Recent Catholic convert and likely Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich is profiled in the latest issue of Esquire magazine, with his second (of three) wife giving her first interview since the couple’s very public and very dramatic divorce.

It’s the kind of salaciously sensational writing that appeals to politicos who long for TMZ and People with a political bent (much like Game Change, the off-the-record filled tome following the 2008 election). So taken with a grain of salt, the article offers an interesting glimpse at the man who wants to take on President Obama.

Marianne Gingrich says that Newt proposed to her while his first wife lay in hospital recovering from surgery, never telling her that he was still married (he supposedly proposed to his current wife while still married to Marianne). Marianne claims that Gingrich is an empty man who is guided not by principles, but by a continuous lust for power. Yet she concedes that he is good at what he does, despite his shortcomings. 

Gingrich is described as a conservative pragmatist who works with his ideological opponents to get things done. He had a role in the balanced budget under President Clinton, and the steps taken to ensure the solvency of social security and Medicare. He encourages Tea Party members to be riled up and angry, but he is more nuanced on immigration and taxes than most of the GOP base. He has been caught up in several shady political action committee structures, with money coming and going at such a rapid rate no one can seem to trace it at all. He raises more than all his potential GOP rivals combined, and he says that his decision to run in 2012 will be, “up to God and the American people.”

Does a politician’s personal life prohibit him or her from holding office? I don’t think so, but one quote from Marianne, if true, speaks volumes about Gingrich. At the time when Marianne discovered her ex-husband had been carrying on a years-long affair with another woman, he was giving morality laden speeches to the American public. Upset, she confronted him about the talks, and he replied: “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.”

It’s one thing to preach morality and then fail to live up to your own lofty ideal; it’s human and we’re all guilty of it now and then. It’s another to build a career destroying others, moralizing day in and day out, and to lead a life that doesn’t come close to the ideal that you impose on others. That’s called being a hypocrite. Leaders, even good leaders, can be lots of things—ambitious, narcissistic, and perhaps even philandering—but they can’t be hypocrites. Hypocrites cannot lead, and Newt Gingrich is a hypocrite. Let’s hope the American people see this come November 2012.

UPDATE: Here is Stephen Colbert's take on Gingrich's moral compass.

Michael O'Loughlin

Comments

Robert Lynch | 11/29/2011 - 8:17pm
Conservatives do not speak for the Catholic Church, in fact they are a massive hinderance to the work of the Church. Conservatives gave Millions of dollars in aid to the right-wing death squads in El Salvador which raped, tortured and murdered priests and nuns. Ronald Reagan and his henchmen in Congress like Newt Gingrich didn't care when human rights abuses were revealed, they claimed that the drug-dealing death squads were ''Anti-Communist'', therefore anything they did was fine with the GOP. Gingrich's hypocrisy is not just a sickening display of buffoonery, it is deadly and demonstrates that his efforts have nothing to do whatsoever with the Gospel.
Chrisianne B | 4/6/2011 - 7:46pm
Many men cheat.  When men in power cheats, and they are not preaching against cheating, I say "Let them and their families deal with it without public input."  When the man is cheating the whole entire time he is preaching against, he is one who seriously lacks conscience and should not be leading anyone.   Republican, Democrat, Independent... it does not matter.   If you are quiet and cheat, we should forgive and leat you deal, especially if you are doing a good job at what you are elected for.  If you are a raging hypocrite preaching all the while doing the same exact thing you preach against, you are in no position to lead anyone since you cannot even lead your own mind.  Jesus said you will know the tree by the fruit it bears, and wide is the road to destruction and narrow the way of life.  I do not expect to see Newt, David Vitter, Ted Haggard or any other arrogant, rich lying hypocrite in heaven.  One lie should send someone into repentance and prayer.  THAT would be indicative of a good person.  Why all these years-long liars, who eventually come clean only AFTER getting caught, think they are going to heaven should be baffling to everyone who TRULY follows Christ.
Helena Loflin | 8/16/2010 - 1:53pm
They are left-wing ideology dictators with Right-Wing Authoritarian personality disorder.

Left-wing ideology or right-wing ideology, dictators are all Right-Wing Authoritarian disordered personalities.  And, they need RWA followers regardless of whether the dictator's ideology is left or right.  RWAs are natural-born followers.

