt's congressional career. "See what happens when you play rough? Everybody gets hurt!"
posted by KingEdRa at 7:16 AM on August 11, 2010


If Hillary has just turned them over when she was supposed to, any future fishing expeditions would have been easier to dismiss as mere politics.

Anyone who made the effort to peer through the smoke to see what kind of fire was actually there in the Whitewater scandal could easily see that it was mere politics.

Given that there really was nothing of note in those files, I tend to think that they really were misplaced. There was nothing to hide, so the idea that they were hidden is just more fake scandal.

Incidentally, Linda Tripp had access to the area where the files finally turned up.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:46 PM on August 11, 2010


If he keeps talking about running for president and then writes a book, which will make him a fair peck of cash (all those presidential aspirant books pull down big sales for some reason), then he can decide against it at the last moment. Or something. Actually, I don't really care that much. Does anyone really pay attention to this guy anymore?
posted by LeonBernstein at 3:53 PM on August 11, 2010


Gingrich is already on record saying that the best way to keep in the news, stay relevant and listened to and invited back onto news shows as a commentator is to hold out the perpetual possibility that you're going to run for President.

Seriously, this is his schtick. He tantalizes the right wing so they'll keep paying attention to him, buying his books, etc. He's already copped to it.

Dude's a douchebag riding the media gravy train just like Palin. He and she both know they don't have a snowball's chance of winning. That won't stop them from making millions as a political celebrity for the rest of their lives, though.

Nice work if you can get it.
posted by darkstar at 4:46 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


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