January 19, 2012

"What is it Gingrich is afraid his wife of 18 years is going to remember incorrectly?"

"And what could be so bad that it would eclipse all that many Christian conservatives have already forgiven and forgotten about his history?"

We already have Marianne Gingrich's 2010 interview with Esquire. WaPo's Melinda Henneberger summarizes them:
1. Newt actually started seeing his geometry teacher, the first Mrs. Newt Gingrich, when he was only 16....

2. Early in their marriage, she had to take over the budget "because it was too stressful for Newt."...

3. ... "You know what he hated most?” Marianne says. “When they talked about him being fat. That weight thing was personal."...

4. That after his Congressional career ended in scandal, he pretty much fell apart: "There were times... when he wasn’t functioning. He started yelling at people, which he’d never done before, and he’d get weirdly ‘overfocused’ on getting things done — manic, as if he was running out of time. He took to taking meetings while eating, slurping his food, as if he wasn’t aware or didn’t care how strange it looked."...

5. That he has lost his way and wants more than anything a lifestyle that’s “opulent” or “self-indulgent.”...

6. That he begged her to “tolerate” his affair with Callista, his third and current wife....

7. That his conversion to Catholicism "has no meaning."...

8. That he might go ahead and run for president anyway, because "he doesn’t connect things like normal people."
I've elided Henneberger's sloughing off of each of these items. She thinks Marianne will have to come up with something new and worse to destroy Newt. But I'm not so sure. Who bothered with the Esquire article back in 2010? The point is to throw this stuff right in our face now, when we're excited about judging Newt. To see the ex-wife's face as she lets this stuff out... it's titillating. We'll pay attention. We'll make clips of the juiciest seconds. The experience of receiving the tidbits will be entirely different. They don't have to be new tidbits to feel vividly new. Picture it.

Now, picture Mitt, a man with a spotless personal life. (And by "spotless," I don't mean to cause you to start thinking about that dog again. The worst thing he's ever done seems to be to have transported and cleaned his dog in a way that he believed was good but was probably not.)

55 comments:

rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty speculate, from Newt's comment that memories differ, that perhaps she remembers Newt killing a series of hobos and burying them in the backyard, and Newt remembers befriending them and sending them on their way to a brighter future with a hot lunch.

Jay said...

That he begged her to “tolerate” his affair with Callista, his third and current wife....


What I'm always amazed by is that the cheater believes she will never be the cheatee.

Naive, isn't it?

Simon said...

Some people are lazy. They don't read. But they'll watch a twenty second viral video on youtube.

Some people, I don't get it, but for some people cameras make all the difference. They don't think it's real until they see it on video. Think of all the people who want to televise the Supreme Court's arguments even though you can read a transcript within hours!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Forget his infidelities. Why do any conservatives think he can be a leader when his own party tried to oust him as Speaker?

So what if Newt is super smart? So was my professor for Balkan History and he was a flaming asshole.

Richard Dolan said...

"The experience of receiving the tidbits will be entirely different. They don't have to be new tidbits to feel vividly new."

Welcome to the Phenomenology of Newt. Is it about him or about how he is experienced and perceived? As O reminded everyone yesterday, normal rules don't apply in an election year.

Simon said...

The information will be old, but the "experience of receiving [it] will be entirely different." I mean, it's a scathing indictment of our culture, but it's not incorrect. It's just where a lot of people are, it's where our culture is to a great extent. It can and should be resisted when it seeks to sink its claws yet deeper into our institutions; it can and should be fought to remove its claws from the institutions it's already devouring; but in the last analysis, it's a cultural attitude that permeates society and it's the path that news will tend to take.

paul a'barge said...

But, but, but ... What about Obama's college transcripts? What about Obama's college thesis? What about Ayers? What about Jeremiah Wright? What about Rezco and the lot next door? But, but, but!

Andy R. said...

I'm sorry, should I pretend that I'm not laughing at the Republican party for taking this caricature of a presidential candidate seriously?

Pastafarian said...

