The only thing most of us know about Callista Gingrich is that she has a frighteningly perfect blonde bob—well, that and she was totally happy to be lying in bed with her lover Newt while he talked on the phone to his wife. Now that they're legit in the eyes of God, she's always at Newt's side during events, yet she hardly ever utters a word. But now Callista is beginning to come out of from behind her shellacked blonde shell, and this weekend she made her first solo campaign appearance in Newt's home state of Georgia.
Since we've so rarely heard her speak, it must have come as a shock to the women, who were gathered at Atlanta's Peachtree Presbyterian Church, to actually hear her voice—which it turns out is "a clean, Midwestern clip." The impression she made with her carefully worded and even more carefully delivered speech is that she's the opposite of her husband in every way: prim where he is volatile, trim where he is larger than life, and cautious where he is dangerously impulsive. But she wasn't afraid to get real, hitting upon such controversial topics as her time in the Girl Scouts and her love of singing patriotic songs in her school choir.
As dull as that sounds, the Republican women seemed to respond well to Callista's tidy speech—and it's true she's probably ten times more appealing than her buffoon of a husband. Plus, her seeming moral purity and Midwestern blandness mollify concerns over the obvious ethics problems Newt faces. Patsy Wharton, who was in the audience, said of Callista, "I was very impressed. I think she's an asset. If more people could hear her, they'd see she's a real person." Iris Callaway, another audience member, said, "People need to hear her. She's a beautiful blonde, and people think she's just a Barbie doll, but I was so impressed with how in-depth she is." Wow, it's weird that she needs to speak before people will believe that she's not made of plastic. But I guess it's better late than never.
Speaking of that, why did they wait so long to unleash the power of Callista? Well, mostly because they didn't want to remind super conservative voters of the icky way in which she came to be the third Mrs. Gingrich. But now that the Newtron Bomb is in desperate need of women's support, he must bring out the big guns. And being in a speaking role has helped humanize her a bit—even when it comes to her affair with Newt. One woman in the audience said she'd started with a bad feeling about Callista but after hearing her speech she'd brought her around to liking her.
Okay, fine, so she's not an evil doll hussy waiting to steal your husband if you let him get too close. But what exactly is she, besides a girl scout and a person who must spend an ungodly amount of time doing her hair? Well, she's no dummy. She used to work in Congress, and clearly knows her way around politics, but the campaign obviously didn't bring her in to play smarty pants. She mostly touched on topics having to do with American exceptionalism.
For starters, she helpfully pointed out that government assistance will only serve to make us even less exceptional than we already are. Her proof? American inventors like Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs didn't need no stinkin' assistance. Yes, it's true; four people from relatively privileged backgrounds managed to succeed without the government's help, so that means everybody can.
Callista also fretted about the poor little children being deprived of their God given right to worship democracy. She said they're not receiving a quality education in the ways of American government and our history: "Many eighth graders can't explain the Declaration of Independence." Gasp! Of course, many of them also can't explain evolution—but whose fault is that? If you were thinking this means she's in favor of pouring money into education to fix this glaring problem, you'd be wrong. Instead, let her refer you to something else she spoke about in Atlanta, her children's book, Sweet Land of Liberty, which involves an elephant who walks us through great moments in American history. Who needs education policy when we have political wives writing children's books?
Anyway, back to the overarching theme of the importance of American exceptionalism: "Newt and I believe America is an exceptional nation that must remain so." I'll give you one guess as to who the greatest threat to American exceptionalism is. That's right. It's the dirty liberals who are trying to make this nation un-great by ensuring everyone isn't totally broke and people aren't dying because they don't have insurance, among other lame causes. But in her defense, she's right that Newt will make America exceptionally exceptional—in that if he is elected our country will be a total fucking disaster on an epic scale.
Still, as lame as many of her points are, she's fairly bland and benign and not anywhere close to being as offensive as her husband—or any of the other candidates he's running against. And she does seem to make Newt look good, and, in that sense, she's serving her purpose. So we'll probably see a lot more of her out on the campaign trail, especially in the lead up to Super Tuesday on March 6th. She just better hope that giving all those stump speeches doesn't give her a case of laryngitis, or Newt will be out the door and onto wife number four faster than you can sing "God Bless America."