The Newt and Callista Exploratory Presidential Campaign
See also the crowd photo behind Newt and Callista, a carefully arranged mélange of white women, blacks, and Asians, with only one white man (wearing a silly hat which reduces his maleness) among them. This is of course the standard ethnic/sexual (im)balance seen constantly in today’s TV ads and college catalogues. Is this fictional postwhitemale America the America that Newt sees as his constituency? Of course not. Newt knows that Republican voters are overwhelmingly white, and more than half of them men. But he also adheres to the rule that in order to be morally legitimate in contemporary American public life you must surround yourself with nonwhites, or, as in this case, with images of nonwhites, even though in reality nonwhites have very little to do with you.
Indeed, the carefully arranged collection of nonwhites and women has even less to do with Newt and Callista than originally appears. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the crowd photo behind Newt and Callista comes originally from the website of the late Democratic icon Sen. Edward Kennedy:
The photo, of a multicultural crowd of smiling faces staring at the sky and waving flags, was meant to leave the impression that a huge and diverse group of Americans were lining up to support Mr. Gingrich and his wife, Callista, whose faces were superimposed over the crowd.How many ways can a man be unreal? Being Newt Gingrich is about finding out.
(Note: I assume that the Newt/Callista Exploratory site will be taken down soon while the “We are the Democratic Majority” photo is replaced. Thanks to help from readers, an image of the page has been posted below.)
Based on Callista’s artificial expression and frozen platinum dyed hair (see readers’ responses in earlier entry), I had assumed she was a woman in her fifties:LA continues:
The above quote makes it appear that Newt (i.e. “Gingrich”) testified in 1999 about the affair begiinning in 1993. But it was Callista (whom the Wikipedia refers only to as Gingrich, and never provides her maiden name, Bisek) who testified. Here is the article Wikipedia was referencing, from the Chicago Tribune:LA continues:Across the nation.
In its article on Newt Gingrich, Wikipedia reports:James P. writes:
Newt’s off to a great start! The “moral values” candidate’s moral values include not merely serial adultery but plagiarism! And stealing from Ted Kennedy, of all people. Though in some ways this is appropriate, given that Ted was also sexually immoral and intellectually dishonest.LA replies:
And Ted, like Newt, also believed in the transformation of America into a non-European country.A reader writes:
Do you actually think the photo will be changed?LA replies:
Well, with the WSJ reporting that the photo came originally from Kennedy’s website with the caption, “We are the Democratic Majority,” you’d think that Gingrich would see it as an embarrassment and would want to change it. At the same time, Gingrich is utterly beyond embarrassment, so maybe he won’t.
[of every] background. This is the responsibility of a free people.
Interesting to see the original “We are the Democratic Majority” picture, shown in the WSJ article. It contains a good looking white man, with a young white woman on each side. In the Gingrich version, this is entirely blocked out by Newt and his wife:LA replies:
Yes. So the Gingrich version is even more PC and multicultural than the Kennedy version. In the Kennedy version we have the familiar iconography of white man in the middle (indeed a young, virile white man, with two pretty white women), representing historic and familiar America, surrounded by nonwhites, representing the new America which is replacing the historic and familiar America. In the Gingrich version, the white man (along with the two women at his side) is gone.A reader writes:
What a couple. At least they chose a more flattering photo than the Stepford Wife shot your website recently included.Stephen T. writes:
Well, I can tell that background picture wasn’t taken in California. Had it been, it would have included more Mestizo Mexican youth. One would have been shown holding up a test tube and studying its contents with a scholarly expression. Another, peering into a telescope to chart distant galaxies. Still another would be playing a cello, or a French horn. Yes, it would have been quite a crowd scene, but not without precedent for staged photos: in the pictures Los Angeles County composed to advance-publicize the reopening of the Griffith Observatory, 90 percent of the people shown viewing the exhibits were Hispanic teenagers.LA writes:
Even the New York Times has noticed the oddity of the co-candidacy. It reports that at Newt and Callista’s visit to the Georgia State capitol yesterday where they announced the formation of their exploratory committee,March 6
Vincent Chiarello writes:
The mention of Gingrich’s conversion to the religion of his (third) spouse brought to mind another recent Catholic convert: Tony Blair. While it would be churlish to deny either of these two politicians their inherent right to select whatever religion they wish to pursue, speaking from a (traditional) Catholic background, I can say without hesitation that neither of these two gentlemen brings anything of seminal value to their newly selected church; if anything, I’d say the opposite is true. To be perfectly frank, the Church faces its own serious problems without adding to them.LA replies:
Yes. Imagine how Gingrich’s newly found concern about excessive secularism and lack of respect for religion in our society will play out in practice. Can one think of a single substantive issue on which his solicititude for the religious basis of society will play any role?
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 04, 2011 08:00 AM | Send