Newt Gingrich is no stranger to hypocrisies. It’s just that his own self-righteousness often gets in the way of admitting to them: “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” the family-values candidate once famously said about his multiple extra-marital affairs.
What Newt Can Teach Herman
November 29, 2011
Herman Cain is said to be “reassessing” his candidacy amid new allegations of infidelity—specifically, Ginger White’s claim that she carried on a 13-year affair with the candidate. Cain is already facing numerous allegations of sexual harassment and even sexual assault. Is this the final blow to his campaign? A recent paper by three political scientists provides perspective, if not hope.
It’s Official: The Republican Primary Isn’t About the Economy, It’s About Immigration
November 29, 2011
At present, the Republican presidential campaigns opposing Newt Gingrich must look at the unlikely front-runner as something of a piñata: a big, fat target ready to explode, showering votes on his rivals, once it is decided which angle offers the most decisive blow. There are plenty of ripe lines of attack, most notably Gingrich’s endless flip-flopping on global climate change punctuated by his notorious 2007 ad with Nancy Pelosi.
November 24, 2011
This Thanksgiving I am thankful that David Osborne's classic 1984 Newt Gingrich profile in Mother Jones, which is full of gothic details about how badly Gingrich treated his first wife (and high school math teacher!), Jackie, has been posted online. I could have sworn that the Osborne piece was the source of the most bracingly cold-blooded Gingrich quote I ever saw--a quote about why he left Jackie.
Did Newt Just Say Something Reasonable About Iran?
November 23, 2011
[Guest post by Barron YoungSmith] One of the better points made during last night’s GOP foreign policy debate actually came from Newt Gingrich, who said it would make no sense to attack Iran’s nuclear program outside the context of regime change. That’s right. If we simply hit the centrifuges and run, they’ll be back spinning in two years and we’ll be in an open war with Tehran, with all of Iranian society backing the regime.
Twelve Questions They Should Be Asking at Tonight’s Debate
November 22, 2011
Tonight’s GOP debate, co-sponsored by my own institution, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, will be focused on foreign policy, and, as is the nature of such events, the journalists moderating it will likely pose a lot of softball questions, with almost no follow-up and nothing that really cuts to the core. Here’s a list of questions that I would love to hear answers to (and I imagine many primary voters would, too), but that almost certainly won’t get asked in the dozen primary debates scheduled in the weeks ahead.
Newt Gingrich Is an Author of Alternative Histories. What If He Wrote an Alternative History of Himself?
November 19, 2011
Before he was the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich had gained acclaim as the author of a number of “alternate histories,” a genre of literature that speculates how important events in the past might have turned out differently. A high-brow genre this is not. One could say that “alternate history” is to “history” what “science-fiction” is to actual “science.” Gingrich’s fans laud the research that goes into his tomes, but what they are really responding to are the feverish scenarios he conjures: Here’s Robert E.
A Long List of Terrible Things That Newt Gingrich Has Done and Said
November 17, 2011
Newt Gingrich’s improbable surge in the polls for the GOP presidential nomination has surprised nearly everyone, including TNR, and given rise to an important question: How, exactly, should one cover a candidate who already possesses enough baggage to sink a small freighter? Though Gingrich’s ship may sail before reporters have time to unpack it all, the following collection of embarrassing words and deeds attributed to Newt will live forever: 1. Gingrich divorced his first wife for Marianne Ginther, whom he began courting while he was still married.
Words, Mere Words: Newt Gingrich Speaks Well. But Is He Smart?
November 15, 2011
If Newt Gingrich's career in public service proves anything, it is that he will never be caught saying “Oops.” Gingrich is currently rising to frontrunner status in the Republican presidential primary largely because he's willing to talk about any subject at any time, is ready to do so with some measure of linguistic facility, and has sufficient self-regard to exploit every opportunity to demonstrate his rhetorical command.
Let’s Get Real, No One’s Eliminating Any Cabinet Departments
November 11, 2011
Rick Perry’s “Oops” on Wednesday joined the small canon of legendary phrases from presidential debates, right up there with “You’re no Jack Kennedy.” His inability to remember one of the three government agencies he would promise to eliminate as president, together with his smirking indifference to whether it even mattered, was probably the final moment of a candidacy that was already doomed by his lack of preparation for the national stage. But does it matter?