Newt Gingrich is preparing to launch his bid for the GOTP nomination in 2012; the problem? Well? He’s the Newt.
Gingrich, who is a twice-divorced former U.S. House speaker, who has admitted an affair with a former congressional aide, who is now his third wife; whose career in Congress is remembered as much for his dramatic fall — two federal government shutdowns, his censure and the loss of Republican seats in the House — as his rise, and whose polarizing style quite frequently leaves voters not just cold, but ice cold, has a problem.
What’s the problem you ask? He appears – as do many Republican leaders – to lack a moral compass, even though he claims to be a god-fearing Christian, and to support the far right conservative mantra of “family values”, and that’s going to be very problematic as he runs for the office he once tried to remove President Clinton from for doing exactly what he was doing, cheating on his wife.
While President Clinton’s affair was bad enough, Newt’s was not just an affair; it was an affair while leading the effort to impeach a President, for well, having an affair. But whereas President Clinton’s affair was seen as a slight at the American people, having had a sexual encounter with an intern in the Oval Office, Newt’s affair is much more nefarious, having occurred while his wife was fighting for her life in a battle with cancer. Same sort of “honoring” of marriage vows which sank former Democratic Presidential aspirant John Edwards.
The biggest obstacle in his way, the biggest issue – or problem – with his affair is going to be the fringe of the GOTP – the self-righteous, white bread, Christian Tea Party folks – who any Vegas bookie will tell you probably are not going to be willing to overlook adultery any time soon. After all, adultery is not just some little sin. It’s not just an indiscretion. It’s a pretty big deal.
For those who think the likelihood of Newt’s past following him into any run for the White House is little to non-existent, look no further than last week, when during a speech at the University of Pennsylvania a student confronted him about the affair.
“I’ve had a life which, on occasion, has had problems,” Gingrich replied. “I believe in a forgiving God, and the American people will have to decide whether that’s their primary concern.”
I’m quite certain the voters will decide Newter. They will decide not just loudly but also clearly. Don’t think so? Well listen to this quote.
“Newt Gingrich’s election would send a terrible signal to anyone who’s working to live a morally upright life,” said Jerry Luquire, head of the Georgia Christian Coalition. “I would find it very hard to vote for him.”
That’s not just any voter Mr. Speaker, that’s a right wing Christian from your own state. From your own state Newty!
But, let’s not be too hasty turning Newt over to the voters, first he’ll have to survive the primary process against his fellow GOTP rivals. Huckleberry isn’t about to pass up an opportunity to skewer him with his past sins, and we already know how Queen Sarah feels about him, not to mention Mitt, and whomever else thinks now is the ideal time to run.
Political fact is, Newt’s political career was over when he resigned as Speaker under a cloud of scandal and failure; it’s time to fade away Newt, time to fade away. Oh, and please, don’t talk about family values, Americans – as a whole – will only support hypocrisy just so far, and you crossed that line a long time ago.