The Spectacle Blog

Gingrich’s Megalomania

By on 12.6.11 | 11:46AM

A 1995 Vanity Fair piece by Gail Sheehy has the goods on Newt Gingrich. In this blog entry, we focus on his own megalomania:

"It's not altruism! It's not altruism!" he proclaimed to The Washington Post in 1985. "I have an enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I'm doing it...Oh, this is just the beginning of a 20-or-30-year movement. I'll get credit for it...As a historian, I understand how histories are written. My enemies will write histories that dismiss me and prove I was unimportant. My friends will write histories that glorify me and prove I was more important than I was. And two generations or three from now, some serious, sober historian will write a history that sort of implies I was whoever I was." Until he reaches his "impossibly high ideal," Newt will remain the unacknowledged child. Many observers see the child at the center of Newt. "Newtie is still a kid," admits Kit. Marcella McPherson agrees: "Newtie wants things Newtie's way...If he wants something, he wants it now. Newtie was always for Newtie."

I've heard the man with my own ears refer to himself as a "world-historical figure." He's the kind of guy who, living out his own personal drama, would welcome the worst sort of brinksmanship not for the sake of the cause, but for the sake of the brink itself.

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