Here’s the thing about this absurd idea that Newt Gingrich is some kind of skilled debater or unflappable tough guy: Gingrich himself knows it’s a fraud. Here, from the review of a book about Gingrich’s reign as speaker:
A blow-by-blow account of the “Republican Revolution” in Congress, which collapsed after little more than a year, this feast for political insiders includes moments both absurd (Newt Gingrich confessing to White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta that “I melt when I am around” President Clinton) and critical. (Gingrich’s realization, at the start of 1996, that “He had grievously miscalculated his opposition and strategically botched the most important political battle of his speakership.”) As an insider’s analysis of what went wrong with the largest rightward tilt in the U.S. Congress in this century, Maraniss and Weisskopf’s book is indispensable.
He admitted the same to his wife (from the book by the execrable Sidney Blumenthal):
Gingrich regularly traveled up Pennsylvania Avenue filled with bravado and returned confusedly explaining Clinton’s logic to his cohorts. “I melt when I’m around him,” he admitted to his wife. Soon the Jacobins no longer trusted their Robespierre. They insisted that he never meet with Clinton alone. Dick Armey went with Gingrich on every trip to the White House to ensure that he did not lose his will.
In this great article in Esquire, his ex-wife explains:
But there was something strange and needy about him. “He was impressed easily by position, status, money,” she says. “He grew up poor and always wanted to be somebody, to make a difference, to prove himself, you know. He has to be historic to justify his life.”
As for his hypocrisy, she says this:
He thinks of himself as president, you tell her. He wants to run for president. She gives a jaundiced look. “There’s no way,” she says. She thinks he made a choice long ago between doing the right thing and getting rich, and when you make those choices, you foreclose other ones. “He could have been president. But when you try and change your history too much, and try and recolor it because you don’t like the way it was or you want it to be different to prove something new … you lose touch with who you really are. You lose your way.” She stops, ashes her cigarette, exhales, searching for the right way to express what she’s about to say. “He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected,” she says. “If you believe that, then yeah, you can run for president.”
Former American Conservative Union Chairman Mickey Edwards was even blunter:
“I’ve known Newt now for thirty years almost,” says former congressman Mickey Edwards. “But I wouldn’t be able to describe what his real principles are. I never felt that he had any sort of a real compass about what he believed except for the pursuit of power.”
There’s also all sorts of information about Gingrich’s erraticism, his emotional instability, and other unseemly characteristics. Wow. Tough stuff.
The research continues…..
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