Gingrich cheated on his first wife, or in his own words, " . . . I did a lot of things . . . that reflect(ed) how much pain I was in." But he "asked for God's forgiveness" and married Marianne. After finding God, he seems to have misplaced Him, because after cheating on Marianne, divorcing her and marrying Callista, he found Him again, adding piously that "I think most people, deep down in their hearts, hope there's a forgiving God." A bewildered Marianne asked him how he could deliver speeches on family values while stepping out on her. He explained, "It doesn't matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live." During the affair with Callista, Gingrich managed to participate in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. And while it's true that Clinton lied under oath, which Gingrich is not accused of, the hypocrisy would have inhibited a man of ordinary decency.
Newt Gingrich is not your average flimflam artist. He is profoundly, fundamentally, transformationally different. With equal passion, and within 36 hours, he can condemn the media for impugning free enterprise and then (in a huge gift to the Obama campaign) slam private equity and venture capital as "rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company." There is no concern for intellectual consistency, party loyalty, or the advancement of an agenda. He will condemn Paul Ryan one day and film a global warming commercial with Nancy Pelosi the next -- more a loose popgun than a loose cannon.
This fierce antagonist of liberalism -- the roaring lion who tells John King and Juan Williams where to get off -- confessed that in meetings with Bill Clinton "I melt when I'm around him. After I get out, I need two hours to detoxify. My people are nervous about me going in there because of the way I deal with this."
"His people" ought to be even more nervous now. I know I am.