Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Of Newt and Men

I am morbidly fascinated by political theater. If there’s anything my generation has learned from Jon Stewart, it’s that you can spend your days pulling apart the inane things that come out of politicians’ mouths without ever (a) running out of material or (b) getting anything accomplished. In the spirit of pointless parsing, I offer the following.

Newt Gingrich on President (and First Lady) Clinton in 1994:

“He’s a very smart, very clever tactician whose core system of activity is a combination of counterculture and [George] McGovern. … They really are left-wing elitists and they really thought the country didn’t get it and therefore it was their job to give the country the government that they thought the country needed, even if they didn’t want it.”

Newt Gingrich on President Obama Monday:

“[he’s] a Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago elitist from the most expensive private school in Hawaii, who lives in an elite, radical worldview in his head.”

Newt Gingrich on President Clinton Monday:

“[he’s] a very down home Arkansas kind of guy” with a “common sense understanding of the average person.”

I can understand having the same criticisms of the moderate Democratic president in 1994 and the moderate Democratic president in 2011, but I hope Gingrich doesn’t pay a lot for his speechwriter, because this is hardly new material. On the other hand, at this rate, Gingrich is likely to have very nice things to say about Obama in 2026, so I suppose the charges of “elitist” and “radical” can’t sting too much. 

When Gingrich does decide Obama’s an OK guy in 2026, (at Gingrich’s current rate of divorces and marriages) he will be on his fourth marriage, which will begin in 2019 with a woman 38 years his junior. He’s actually remarkably consistent in his selection of wives. Each is 15 years younger than her predecessor, and Gingrich marries once every 19 years like clockwork.

Credit to First Read, which came up with the quotes, but had the good sense not to crunch the numbers on Gingrich’s marriages.