Marvin Olasky
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But Weber also observed that Gingrich's "negative image is not undeserved. He has a tendency to vilify his opposition. Words roll off his tongue -- 'corrupt,' 'sick' -- and stand in the way of his ever becoming a unifying leader."

If Gingrich becomes a candidate, his infidelity will come up probably not in its own right but as an indicator of character. Gingrich himself once differentiated between relatively recent actions and those of "35 years ago" -- and Gingrich's are relatively recent. Many evangelical voters especially will wonder about the trustworthiness of a national leader who at full maturity indulged his passions in such risky ways.

So how can Gingrich make his greatest contribution to the nation? By remaining an intellectual gadfly. President John F. Kennedy once hosted a dinner for Nobel Prize winners and said the evening displayed "probably the greatest concentration of talent and genius (in the White House) except for perhaps those times when Thomas Jefferson ate alone."

Today, publicists could say that the Heritage Foundation generates more ideas per hour than anyone else -- except when Gingrich is giving a speech. I hope he stays an intellectual entrepreneur and gives many more.

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Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit www.worldmag.com.
 
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