There's a simple distinction here between ideology and personality.
Helena Loflin | 8/15/2010 - 7:18pm
All dictators are Right-Wing Authoritarian personalities and so are their followers.  Dictators could not be dictators without RWA followers to manipulate.

Doesn't matter were on the ideological spectrum the dictator's ideology falls. 
 
Their disordered personalities are always RWA.

Dictator = Right-Wing Authoritarian

It's very RWA to deny 70+ years (starting before WWII) of empirical research conducted on hundred of thousands of individuals worldwide by numerous researchers.  Just sayin'.
?
Helena Loflin | 8/15/2010 - 3:44pm
There is only one kind of authoritarian, right-wing.  RWAs support liberty and freedom for only those who look and think just like them. 

Try google.  And read "The Authoritarians" by Bob Altemeyer.  He's been researching the authoritarian personality disorder for decades.   
Stanley Kopacz | 8/15/2010 - 2:37pm
As far as I know, the people in Mr. Cosgrove's list didn't wrap themselves in the cloak of righteousness and sing operatically about family values as a political stance.  The first guy just won wars and kept the country from going commie, the second guy managed to not set off a nuclear war, the third guy was no secret, the fourth guy, as far as economics are concerned, was practically a republican.
Anonymous | 8/15/2010 - 2:20pm
''Right-Wing Authoritarian''


The term right as used in today's lexicon mean liberty and freedom and is associated with libertarianism.   So right and authoritarian are contradictory terms.
Anonymous | 8/15/2010 - 2:13pm
Could we say

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, serial adulterer and hypocrite 
John F. Kennedy, serial adulterer and hypocrite. 
Edward Kennedy, serial adulterer and hypocirte
William Clinton, serial adulterer and hypocrite

The list goes on but these are just top of mind and maybe we can add Al Gore to the list.  And I bet the people who run America magazine were/are enthralled with each of the above.
ROBERT KILLOREN | 8/14/2010 - 9:41pm
Did I hear someone accuse Michael O'Loughlin of writing a viciously hateful and distorted article about Gingrich and then moan about Glen(n) Beck being treated unfairly by America Magazine? Satan could take lessons from Beck on hate and distortion.

And then another reader accuses O'Loughlin of gossip-laden dishonesty and partisan hypocrisy for an "attack" on Sarah Palin. Why, she is the Queen of gossip-laden dishonesty and partisan hypocrisy.

I don't want to sound rude or uncharitable, but you should really think about taking your Fox News talking points somewhere they might be appreciated.
JIM MCCREA | 8/14/2010 - 5:05pm
We MUST defend Newt.  After all, he is a CATHOLIC - and a convert at that.  Of course, his divorce and zipper problems aren't all that important because he is a Catholic!
Stanley Kopacz | 8/14/2010 - 9:14am

When you look at someone who says one thing and does another, consistently, you have to perceive a kind of double exposure image.  Sometimes the rose colored prescription that  conservatives wear when looking at their own heroes must be able to compensate for this.

I will be happy to listen to Gingrich's conservative ideas until the cows come home, and I will be just as happy to follow all of them as he does the ones on marriage.  The danger to traditional marriage comes not from homosexual unions, but from heterosexual unions like his.
ed gleason | 8/13/2010 - 5:44pm
In trying to make others feel better.... Democrat candidate John Edwards is a fraud..
feel better now?
Anonymous | 8/13/2010 - 4:57pm
''but one quote from Marianne, if true, speaks volumes about Gingrich''

You are right that if this quote from the ex-wife is true that Gingrich would be saying one thing but doing another (hypocrite).  On the other hand if it is not true then the ex-wife is bearing false witness.  There is a third possibility that the quote from Gingrich is a paraphrase that is not fully in context.  Do you know if the author asked Gingrich to respond to the quote prior to publication?  If they did not at least give him the opportunity then this is very bad journalism and I would not even read it.

I am curious if America Magazine only speaks harshly about conservatives or is this going to be a regular habit across the political spectrum. Can we expect Amercia Magazine to harshly critisize Democratic politicians?  I won't hold my breath since you are much more charitable than Fox News.
Brendan McGrath | 8/13/2010 - 3:09pm
I wonder what the situation is with regard to Gingrich's being able to receive Communion - is he allowed to with the marriage issues?  I always get so confused over how all that works; there're so many different factors: whether one or both of the parties is Catholic, whether one or both is baptized, who's been married to whom and when, and whether the marriage is non-sacramentally valid (in the case of unbaptized people?) or not, whether it's sacramentally valid or not, whether it's licit in the Church or not, etc., etc.