Isn't it odd that we not only never hear a peep from any of Obama's pre-Michelle romantic interests...but we don't even know the name of a single one?

How does that happen, exactly?

chuck b. said...

Simon, what are you talking about? What is "it"? People like to see things. That's just human nature. Sure, I could read about the football game. I could read witness testimony. I could read about beautiful places to go visit...

And, really, who has time to read? Seeing things is often more expedient. I don't have time to read all of the things I would like to read. That might be unfortunate because reading is fun, but there are a lot of good things on the other end driving me to that outcome.

chuck b. said...

Note: I will not have time to read your reply for several hours.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I'm sorry, should I pretend that I'm not laughing at the Republican party for taking this caricature of a presidential candidate seriously?"

Go for it. I'm still laughing my ass off that the Democrat Party and folks like you still take Obama seriously.

Joe said...

Why do any conservatives think Newt's a conservative. Yes, he says some conservative things, but look at his record for the last fourteen years and listen to his attacks on Romney (and others) and this is NOT a conservative by any stretch of the imagination--Newt Gingrich is a pro-life liberal.

Beyond that, by every account, Newt is a psychologically unstable asshole. Supporters are projecting onto him their own beliefs contrary to all the evidence. We don't need another president elected based on such fantasies.

NYTNewYorker said...

Why are only one parties candidates under the microscope?

After 5 years of Obama we still don't know anything about him. It's amazing to me that the medias shroud of Obama secrecy is so complete.

TWM said...

Twenty-eight years in law enforcement (most of that in investigations) has taught me many things, one of which is ex-wife testimony is with very, very, VERY few exceptions, almost totally unreliable.

Woman scorned is a stereotype for a reason . . .

David said...

This is why a long primary season can be a good thing.

Newt is a great talker who had his moment when he was Speaker. Time for him to move on. Talk about not electable.

Newt is a smart man with lots of ideas, but he is also an unstable fool.

Pastafarian said...

Joe: "Why do any conservatives think Newt's a conservative."

Probably that 90% lifetime conservative rating he has with the ACU (American Conservative Union.) Well, that and mindless projection. But mostly that 90% rating.

By the way, the last time Newt, Santorum, and Paul were in Congress the same year, 1998, Paul was rated 88%. Arch conservative Santorum was rated 84%.

Can you guess Gingrich's rating that year?

I'll hesitate for a moment to build the suspense.

100-fucking-percent.

But I'm sure the ACU is loaded with a bunch of anti-Mormon bigots, and they've just pulled those numbers out of their asses.

Let's just continue to allow Andy R and his media buddies to herd us toward nominating Romney, a Democrat. That worked so well the last time, after all.

I don't give a fuck what Gingrich says, and who he sits on a sofa with. Look at what he's voted for, for fuck's sake.

ricpic said...

Whatever happened to NOT airing your (or your spouse's or ex-spouse's) dirty laundry in public?

garage mahal said...

Best primary ever!

Andy R. said...

he is also an unstable fool...
Time for him to move on. Talk about not electable...
Newt is a psychologically unstable asshole...
Newt Gingrich is a pro-life liberal...
Why do any conservatives think he can be a leader when his own party tried to oust him as Speaker?...


Some of you people took him seriously?

Hahhahahahahahhahah.

JayZ said...

"Now, picture Mitt, a man with a spotless personal life."

It's nice that Mitt's personal life is and always has been (except, arguably, for the dog thing) perfect.

Not even a drop of alcohol, Coke (the kind that comes in a can, and has caffeine).

Has there ever been a more spotless personal life for a potential POTUS?



BTW, wouldn't MItt's assertion that opposition to him is envy based really describe some of Newt's motives. Newt seems to envy Mitt's dough and his life. Mitt should point out that Newt is envious of his big pile of money and perfect personal life. That would probably make Newt explode.

Paul Kirchner said...

The worst thing I read Newt quoted as saying was this: "There's a large part of me that's four years old. I wake up in the morning and I know that somewhere there's a cookie. I don't know where it is but I know it's mine and I have to go find it. That's how I live my life. My life is amazingly filled with fun."

