New Newt News

Well, here’s something that doesn’t add luster to Newt’s Presidential prospects: Fooling around on his wife while leading the charge to impeach Bill Clinton because Clinton lied about fooling around with an intern. I presume that this information is being released in an interview with James Dobson for a reason — better that the loyal troops in the GOP religious-right base hear this sort of thing in a friendly forum, where Gingrich can have a chance to explain himself and put his spin on things, before it gets splashed over the front page of the Washington Post.

So what’s the spin? “The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge … Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept … perjury in your highest officials.”

It doesn’t read well, but then Newt has to be heard rather than read to get the full effect; he’s quite eloquent with the spoken word. Still, I’m frankly not sure I buy it, at least not the part about not “rendering judgment” on Clinton. Insisting that the impeachment was about perjury and not adultery is a half-truth; as I recall it, the articles of impeachment focused on the perjury but the political momentum was elsewhere.

So if Newt feels the need to spill the beans on himself, clearly there is a need for him to engage in that kind of preemptive disclosure. One thing that could mean is that he’s moving to challenge “the big three” for the Republican nomination next year. It’s late so I can’t think of alternatives to that objective, but I’m sure they exist. But even if they did, they’re not so obvious as a Gingrich candidacy to gather the conservative votes under a single banner, one more credible and prominent than Tom Tancredo’s or even Sam Brownback’s. So are you playing Intrade? Buy Gingrich — his price is going to rise soon.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.