December 15, 2011

Things that feel inconsistent with the notion that Gingrich is the frontrunner for the presidential nomination.

1. His people keep emailing promos for cheesy merchandise like this:



The authors of "Rediscovering God in America" are — purportedly — Newt and Callista Gingrich. Seriously, why would you rediscover God with them? Okay, because I'm blogging about it, I clicked through to the website. I see that these books "featuring the photography of Callista Gingrich" come "with an autographed certificate of authenticity." Does Callista certify that she does her own photography or just that these really are the books they purport to be? When was the last time you held a book in your hands and wondered hey, is this book really this book?

There's also a DVD in the boxed set:
Take a walk through our Nation’s Capital with Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista Gingrich. From the National Archives to Arlington National Cemetery, this film illustrates the importance of our Creator to our nation’s founders and their successors. Based on the New York Times bestselling book, Rediscovering God in America, this documentary reminds us that America is indeed “One Nation Under God.” Produced in partnership with Citizens United.
Citizens United even!  This would be a great gift for freaking out a lefty friend. Lefty or righty — does anyone really want to "take a walk" with Newt and Callista and listen to their pedantry about "the importance of our Creator"? These 2 characters were having  adulterous sex and lying about it while he was leading the House of Representatives getting Bill Clinton impeached for having sex with Monica Lewinsky and lying about it. And now they're raking in $34.99 payments for pontificating about God. God and government. Ugh. Seriously, though, this is a kickass Christmas gift for your left-wing atheist aunt.

And "Sweet Land of Liberty" is perfect for the kids of your left-wing friends and family. This book is supposedly written by — "[a]uthored by" — Callista Gingrich (who has the sense not to claim to have painted the pictures).

I guess I admire their entrepreneurial spirit. These items really are pretty cheap. I'm sure they do lure a lot of perfectly nice people into deciding that thinly veiled political propaganda would make for nice Christmas presents. But this guy is supposed to be leading the pack right now, running for President. We're all looking at him. And this merchandise is insipid and embarrassing.

72 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

...does anyone really want to "take a walk" with Newt and Callista and listen to their pedantry about "the importance of our Creator"? These 2 characters were having adulterous sex and lying about it...

Oh Prof. Althouse, don't be such a downer about it! Just look at them as the 21st century Abelard & Heloise.

Except no one's clopped off Newt's 'nads. Well, not yet, anyway.

KenK said...

Well, cheesy it may be but it's honestly cheesy. I would rather have pols make money from stuff like this than from crooked land deals, sleazy insider stuff, cronyism, or influence peddling.

Beta Rube said...

The latest polls have Newt down in Iowa. The circular firing squad that you, Meade, National Review, and the rest of the Republican cognoscenti have been cheer leading for is taking a nice toll.

Four more years of massive deficits, strangulating regulations and poverty pimping are coming your way.

Enjoy!

DKWalser said...

It's all part of our celebrity culture. The Gingrich's stuff looks slightly superior to the children's book Dick Morris has been hawking, but that's a low bar and not at all comforting.

Scott M said...

And this merchandise is insipid and embarrassing.

Most advertising is. Except that Windex commercial where the crow rings the doorbell, then closes the sliding door causing the man to slam into it...that one's priceless and high art.

If I were a cynical leftist, I would say, "Own it, capitalist pigdogs!"

BarryD said...

When they commission Thomas Kincade to do a campaign poster, we'll know they've really jumped the shark. I expect an announcement of that sort, today.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ugh.

Beta Rube said...

You guys sound like a bunch of lefties talking about Palin.

Destruction at all costs.

Freeman Hunt said...

Most advertising is.

C'mon though. This is especially bad. This is, "Look at my email forward of saccharine spiritual sentiments interspersed with pictures of baby animals and clip-art angels" bad.

Freeman Hunt said...

You guys sound like a bunch of lefties talking about Palin.

So you think this looks like a good book?

EDH said...

Watching her, sometimes I think Callista Gingrich" should come with a certificate of authenticity, just to be sure.

xnar said...

Have you watched it or are you judging a book by it's cover (or the hairdo of the co-author)?

pm317 said...

huh, it is no "Dreams from my father"!

BarryD said...

"Look at my email forward of saccharine spiritual sentiments interspersed with pictures of baby animals and clip-art angels"

LOL

Of course, replace "clip-art angels" with "third-world children" and you get the same thing on the other side.

