Thrice-married Gingrich set to run for president—as a religious Catholic

And to think some of us thought a Palin candidacy would be bad news for conservatism. Gingrich is a life-long techno-utopian who has soullessly betrayed and abandoned two wives, and now he’s going to run for president as a values candidate.

It’s beyond parody. It would be like … Mitt Romney running for president as an opponent of government-controlled health care.

- end of initial entry -

Paul K. writes:

Nothing communicates the idea of “values” like that All-American couple Newt and his Stepford Wife Callista:


Karl D. writes:

That photo of Newt and his wife made me laugh out loud. Especially Callista! I have always wondered what she looked like, as he seems to mention her name at every given chance. That has to be one of the most insincere, botoxed facial expressions I have ever seen. Stepford Wife is right. She looks utterly programmed.

LA replies:

In fact, the first photo of her I ever saw is in the NYT article linked at the beginning of this entry. When I saw it, I figured that it was just one photo, possibly atypical, and that I should not conclude anything from it about the way she looks. But, as it turns out, it’s just like the photo of her that Paul sent:


John L. writes:

I met Mr. Gingrich at a screening of his film on John Paul II at the Pontifical North American College, the residence of American Catholic seminarians studying in Rome. Could you image a friendlier audience for a recent convert to Catholicism showing an anti-Communist film celebrating a Pope?

I found his behavior at the reception after the film repellent and actually very odd. He circulated continuously, because whenever anyone spoke to him he gave a one-sentence answer and then moved away from that person immediately. He gave the impression of being extremely guarded and wary, as if he were in hostile territory.

The only exception was when a friend of mine who was working for two months at the l’Osservatore Romano as an intern identified herself to him as a journalist. He pulled her aside and spoke to her alone for five minutes.

I concluded that he was in some kind of robotic campaign-mode, giving each peon about ten seconds of his attention, so as to “connect” with as many people as possible, but then suddenly quite attentive to someone he (falsely) believed to have real power as a journalist. I can see a politician behaving this way at a large, crowded public event. But this gathering was deep inside the fortress-like building of the PNAC, with a small crowd, by invitation only, of less than two hundred ideological and religious allies over a princely buffet.

Naturally this kind of mechanical, manipulative approach was insulting and repulsive. It was also puzzling. If a recent convert to Catholicism can’t relax inside one of the inner sanctums of American Catholicism, where can he relax? How can a man who doesn’t seem to actually like other people be a successful politician?

LA replies:

Well, there are such politicians from time to time. Think of Richard Nixon. But it is unusual, since perhaps the single most common trait of politicians is that they like other people.

Doug H. writes:

It’s sad to see the current state of the Republican party. To think they could seriously consider Newt or Huckabee sickens me. They are both unprincipled and weak men. They will not confront Obama without later apologizing for whatever they say negative about him. The Drudge Report would lead you to believe Newt called for Obama to be impeached. Later, I thought Newt was about to grovel when he backtracked and said he didn’t really mean Obama should actually be impeached. Huckabee was on Fox today. He said Obama had made a huge mistake and lost his power when he said he wouldn’t enforce DoMA. Chris Wallace asked him if he was serious when he said Obama had lost his power. Mike made a small apology then went on to make one of the most stupid remarks I have heard. He said Obama had alienated the African American vote, because they support DoMA. How appallingly simple minded. Blacks have not and will not abandon Obama.

Nether of these men should lead anything. It saddens and sickens me tremendously.

On a lighter note. I refer to Huckabee around the house as Chucklebee. It makes my wife mad. She says I shouldn’t use name calling. Personally, I think you should call a dog a dog.

LA replies:

“He said Obama had alienated the African American vote, because they support DoMA.”

There you have an example of the common conservative belief that a conservative argument is only permissible if you make it in the name of blacks.

I was told about a panel on immigration on CSPAN this weekend in which the most conservative member of the panel was Carol Swain, the black author. She argued that immigration should be reduced because it harms the economic prospects of blacks. Among the other panel members, this argument got nowhere.

