- Gingrich had a six-year affair with his third wife while he was still married to his second. He had an affair with his second wife while he was still married to his first wife.
- In some ways, the fact, first reported in MoJo, that Gingrich hammered out the details of his first divorce while his wife was in the hospital recovering from cancer isn’t even the most damaging revelation from that story. But it’s certainly damaging. One longtime Gingrich aide recalled: “Newt came up there with his yellow legal pad, and he had a list of things on how the divorce was going to be handled. He wanted her to sign it. She was still recovering from surgery, still sort of out of it, and he comes in with a yellow sheet of paper, handwritten, and wants her to sign it.”
- Have you seen the advertisement in which Newt sits in a love seat with Nancy Pelosi, on behalf of Al Gore’s nonprofit, to call for Congress to take action on climate change? Well, you will—Rep. Ron Paul has already featured the clip in an online ad. Although he maintained at the time that “our country must take action to prevent climate change,” Gingrich now says he doesn’t think the science is settled and it’s not the government’s role to involve itself with climate change.
- Gingrich was a dues-paying member of the Sierra Club, as Mike Mechanic noted, from 1984 to 1990. During that period, he publicly opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, calling it a “180-day quick fix.” In the name of preventing global warming, he also supported the 1989 Global Warming Prevention Act, which called for global population control—hugely problematic for social conservatives, who conflate family-planning programs with contraception and abortion. In 2009, he called for “mandatory carbon caps,” a position he now derides as an "anti-energy, big bureaucracy agenda.” It goes much, much deeper than a one-time-off appearance on a couch with Pelosi.
- Newt Gingrich is arrogant. It’s not a cheap shot to say that. He said it himself, many times over. To read through Gingrich’s log of quotes is to hear a politician perpetually talking about himself. ”If you’re not in the Washington Post everyday, you might as well not exist,” he said in 1989. ”I’m unavoidable,” he said in 1985. “I represent real power.” In 1989, he explained why he fought with his second wife: “It’s not even that it matters to me. It’s just the habit of dominance, the habit of being the center of my staff and the center of the news media.” It’s not just off-putting; it’s often disastrous. As conservative columnist George Will argued on Sunday, Gingrich “embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive…His temperament—intellectual hubris distilled—makes him blown about by gusts of enthusiasm for intellectual fads…”
- Gingrich’s political aggression and impulsiveness sometimes pays off. It also frequently ends in disaster—as it did last June, when his entire Iowa campaign staff quit en masse over complaints that (among other things) he lacked discipline and frugality. To the extent that many of those staffers then went on to work for Perry, you could say that Gingrich had the last laugh. But the consequence of that is that Gingrich didn’t even have an Iowa campaign office until late last week. Organization is everything in the caucuses, and with just a few weeks to go, Newt doesn’t really have one.
Posted on Wednesday, 7 December 2011