"There is something I know." This cryptic statement has transformed Nancy Pelosi into the 800-pound Sphinx in the room. What inside dope does she have that would destroy Newt Gingrich's aspirations for the presidency? The speculation centers around the House Ethics Committee's investigation of Newt in the 1990s. Pelosi was on that committee that reviewed the thousand pages of testimony by Newt and his staff. There were 84 charges of impropriety filed against Gingrich, who was Speaker of the House at the time. He was found in violation of one: the misuse of tax-exempt funds. Gingrich admitted in 1996 that he had provided "inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable testimony" to the committee. In so many words, he lied. In 1997 he paid a fine of $300,000. It was the first time such disciplinary action was taken against a Speaker. In disfavor with his own party, Newt left the House under a cloud of opprobrium.
Nancy Pelosi was an embedded eyewitness to the whole seamy episode in Gingrich's political career. Now, as he struggles to whitewash the sins of a bygone day, Pelosi mysteriously raises a question we must all answer. Should Newt escape his past?
Oscar Wilde once wrote, "One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged." Which is something we all know.