Essence of Newt

What a sight to watch Newt Gingrich campaign for president. If ego was gas, he’d be the Hindenburg blimp.

What a sight to watch Newt Gingrich campaign for president. If ego was gas, he’d be the Hindenburg blimp.

Most politicians try to puff themselves up a bit, but Gingrich is wildly bloviating about his worthiness and levitating his character to incredulous heights. For example, he insists that he’s not merely a right-wing political writer, strategist, and operative – no, no, Newt says he is a “transformative” thinker, even anointing himself as the “Leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces.”

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In fairness, he has been quite transformative recently, brazenly transforming himself from a three-decade Washington insider and corporate hired gun into a born again champion of outsiders who hate moneyed elites. That’s some trick, since he’s a moneyed elite, albeit a particularly grubby one.

Having been unceremoniously scooted out of the House Speakership in 1998 because of both corruption and ineptness, he turned to influence peddling, making himself rich by trading on his Washington connections to get favors for numerous corporate clients. His 2010 income topped $3 million, and he enjoys a net worth of some $6.5 million, including a luxurious home in one of suburban Washington’s swellest zip codes. And last year he ran up a $500,000 tab on jewelry purchases at Tiffany, the ultimate gilder of moneyed elites.

But to really get Gingrich’s goat, call him a lobbyist. “I was never a lobbyist,” he snaps. Yeah and Bill Clinton never had “sex” with that woman. What Newt means is he never registered as a lobbyist – but there he’s been for more than a decade, openly selling himself as a doorman for corporations wanting access to the Capitol City’s power centers.

Newt’s not transformative, not an outsider, and damn sure not presidential – he’s just another old fraud.

“The Power Broker,” The New York Times, January 24, 2012.

“The Corporate Candidates,” The New York Times, January 10, 2012.

“The Gusts of Gingrich,” The New York Times, January 24, 2012.

“On Gingrich’s To-Do List: ‘Articulate the Vision of Civilizing Humanity,’” www.theatlanticwire.com, December 8, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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