Newt Gingrich Hopes His Wife Will Win Him The Presidency

Illustration for article titled Newt Gingrich Hopes His Wife Will Win Him The Presidency

A New York Times profile today makes it clear that Newt Gingrich plans to put his wife Callista front and center in his presidential campaign, despite the fact that having an affair with her while married to someone else sort of undercuts that whole social conservatism thing. But it doesn't answer the question, Why?


It's clear that Newt is terribly devoted to the third Mrs. Gingrich. It's less clear why voters should be similarly entranced.

Barely a sentence goes by without Mr. Gingrich uttering the words "Callista and I." They are constantly together - at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, at conservative political conferences, at book signings and screenings of their documentary films. She is the voice on his audio books; her face is all over his 2012 Web site, where visitors can read "A Note from Newt & Callista."

He converted to Catholicism for her. He goes to her concerts and choir performances. She returns the favor by giving her life over to the campaign.

The closest we have to an explanation of Callista's political benefits is that "Mr. Gingrich is presenting himself as a family man who has embraced Catholicism and found God, with his wife as a kind of character witness. Depending on one's point of view, she is a reminder of his complicated past, or his secret political weapon." Or, if you take Gingrich's point of view, she's a Chevrolet.

Gingrich Set to Run, With Wife in Central Role [NYT]



I find it hard to believe that they were married in the Catholic Church, seeing as there is the whole twice-divorced issue to overcome, and I don't see how he qualifies for two annulments.

But I find this even more fascinating - "In 1962, he married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old and she was 26."

I also love "[Bisek and Gingrich] continued their affair during the Lewinsky scandal, when Gingrich was a leader of the Republican investigation of President Clinton for perjury in connection with his alleged affairs with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky"