A few years back, we hosted a Right Wing Movie Night and told everyone to bring Danish goodies, to support the Motoonists.
I ate way too much of some really stinky but delightful cranberry blue cheese, and that night I dreamed I was married to Newt Gingrich.
A girlfriend tried to put a nice, female spin on it:
“Weeeelllllll, but you had a nice house at least, right?”
Which was true, if you like that Martha Stewart/Liberty print/chinz look, and New England clapboard.
But I still woke up in a cold sweat.
And never ate that goddamn delectable cheese again.
Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife #2 no longer “holding her tongue” — Esquire has the very long story:
Back in the 1990s, she told a reporter she could end her husband’s career with a single interview.
She held her tongue all through the affair and the divorce and even through the annulment Gingrich requested from the Catholic Church two years later, trying to erase their shared past. Now she sits quietly for a moment, ignoring her eggs, trying to decide how far she wants to go…
This far! (Little of which is news, except it seems to some Professional Journalists):
At first, she had no idea that the wife he was divorcing was actually his high school geometry teacher, or that he went to the hospital to present her with divorce terms while she was recovering from uterine cancer and then fought the case so hard, Jackie had to get a court order just to pay her utility bills.
Gingrich told her the story a little at a time, trusting her with things that nobody else knew — to this day, for example, the official story is that he started dating Jackie when he was eighteen and she was twenty-five. But he was really just sixteen, she says.
But Marianne was having problems of her own. After going to the doctor for a mysterious tingling in her hand, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Early in May, she went out to Ohio for her mother’s birthday. A day and a half went by and Newt didn’t return her calls, which was strange. They always talked every day, often ten times a day, so she was frantic by the time he called to say he needed to talk to her.
He wanted to talk in person, he said.
“I said, ‘No, we need to talk now.’ ”
He went quiet.
“There’s somebody else, isn’t there?”
She kind of guessed it, of course. Women usually do. But did she know the woman was in her apartment, eating off her plates, sleeping in her bed?
Given my, er, complicated feelings about money, this story gave me way more heebiejeebies than any of the sex stuff:
There were immediate stresses. They had no money at all. Marianne had to take over the budget because it was too stressful for Newt. On a congressman’s salary, which was then about $70,000, Gingrich had to maintain households in Georgia and Washington, plus alimony and personal debts and child support.
She remembers one reception when a woman asked Newt to buy a charity ticket for ten dollars. Between them, they didn’t have a dime and didn’t know how they were going to eat for the rest of the month. “Ask Marianne,” he said, so the woman came up to her and she had to say, “No, I’m sorry, I don’t have ten dollars.” When she looked over at Gingrich, he was smiling.
(PS: “heebiejeebies” isn’t “anti-Semitic, is it?)
Newt himself tells the reporter:
“There’s a large part of me that’s four years old,” he tells you. “I wake up in the morning and I know that somewhere there’s a cookie. I don’t know where it is but I know it’s mine and I have to go find it.
Of course, Newt’s trouble is, that damn cookie always seems to be in his pants!
This Esquire article is much more valuable as another (due to be ignored) indication of How Normal People Talk.
Professional Conservatives should pay very close attention to this. They won’t, though:
The business owners seem like ordinary folks — a builder, a man with a small boat shop, a woman who plans parties, a real estate investor or two. They seem cheerful enough and take their turns politely, but they’re fired up with the Tea Party’s sense of impending apocalypse: Obama is a socialist who’s trying to “equalize us with the rest of the world,” our tax system penalizes “doers,” 49 percent of the people in the country pay no taxes at all, we’re like Germany in the 1930s, all they teach you at college is “self-loathing 101,” and 60 percent of Americans are on some kind of government program. “Katrina gave a lot of these folks the largest check in their lives,” says the woman who plans parties. “They live on unemployment because they can.”