That's what scares me about Newt. Always looking for a new cookie. Four years old. Wants life to be amazingly filled with fun.

victoria said...

Listen, you people nominate him and make him your candidate. That will guarantee that we will have 4 more years of Obama in the White House. Big ideas, big bluster, big ego, big fall.


Vicki from Pasadena

ricpic said...

No big ideas for victoria, victoria wants four more years of her favorite vicious prick.

TMink said...

Well this should devastate his political career as everyone knows that ex wife's are the most objective source of information about their former husband.

Trey

Jay said...

Andy R. said...
I'm sorry, should I pretend that I'm not laughing at the Republican party for taking this caricature of a presidential candidate seriously?


Coming from the political movement supporting Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich no less.

edutcher said...

This was the downside of Newt I'd mentioned in the months before.

A bright guy, but a little brittle and with a lot of history.

Pastafarian said...

Isn't it odd that we not only never hear a peep from any of Obama's pre-Michelle romantic interests...but we don't even know the name of a single one?

How does that happen, exactly?


Because Ayers had to cover up the fact our little Barry is either so narcissistic he can only love himself or he likes guys.

The one "woman" unnamed in his bio that was supposed to be his first love bears a striking resemblance to Ayers' dead flame, Diana Oughton.

PS While Hatman makes a show of laughing at Newt, the rest of us are "laughing at the (Democrat) party for taking (their) caricature of a presidential candidate seriously".

Cedarford said...

AA - "She thinks Marianne will have to come up with something new and worse to destroy Newt. But I'm not so sure. Who bothered with the Esquire article back in 2010? The point is to throw this stuff right in our face now, when we're excited about judging Newt."
=============
The most disturbing thing about Gingrich is that people who know him, worked, or been with him the longest tend to be the people with the highest negatives about the guy and even the ones that go on to say he is tempermentally unfit to be President.

Former wife, his Republican quorum while he was Speaker, associates at Heritage Foundation, his entire campaign staff mass resigning on the guy..

THere is a segment of the population though that may not know a candidate, a teacher, a wit - but hunger tremendously for them to have the right quip as a college professor...to wow! a paying crowd...to deliver the pithy one-liner in debate.

Media also plays into the myth of The Debate!! as how in 5 seconds, the delicious one-liner decides the election. In myth-making, Jimmy Carter was headed to reelection, the population outside the august journalists clueless on quals of what the two candidates did...but then Reagan was elected simply because he said "There you go again". And Bush I lost because he looked at his watch in one debate and Gore lost because he "infringed on Dubya's personal space in another". (Supposedly that was more important than Gore getting carried away and boasting of tough new gun laws to California liberals two weeks before the election - which led Republicans to rush into Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida where Gore was leading, screaming Gore wants to take away your guns!!)

madAsHell said...

somewhere there's a cookie,

He said "nookie" not "cookie".

Simon said...

chuck b. said...
"Simon, what are you talking about? What is "it"? People like to see things. That's just human nature. Sure, I could read about the football game. I could read witness testimony. I could read about beautiful places to go visit... And, really, who has time to read? Seeing things is often more expedient."

A picture may speak a thousand words, but that's horribly inefficient if a good writer could make the same point in a few sentences.

Lookit: "Improvised" media is never as efficient as "considered" media; video and radio are usually the former, writing is usually the latter. To be sure, it's possible for radio and TV to be disciplined, and it's possible for someone to publish something that's long, rambling, and disjointed (look at Glen Greenwald!), but writing is a medium that encourages people to edit. By contrast, television and radio are media which encourage people to blather and live television and radio make it impossible to edit. My experience has been "who has the time to listen to this guy blather? If it's important, write it down."

