The GOP is not going to nominate a thrice married adulterer. It’s just not going to happen. I don’t care how conservative he is. Maybe its because I’m a product of Illinois, where the Illinois GOP makes a candidate withdraw from senate races because he and his wife went to sex clubs.
But the race for the GOP nomination has certain taken a turn this week. This time last week– hell, Thursday morning– it looked like Mitt Romney would be the winner of three states in a row and the other candidates would be forced to withdraw after Florida. Then after Newt Gingrich ripped John King’s face off after asking him about his marriage in the opening question of Thursday’s CNN debate, things started to change. W e learned Rick Santorum won Iowa; Rick Perry dropped out of the contest and endorsed Newt; Marianne Gingrich, Newt’s second wife, told the world that Newt wanted an open marriage so he could keep his mistress, his current wife, Callista. Then, when CNN’s John King opened the Thursday night debate with a question on the open marriage allegation, Newt pounced and destroyed John King for asking the question. "I think the disruptive, vicious, negative nature of the news media makes it harder to govern this country. I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that."
Newt so throughly eviscerated John King, I too found myself supporting him, thinking how dare King ask that question. Then I actually thought about it. My business partner and I frequently talk about work-life balance and the difficulty in maintaining it, and of course, marriage comes up. He once said that he could never be in business with someone who cheats on his wife because that person could/would cheat him. True statement. It comes down to integrity. And that is something we should expect the president of the United States to have.
So the question John King asked is legitimate. If Newt Gingrich has admitted to cheating on two spouses, why wouldn’t he cheat on us? If he had the gall to serve divorce papers on his first wife while she was in a hospital bed recovering from cancer, what type of man are we talking about? Is that integrity? Is that doing the right thing?
So this question is not going to go away. It’s not just about his personal life– it’s about the type of man he is.
This primary now has Newt Gingrich as the frontrunner and other Republicans will start to turn on him. According to Newt’s second wife, Newt was in such a severe depression during the late 1990s, that GOP leadership had to do an intervention. According to the timeline, shortly thereafter he lost his speakership. We’ve heard from many Republican politicians who have somewhat ambiguously stated Newt does not have the temperament to be the president of the United States. Is this what they were talking about? Will this episode be made more public before Florida votes?
What about Newt’s finances? According to his second wife, he couldn’t keep them out of debt and we know that Newt loves to spend lavishly. Will his alleged inability to handle a personal checkbook prove fatal when Republicans are looking for fiscal responsibility?
Maybe its these skeletons that made it look like Newt was on a book tour earlier in the campaign rather than seriously running for president.
Or will Newt just blow up at the wrong time? Rick Santorum suggested it. The process is not going to get easier now. More scrutiny will be placed on Newt in the coming days by the media and the Republican party. Will Newt just be Newt?
And remember, importantly, we’re talking about South Carolina. It is not a bellwether for the rest of the country. Didn’t these people start the Civil War? They have threatened to leave the United States as many times as Newt’s been married. South Carolina first threatened to leave the Union in 1828, and promptly withdrew its threat after Old Hickory threatened to send federal troops to the state and hang the leader of the secessionists from the highest tree in South Carolina. The leader was Jackson’s vice president, John C. Calhoun, who promptly resigned as Vice President. The state again threatened to secede from the union in 1850. It was the first rebel state by being the first to secede from the union in December 1860. It was the election of Abraham Lincoln– our greatest president– which prompted the state to secede.
Not to dismiss this state like Bill Clinton did in 2008, but maybe we should let these people go already?
Seriously, it is only one state that appropriately liked the aggressiveness to Newt Gingrich after being asked a tough question about his marriage; a question that should not have led a presidential debate. But the question is valid. CNN’s Erin Burnett asked on Twitter if a person who is unfaithful at home will be unfaithful as president? That is an appropriate question to ask. Let’s see how Newt answers that question and other tough one on his character in the run up to Florida.