This could explain why we have had a growing number of self-proclaimed "independents" in the country.

Tim said...

"When was the last time you held a book in your hands and wondered hey, is this book really this book?"

I never deigned to pick up The Audacity of Hope, but I always had that though whenever I saw stacks of it being pimped to the lemming-like pseudo-intelligencia.

Events proved out the falsity of those dreams.

It is cheesy, but not notably more so than previous efforts.

rhhardin said...

I'm waiting for the inauguration commemorative plate.

shiloh said...

Althouse and Newt actually have a lot in common ~ who knew! ;)

hmm, maybe Ron Popeil should run for president. :-P

It slices, it dices ...

Henry said...

This book is supposedly written by — "[a]uthored by" — Callista Gingrich (who has the sense not to claim to have painted the pictures)

Ha! Love the parenthetical. I guess celebrity authors do have a limit.

I met a professional ghostwriter not long ago at a party. I learned that a lot of books are ghostwritten. Many many many many books. Not just the obvious ones.

Scott M said...

I'm waiting for the inauguration commemorative plate.

He needs to do a "Office Of The GOP Front Runner" seal a la Obama.

Tim said...

Beta Rube said...

"The latest polls have Newt down in Iowa. The circular firing squad that you, Meade, National Review, and the rest of the Republican cognoscenti have been cheer leading for is taking a nice toll."

That Gingrich is opposed by important Republicans (Ann Althouse?!!) is true, but let's invoke Occam's razor, and contemplate that Gingrich's history is having its effect too.

Better now than next fall.

garage mahal said...

Best Republican Primary Ever.

JohnJ said...

Rasmussen polls are notoriously quirky and cheesy political propaganda probably works more often than it doesn't. (See 2008.) But has anyone else noticed the overnight shift on intrade?

traditionalguy said...

Gingrich does not see limitations that others see. He feels that if he can do it, then he should go ahead and do it.

That is his Aggressiveness showing. How ugly, ugly, ugly...unless you want an aggressive man engaging the flood of DC liars and their media hacks.

Scott M said...

But has anyone else noticed the overnight shift on intrade?

No, but I noticed 87 unleaded went from $2.97 to $3.17 while I was sleeping.

shiloh said...

Regardless of all the Republican flavors of the month, they always fall in line ie mittens still has a chance ... by default.

The Unknown Pundit said...

Not sure who first said this, but here it is, paraphrased:

The common man believes religion to be true.

The wise man finds religion false.

The ruler finds religion useful.

There are a whole lot of voters out there that think in terms of "God and country" as if they are joined at the hip. Showing your religious bona fides is required in American politics, especially on the Right. Certainly this box set demonstrates those bona fides. And there can be little doubt that the DVD attempts to connect certain religious precepts to right-of-center politcal theories.

Whether Mr. Gingrich's conversion and faith are sincere, I can't know. A profession of belief in the Christian god is required in American politics, of that there's no doubt.

Michael K said...

I don't think that featuring Callista so prominently in his campaign is helping. It's just a reminder of his history. On the other hand, I don't know what else he can do.

Scott M said...

A profession of belief in the Christian god is required in American politics, of that there's no doubt.

The following could not be reached for comment:

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Joseph Lieberman (I-CT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
Howard Berman (D-CA)
Eric Cantor (R-VA)
David Cicilline (D-RI)
Stephen Cohen (D-TN)
Susan Davis (D-CA)
Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Barney Frank (D-MA)
Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)
Jane Harman (D-CA)
Steve Israel (D-NY)
Sander Levin (D-MI)
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Jared Polis (D-CO)
Steve Rothman (D-NJ)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Henry Waxman (D-CA)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)

J said...

Newt rediscovered God! Only, he's now called.."Dios", and he's represented by an old dude who wears funny hats.

madAsHell said...

Audacity of Hope

Dreams of my Father

Three words that make no sense together, and a father that he never knew.

For Presidential candidates, it's just a box that must be checked!!

edutcher said...

I detect the beginning of a series.

More to the point, most websites do offer their proprietors' merchandise prominently, n'est ce pas?

Beta Rube said...

The latest polls have Newt down in Iowa. The circular firing squad that you, Meade, National Review, and the rest of the Republican cognoscenti have been cheer leading for is taking a nice toll.