American political speeches are like American sports—blown full of so much air that the content is almost lost. A football game comprises four 15-minute quarters with a half time of approximately twenty minutes. So far as I'm concerned, that means that any football game that isn't over within ninety minutes of the kickoff is wasting my time. Likewise, the State of the Union speech. If you took the average SOTU and boil it down to its fundamentals, the way any good writer would, you'd have a text that could be read in twenty minutes tops. But air gets blown in—we have to put the President in front of Congress, he has to toss out red meat, people have to stand up and sit down and holler like a bunch of yahoos, and the whole thing takes an hour. Two thirds of it is a waste of my time. The incentives of "on camera" are all wrong, and the inherent features of the medium favor oversimplification and time-wasting. We should go back to written SOTUs. Institutions should use every ounce of influence they have to resist the trend away from written communication. I would never have the President appear on television except in a moment of grave national crisis. I would never allow cameras into Congress.

Which is more efficient: Wait through a minute of a video buffering before one can spend two minutes watching an anchor belabor and emote their way through a script that you could read in seconds, or just reading the script? My experience is that seeing things is rarely more expedient.

traditionalguy said...

Where are Herman's harrassed ladies? They could join in with Mrs Gingrich 2.0 and sing as ABC's Greek Chorus explaining Agamemnon's guilt for Paris's wife Helens abduction as the world turns.

The question is whether the South Carolinians are that dumb or not. Without a racist component for these idiot Neo-Confererates, that will be a rather weak 24 hours before the election Scandal Bomb.

Of course only Yankees running Romney/Bain's Super PAC would think the South Carolinians are that dumb.

Joe Schmoe said...

Best primary ever!

You must be hoping that GOP voters feel the way you guys did in 04 with the Jackass Johns, Kerry & Edwards, YEEEAAAHHH Howard Dean, and Wesley Clark, maybe the only non-joke candidate in the race but not presidential timber, either.

08 was no watershed Dem primary either. You had two short-timer Senators, one whose main qualification was a minority wanting to be president and the other whose main quality was for allegedly boinking a president.

I gotta say, when you match the current crop of GOP candidates against that bunch, they look pretty damn good.

Michael Haz said...

Marianne Gingrich hates Newt so much, so despises him and everything that he did to her while they were married that she......kept his last name.

That is not the behavior of a normal woman. It is the behavior of a woman who wants to remain in the reflected light of her former husband, and is willing to let the media shine that light on her, if only for a brief 48 hours before casting her aside, used.

Robert said...

"7. That his conversion to Catholicism "has no meaning."..."

That's what raises my suspicions. You have to take classes and give a confession to become Catholic. Is she saying that a priest would be so oblivious to Newt's naked political gambit of "finding religion?" Especially with Newt's very public baggage I think a priest would be more suspicious and have heightened scrutiny of him. It would be much easier for Gingrich to return to his Baptist roots and claim to have "rediscovered Jesus" than to go through conversion to Catholicism.

But now that Perry's out I have only to look forward to voting for the not-Obama.

Bender said...

Now, picture Mitt, a man with a spotless personal life.

Please. Immaculate Mitt he is not. He is not moral perfection personified. He is merely a man, with all the spots and sins of any man, even if he has been more successful in hiding them from others.

Gingrich, on the other hand, has apparently done some pretty egregious immoral things. Perhaps that was part of the impetus for him to convert, that his sins were, in fact, so serious, that they could only be forgiven by sacramental Confession.

If so, which is really the more moral? The contrite guy who has said, "I'm a sinner, I need forgiveness," or the guy who says, "I am spotless and without sin"?

Freeman Hunt said...

Some of you people took him seriously?

Hahhahahahahahhahah.


As an Obama supporter and an OWS participant, some humility on your part might be advisable.

Simon said...

Robert, you'd think that the level of doctrinal comprehension and conformance required for confirmation would be reasonable. Unfortunately that isn't always the case, to my understanding. You would also think that a person would take pretty seriously the idea of publicly professing “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God,” but look at the number of people who publicly profess the American citizenship oath and then turn around and claim dual citizenship. Quite often, people want what they want and they don't take it seriously. I hate to say it, but nothing that I've seen in Gingrich's public statements suggests that he has done the doctrinal wrestling that I would think—and to an extent, that I personally experienced—that a protestant conservative would have to do in order to reach a point where they can honestly say “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God.” This, for instance, is troubling on two levels. I don't doubt the sincerity of his conversion, but I do wonder about its depth.