Why? The answer is simple: the highest liberal principle is the non-discriminatory inclusion of all peoples and cultures. That principle transcends any concern about possible economic harm to some blacks.

Or, to put the same idea in more direct and brutal terms: the highest liberal principle is the destruction of white America. That principle transcends any concern about blacks’ economic well-being—even for the blacks themselves.

People who think that they can win the argument for reduced immigration on the basis of the economic well-being of blacks and other such liberal concerns are delusional, because they don’t recognize what actually drives the support for open borders.

Dan F. writes:

You wrote:

“People who think that they can win the argument for reduced immigration on the basis of the economic well-being of blacks and other such liberal concerns are delusional, because they don’t recognize what actually drives the support for open borders.”

Mr. Auster—I have pretty significant disagreements with you, but you frequently hit the nail squarely on the head, saying things that, after a bit of reflection, are blindingly obvious but that nobody else can say, because they lack either the insight or the courage. That’s why I keep coming back to your site. Kol hakavod, as they say in Hebrew.

Karl D. writes:

Doug H. mentioned the interview with Huckabee on Fox this morning and his comment about blacks and DoMA. I watched that same interview and again laughed out loud at his idiotic statement. Either he is delusional, an idiot or is just a plain old liberal if he actually believes blacks will abandon Obama over DoMA? Marion Barry couldn’t lose the black vote with a crack pipe in his mouth and a videotape to back it up. Besides that, Huckabee’s whole persona is just so clownish. Like an overgrown kid. Does anyone really believe that any hostile foreign country or jihadis would feel threatened by this man at all? I hate to say this but by comparison he makes Obama seem tough. It really is quite depressing thinking about the 2012 prospects of Huckabee, Gingrich and Romney. And this Mitch Daniels is pretty weak too. Saw him on Fox this morning as well and it seems he is looking to play pattycakes with the Democrats. I remain hopeful however that someone will rise out of the ashes.

LA replies:

It’s almost March 2011. By around June 2011 candidates will have to have declared themselves in order to be competitive in the 2012 primaries. That’s three or four months. Not an infinite amount of time for some plausible figure(s) to appear.

Gintas writes:

That crazed look in Callista’s eyes—is it any different from the look he seeks in the eyes of devoted GOP followers?

Thomas Bertonneau writes:

Seeing the image of Callista Gingrich tripped a memory. Where had I seen her before? Then it came to me: the artificial femme fatale from the cult-movie Mars Attacks:


February 28

Alex A. writes from England:

The photograph of the toy woman who is married to Newt Gingrich made me laugh. But she’s not about to run for president. What about the self-satisfied countenance, or even the name, of “Newt” himself? Neither inspires much confidence.

The levity of my judgment of politicians by appearance extends to many “leaders” of our time. Gaddafi, Obama, Sarkozy, Putin, Cameron, etc. Looking at their pictures and reflecting on their abilities brings to mind some lines of John Dryden:

A man so various that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind’s epitome;
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, and nothing long;
But in the course of one revolving moon,
Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.

(VFR is a serious but not a solemn commentary on the passing show. So I hope you will not find my comment too frivolous.)

James P. writes:

Your readers call Callista a “Stepford Wife”—but she doesn’t look all that docile and submissive …

LA replies:

Well, we could say that there are two aspects of a Stepford wife—that she is artificial and plastic, and that she is docile and submissive. Callista would seem to fit the first aspect, though not the second.

Rick Darby writes:

I happened to see Mr. and Mrs. Gingrich at a Thai restaurant near where I live. It was a Sunday. Newt was wearing ultra-casual running clothes. His other half was dressed up as if for a cocktail party.

LA replies:

In fact, that is the standard look of many young and youngish couples today: the male sloppy, the woman together-looking and well dressed. It’s a bit more unusual with a couple in their fifties or sixties.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 27, 2011 07:49 AM | Send

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