Newt or anybody else, better to find their flaws now, rather than let Astroturf Axelrod do it in November.

shiloh said...

Regardless of all the Republican flavors of the month, they always fall in line ie mittens still has a chance ... by default.

Wrong again.

He seems to be losing that 25% he's had up to now.

BarryD said...

"unless you want an aggressive man engaging the flood of DC liars and their media hacks."

It takes a Patton to defeat a Rommel.

I want that aggressive man! I want a SKILLED aggressive man to completely eviscerate Obama and progressive policy in every speech, every answer to every reporter's question, and every campaign stop. It should be easy enough at this point.

That doesn't mean I am comfortable with Gingrich as President.

JohnJ said...

"No, but I noticed 87 unleaded went from $2.97 to $3.17 while I was sleeping."

Wisenheimer.

(Do people still use that term?)

Paul Zrimsek said...

There's surely a left-wing version of Mick out there, filling every thread with demands to see Newt's certificate of authenticity.

Writ Small said...

I'm pretty sure this is just a way to get around the presidential donation limitations. You can buy 10,000 books for your "friends."

While the book acts as an unfortunate reminder of Newt's adulterous past, I don't fault Newt for trying to raise money. Lord knows, he needs it.

Mike said...

What can one say? Sweet Jebus, who are these clowns?

Newt's a guy with good ideas racing through his head, but there's no governor between his brain and his mouth. Some ideas are best examined and thought about before entering the oral cavity.

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe this is the conservative equivalent of Obama's creepy dating him campaign emails.

MadisonMan said...

It's not Newt and Callista.

It's Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista Gingrich. That is a very weird sentence construction to describe a man and his wife. It strikes me as odd that his wife is not just plain Callista. Is he also married to a Callista Ming so Callista Gingrich is there to distinguish her?

Beta Rube said...

You guys are gonna get the 1963 Brylcream commercial you deserve.

Good luck. I would rather have him than Obama, but I wonder.

bgates said...

This is a much stronger negative reaction than you had last year when the sitting President announced he had written a 31-page, $18 picture book for children. You didn't even note whether he had "the sense not to claim to have painted the pictures", which is odd, considering his history of claiming a greater role in the production of books written in his name than his effort would merit.

phx said...

Conservative and liberal always have their creepy equivalents. When you get that down you learn to think better.

William said...

Has anyone here read one of Gingrich's many books or, for that matter, know anyone who has? Perhaps they're the equivalent of fruit cakes and only sold as gifts.....I think all the bad publicity that Sarah Palin received caused many voters to bond and sympathize with her. It was patently unfair. My guess is that some of the criticism of Gingrich is overdone, but, nonetheless, it does seem that much of it is justified. To KenK at 9:19, I would say what's to keep Gingrich from doing this and also engaging in sleazy influence peddling. To me such a promotion advertises not just the books, but the fact that Gingrich is available to sleazy influence peddling.

J said...

Gingrich was a supporter of Falwell's Moral Majority 20 years ago. Not that teabugs are overly concerned with history.

Oligonicella said...

People hawking items for others to buy so they can get money off the transaction isn't really something you should be carping about in others.

EMD said...

You just hate entrepreneurialism.

EMD said...

I would like Gingrich a lot more if he looked and sounded like Fred Thompson.

Chip Ahoy said...

But speaking of merchandise, I was looking at official Althouse merchandise and noticed it was all about coffee mugs and t-shirts with Althousian sayings or something else tl;dr.

What I was looking for was yard flamingos with wire legs and garden gnomes. Those little colored lights that go bink bink bink or Chinese lanterns. I thought I would find a troll doll that comes with its own little brush. A Madison Wisconsin University puzzle or campus maze, or a Madison Wisconsin Capitol pop-up book. Althouse bicycle handlebar streamers or bicycle horn, basket or seat. Althouse gay pride rainbow flags, and paper masks of political figures cruelly neutrally characterized. Onion rings, wine in bladders inside boxes, beer mugs with Nun's Oath Ale printed on them along with a cartoon logo, and also a colorful neon bar light that flicks back and forth. Bob Dylan frisbees painted black and grooved like vinyl records. Raggedy Possner/Walsh Choking dolls. Toy Pop-Goes-the-Recall windup surprise boxes. Surprise Peanuts Jar that springs a dozen flash mob protesters when opened unsuspectingly. Recorded Union chants to fall asleep by. Tents for two in the shape of igloos with Althouse portraits on them.