There was a t-shirt that did the rounds a while back: "Benedict XVI, r. 2005-20??. The Cafeteria is now CLOSED." Would that it was true.

Mary said...

"Robert, you'd think that the level of doctrinal comprehension and conformance required for confirmation would be reasonable. Unfortunately that isn't always the case, to my understanding.
...
There was a t-shirt that did the rounds a while back: "Benedict XVI, r. 2005-20??. The Cafeteria is now CLOSED." Would that it was true."

Shorter version: You can go "priest shopping" just like you can go jury shopping in some dioceses/jurisdictions.

Simon's just sore cuz he's a latecomer to the Catholic party, and so many are already ahead of him. He, a heterosexual white male at that! He wants recognition of his preferred status, and he wants it now. The rest of you's: get back in the line, or better yet Catholics: Go away, we're closing the line down.

Except, the true Catholics remain. Can't be denied. But... priest shopping always has been and always will be... (Think of those Kennedy annulments, or any preferred procedural treatment, if you grease the proper palms...)

Mary said...

Trey:
Comments like that make me wonder exactly what kind of comments your ex would share...

You didn't ask her for an open marraige, after the fact, didja??

Carnifex said...

I cheated once, and my wife knows. It was more than a decade ago, and I thought I had cause. The pain I caused myself and she wasn't nearly worth the seconds of pleasure I had. We're still working on repairing the damage, and I expect to be 'till we die.

Apparently Newt isn't as smart as he thinks he is or he wouldn't keep "doing it".

Its fun for guys to "wink, and nudge" when the promiscuous man arises in stag conversation, but truly it destroys your family, and the trust you need to remain a family. And just getting laid gets real old, real quick, if you have any sort of character.

PS. I don't care who Newt slept with, nor whom Romney didn't. I care about if they will start to repair the damage the last 4 presidents have done to the country, and the Constitution. I don't think Romney will, there are too many Obozo policies he agrees with. The bad part is that Newt is just one degree more right than Romney.

NYTNewYorker said...

Pastafarian- Your American Conservative Union post is very, very good.

I don't care who he sits on a couch with either.

Joe said...

Pastafarian, in the mid0-90s, there was no way Newt was 100% conservative. This puts into doubt (as if there wasn't any to begin with) any so-called conservative ratings. For the last 15 years, Gingrich has been talking and acting like a liberal. He still is. If he is rated conservative, the ratings have no meaning (which they don't--from what I've seen, they cherry pick a bunch of social issues and base ratings on that. A few years ago Hatch got a conservative rating. Yeah, right.)

I stand by my observation that Gingrich supporters are seeing what they want to see. Obama supports were the same for their guy. All politicians are narcissistic, but these two go way beyond that. They see themselves as saviors and Great Men. We don't need more of those in office.

Joe said...

According to the American Conservative Union, in 2010, Hatch had a 100% conservative rating, Bennett an 86% and Matheson 17%. McCain has a 100%. What a load of nonsense.

So what was that again about "the establishment" picking someone?

NYTNewYorker said...

Newt Gingrich is now leading Romney in S.C.

ic said...

"Who bothered with the Esquire article back in 2010?"

No one, but who bothered with Newt Gingrich, a "has been" back in 2010?

"Some people are lazy. They don't read. But they'll watch a twenty second viral video on youtube."

May be somebody don't care to pay for the left wing rag Esquire? No one belives what they printed anyway after they sliced and diced interviews to twist and spin the contents.

Simon said...

Mary said...
"Shorter version: You can go 'priest shopping' just like you can go jury shopping in some dioceses/jurisdictions."

Yeah, basically, although I think it's usually more just a function of luck than deliberate shopping.

