For more than twenty years, I have been a fan of Newt Gingrich, former Georgia Congressman and former Speaker of the House. Newt, along with Dick Armey of Texas, engineered the 1994 election victory where the Republicans took over the majority in Congress for the first time in about 40 years.
Newt has his faults and the Republicans had, perhaps, forgotten how to be the majority party. But Newt was a remarkable Speaker of the House. He is, I think, the most strategic thinker in the party. He has a PhD in history and has an amazing understanding of the ebb and flow of history that gives him a unique view of current events in the perspective of historic currents that I appreciate. Newt can take any topic and produce a cogent, well organized 7 point plan and brilliant verbal presentation extemporaneously and without notes that makes sense to the public and to the elite professors as well. He is a gifted orator who looks at every problem as an opportunity for an elegant solution upon request. I like him.
In more recent years, Newt has gathered a reputation for too much baggage to be elected to the top job. That is that kind of thing the media says about you when they are afraid of you. But if the public hears it often enough, it may stick. A significant percentage of the public (voters no less) believe that Sarah Palin said she could see the Russians from her front yard in Alaska. Governor Palin never said that. It was a gag line in a Tina Fey skit on Saturday Night Live. But some folks think they can get their news fron SNL and other comedy venues - so the popular wisdom (if you pardon the use of that word here) is that that sentence uttered by Tina Fey is the truth - despite the reality of the situation.
One of the well repeated stories of Newt's private life is that he visited his wife in the hospital, dying of cancer, and told her without warning that he was seeking a divorice from her. A rather callous description that I have heard many times. Unfortunately, it may be that such an incident never happened. I obviously have no first hand knowledge of the event - but too many people have accepted the media version of the story without critical analysis.
So I was interested to see an article written today by a first hand participant who was personally present for the family events and the 1980 hospital visit of legend. The author is Jackie Gingrich Cushman, writing in her Townhall.com column. Jackie is Newt's daughter. Her mother is Jackie Battley Gingrich - the "victim" of the hospital visit.
Does she have a motive to try to make her Dad look good for another election campaign ? Perhaps. But she speaks with simplicity and directness on personal family matters and I find her statements to be totally believable. Much more believable than the media whose hatchet jobs and factually vacant reporting has become legendary.
Jackie Cushman says her parents had decided to get a divorce earlier in the year and both had told Jackie and her sister prior to Mrs Gingrich and the two children leaving Virginia to return to Georgia for the Summer. Later that Summer, Mrs Gingrich went to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for removal of a tumor. Newt brought his two daughters to the hospital to visit their Mother. Mother had had the tumor removed the day before and Newt and the children made a normal visit to aid Mother in her recuperation. The tumor was benign and Mrs Gingrich is still alive today. Jackie states that she still enjoys a close relationship with both parents.
I have not yet selected a candidate to back in the 2012 election cycle. To my knowledge, Newt has not yet declared his candidacy for President and he did not participate in the Fox News debate in South Carolina last week. But Newt Gingrich is a long time public servant that I respect and admire. I give him credit for important achievements in the past and I value his vision for this nation in the future. Whether as a candidate for President or as a senior member of a Republican administration in 2013, we can expect much from Newt in the future. And our Nation will be better for it.
For full details, Jackie Cushman's Townhall.com article may be read in its entirety <here>. Whether you agree with Newt or his politics - judge him by the truth and the content of his record rather than the verbal attempts at assassination by a biased media. Read this and other sources and make your own determinations.