Chip Ahoy said...

Odd, I saw no Meade action figure or transformer.

Scott M said...

Odd, I saw no Meade action figure or transformer.

No "HOWARD JOHNSON IS RIGHT" or "Nerd." ?

Kit said...

You sure this didn't come from The Onion?

ricpic said...

Bernie Sanders thinks God is deficient in the social justice department.

J said...

The name "Callista" is from the greek myth wherein...Zeus changes himself into Dianna for some splendors sapphic with the nymph Callista, who refuses Zeus/Dianna's .entreaties and then Z-D changes her into a bear or something--and moves her into...the heavens. ergo, Ursa major. Teach that in sunday school.

ricpic said...

So J, with all that esoteric knowledge in your head why go the gutter route?

ndspinelli said...

"Insipid and embarassing", indeed.

J said...

Not so esoteric, Einstein. Fairly common knowledge to anyone who ever perused Bulfinch, or the cliffsnotes to Ovid (or the Wiki on Callista/o).

mccullough said...

The Newt T-shirts can't be far behind. Will they all come in XXL?

john said...

The book looks like one of those fold-open things. I would buy it if it had 10 rolls of Life Savers.

... or if Chip Ahoy contributed the pop-up illustration.

Psychedelic George said...

I hear there is a pamphlet being distributed in the gutter by some corsetmaking Christian-hating nut. The man failed at business. He was almost sent to debtor's prison. I bet it is utter trash. Garbage. Ptooey. Common Sense, my ass. God save the King.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would like Gingrich a lot more if he looked and sounded like Fred Thompson.

I would like him a lot more if he were Fred Thompson.

Scott M said...

I would like him a lot more if he were Fred Thompson.

I would like Fred Thompson a lot more if he actually had wanted to win.

MadisonMan said...

I would like him a lot more if he were Fred Thompson.

Either way you get an un-electable candidate.

J said...

Note that many WASP-zionist conservatives are now dissing Gingrich for his religious beliefs, which happen to be catholic (Newt's a marian, as they say in Texass)--not unlike the WASP conservatives dissing Romney for his mormonism.

Miss Althouse seems to be following suit.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would like Fred Thompson a lot more if he actually had wanted to win.

I don't agree with that assessment. However, I think I would like all the candidates more if they wanted to win less.

Simon said...

"These 2 characters were having adulterous sex and lying about it while he was leading the House of Representatives getting Bill Clinton impeached for having sex with Monica Lewinsky and lying about it."

That's the stock line of the left; it's false and I'm surprised to see it above the fold here. Clinton wasn't impeached for having sex, and was only in a very specific sense impeached for lying about it. He was impeached for perjury. Not sex. Not "lying" in a general sense. Perjury.

Seeing Red said...

There's a new Bunker vid about the GOP contenders. Spew alert.

Seeing Red said...

He was impeached for perjury. And lost his law license. Can't wait for the files to open.

Steve Koch said...

At least this way of making money is not fraudulent or corrupt or a ripoff of the taxpayer. As far as the products that he is selling, it is probably a market that he understands and can relate to. A lot of people sell products that they don't necessarily want to consume themselves.

Jane said...

Ghostwriting bugs me. I hate buying a book by someone famous and questioning whether it was authentically written by that person, written by a ghostwriter based on interviews, or written with a heck of a lot of help from an editor. A long time ago I read a book which honestly bore the author's name (a Western journalist) but told the story in the first person based on the experiences of his subject (a Chinese woman). I wish all books were required to fully disclose who wrote what (and who "wrote" what).

Ann Althouse said...

@Chip Ahoy LOL

Kirk Parker said...

Michael K.,

"On the other hand, I don't know what else he can do. "

Ummm, how about telling her to go find something worthwhile to do, to keep herself busy with while he's off campagning?

I have little brief for the unlamented, though thoroughly lamentable, Howard Dean; but one of the most refreshing moments in recent politics came when his wife said (paraphrased), "Why should I be on the campaign trail with him? I have my practice to run!"

caplight45 said...

@Chip Ahoy and Ann

Transformer Meade is a Roto Tiller that unfolds to become a master gardener who takes over grown suburban yards and renews them to Edenic beauty while winning the fair blond home owner.

mimy said...

nice idea, thanks for sharing...