"Simon's just sore cuz he's a latecomer to the Catholic party, and so many are already ahead of him. He, a heterosexual white male at that! He wants recognition of his preferred status, and he wants it now. The rest of you's: get back in the line, or better yet Catholics: Go away, we're closing the line down."

What utter nonsense. I don't want to close the gates; to the contrary, I want everyone through the gates. But you achieve that by moving the people, not the gate. Chicken soup is nice but it doesn't cure cancer; chicken soup for the soul is nice, but it's just soup. Catholicism is strong medicine, but so's chemotherapy! I'm not a Catholic because I like the smell of the medication or the feel of an IV, or because the cancer ward is peaceful (or because the cancer ward is full of interesting people to talk to and neat music), or any of that stuff. I'm here because I'm sick! I'm here because I'm a sinner and my sin is going to kill me—I'm going to die if I don't do something, and this is the medicine that saves. The goal isn't to water down the faith until everyone can swallow it without thinking twice—that doesn't help anyone. That is truly satanic because it cons people into believing that they're not in trouble. The goal is to correctly explain why it's necessary to take it as it was given to us.

TMink said...

Michael wrote: "It is the behavior of a woman who wants to remain in the reflected light of her former husband, and is willing to let the media shine that light on her, if only for a brief 48 hours before casting her aside, used."

Maybe so. Or maybe she is just hurt and bitter and the media are exploiting that in her.

Trey

TMink said...

Simon wrote: "But you achieve that by moving the people, not the gate."

Well said.

And Jesus is strong medicine indeed, but things are done on His terms as He paid the price.

Trey

ic said...

Pasta: Isn't it odd that we not only never hear a peep from any of Obama's pre-Michelle romantic interests...

Good grief, don't be stupid. Gingrich's pre-3rd-wife romances were marriages. He committed adulteries that the social conservatives preached against. Obama's pre-Michelle romantic interests were not adulteries against his wife.

Peter Hoh said...

C'mon, South Carolina voters. This is just another example of the media's desperate attempt to defeat all the "real" conservatives running for the Republican nomination. If you want to stick it to the Mainstream Media, vote for Newt!

Thorley Winston said...

Pastafarian, in the mid0-90s, there was no way Newt was 100% conservative. This puts into doubt (as if there wasn't any to begin with) any so-called conservative ratings. For the last 15 years, Gingrich has been talking and acting like a liberal. He still is. If he is rated conservative, the ratings have no meaning (which they don't--from what I've seen, they cherry pick a bunch of social issues and base ratings on that. A few years ago Hatch got a conservative rating. Yeah, right.)


I agree that groups who come out with their “ratings” of elected officials tend to cherry pick the votes to get a pre-determined outcome. I seem to recall that the ACU did NOT include Medicare Part D (which most Republicans voted for) as part of its scorecard. This seems pretty odd because you’d think a vote on expanding a major entitlement program by creating a new benefit would be pretty important to conservatives.

shiloh said...

Bottom line, giving gingrich the benefit of the doubt, he's a frickin' train wreck!

And yes Virginia, he makes flip/floppin' mittens look good. ~ Oh the humanity!

So conservatives, deal w/it as you may.

Smilin' Jack said...

...I don't mean to cause you to start thinking about that dog again.

Hee. People might forgive a man who abuses his wife, but never a man who abuses his dog.

I can see the first debate now: Romney gives a brilliant, impassioned opening speech in which he outlines the perfect solution for every problem facing America. Obama just says, "dog," and walks off the stage. And wins by a landslide.

bagoh20 said...

I know I'm pretty lame, but I never actually heard the story about Mitt and his dog. I heard of it, but not the details.

One of my passions is dog rescue, and I do it every day, so I know a lot of people who would be crazy mad about this, but I'm not one of them. I know people who go hang gliding with their dog strapped on. Now you would think that would give him diarrhea, but it doesn't. I give Mitt 10 points for thinking out of the box on that one.

HT said...

Could Newt be the first European president? Sounds like it.

Certainly not Southern.