Three times married Newt Gingrich might seem like an unlikely nominee for the Republican party, but just this week he was suspended from being a Fox News contributor until he figures out whether or not he is going to run.
So are his past transgressions, including having extramarital affairs and serving one of his wives with divorce papers while she was in the hospital, going to sink him in the primary?
Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum doesn’t seem to think so.
“He is popular with Republicans. And he brings something that Republicans badly need, which is a little excitement. This is — you know, Republicans have also been laid off. Republicans also seeing their homes foreclosed. They also have children who can’t find work. They want a message that is more than simply accountancy. And it is hard to find in the Republican field people who bring that kind of message. Like him or dislike him, Newt Gingrich brings excitement. And he talks about big things. He may not talk about them in a way you like, but they are big things. And that is something that — that is why he is consistently one of the top three or four republicans among Republican preferences.”
There have been only three divorced Presidential candidates ever: Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and John McCain. In those cases, according to Frum, “the ex-wife either said, I think as in the case of Ronald Reagan, ‘I’ll be voting for him,’ which silences the issue, or else they took themselves out of the public eye. They didn’t want to participate in this game.” Unfortunately for Gingrich, he “has a problem that his second wife does seem to want to participate. And that could be an issue.”
But, Frum says, “that is not the relevant grounds on which the country’s going to accept or not accept his candidacy.”
“I mean, the question for, and the question especially for Republicans is this: if Newt Gingrich is flawed, who else is out there who’s talking about the economy and not the budget? Who else is talking about the need to get people to work and not the need to deal with the debt right this minute rather than three years from now when it will be as accessible as it is today?”
In a party that often stands for family values, it seems like it is going to be mighty hard to accept someone like Gingrich.
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