(Incidentally, I actually heard an interesting counter on EWTN once to objections about the alleged legalism, hair-splitting, etc. in the Church about marriage.  Fr. Trigilio (sp?) said that coming up to a priest and asking for a quick answer on whether they can get married or not, etc., and not wanting to take the time to investigate all the issues over past marriages, is like coming up to a doctor and asking her/him to pronounce on your health without truly examining you.  Of course one could make objections to all this, but it's still interesting.)
John Stehn | 8/13/2010 - 2:36pm
Flawed as he is, he is speaking the truth concerning marriage.  And he is coming under such ferocious attack for daring to criticize this sacred cow of the left.  If you don't want to support him, and the life he has lead, you can at the very least support what he says about marriage being (as God intended it) to be between one man and one woman. Unless of course, and it would be no surprise to find it here on the America blog site, you support homosexual marriage.
Anonymous | 8/15/2010 - 7:25pm
'All dictators are Right-Wing Authoritarian personalities'

So that makes all those left wing dictators, right wing.  I am glad you cleared things up.
Anonymous | 8/15/2010 - 5:57pm
'There is only one kind of authoritarian, right-wing. '

So I suppose left wing dictators such as Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Mao, Kim il Sung were/are not authoritarian.  The left are authoritarians since their origin in the French revolution as they so graciously chopped off the heads of anyone they didn't like.  They have been the true authoritarians since the demise of dynastic governments which were the 'right' at the time of the French revolution.  The use of the term 'right' was used by Stalin to demonize anyone who was against him.  It was a ploy which today's liberals try to perpetuate.  However, the original 'right' no longer exist in most of the world so is essentially a meaningless term in terms of its original definition.  An exception is in many Middle Eastern countries where dynastic families still exist.

The right by common usage in the rest of the world today are those opposed to the left and are for liberty for all and prefer a world of little government intervention in order to maximize that freedom.
Helena Loflin | 8/15/2010 - 12:26pm
Gingrich is a serial adulterer.  And a hypocrite.  Another immoral Right-Wing Authoritarian. 
Tom Maher | 8/15/2010 - 12:01am
America magazine is turning away from serious discussions of important national issues and policies.

Gingrich has to this credit years of successful origninal policy initiatives such as the "Contract with America" where deficit spending was stopped for a number of years when he was Speaker of the House.   It is very crude and low life to name call anyone but especially someone whohas great insight and experience on American affsirs.  Gingrich is a voice that should be heard.  Soemthing is very wrong when such as talented comentator is dismissed out of hand.  

This article is a very distructive personal attack on a person who is very talented and knowledable and concerned about American soiciety.   Gingrich should be heard and allowed to offer his ideas and comments.  The attack on Gringich is very crude and makes no sense at all.  Why personaaly attack Gingrich for speaking what he beleives to be true?   Who is Michael O'Loughlin to be judge and jury of other people's worthyness to speak on public issues, policies and ideas?   Nowadays one can not expect all Catholics to be liberal Democrats, this is not the 1920s anymore . 
Michael Kelly | 8/14/2010 - 7:30am
Really O'Loughlin? As other readers do, I occasionally peruse this blog while perusing many other blogs and for the second time in month I am stunned by your blatant dishonesty. (See your post 'Really, Sarah?', 7/13/10, and comment No. 6, http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/blog.cfm?blog_id=2&startrow=41&m=7&y=2010).  Perhaps if I read your posts regularly I would not be stunned. Based on your dishonest attack on Palin and now this post, it maybe that gossip-laden dishonesty and partisan hypocrisy is your stock and trade. The fact that you write for an America blog reflects poorly on the intellectual honesty of America editors. 
 
            You accuse Gingrich of being a 'hypocrite' for 'build(ing) a career destroying others'  On top of that, what words can convey the level of self-deception inherent in this hypocritical whopper of an accusation by an America blog writer: that Gingrich 'moraliz(es) day in and day out, (but)… lead(s) a life that doesn’t come close to the ideal that (he) impose on others'?  
 
            Gingrich is no more flawed in his character than dozens of leaders in recent times, including persons who have run for president, who have been elected president, and who have been celebrated after their death for leadership in liberal causes  Your problem with Gingrich seems to be simply that he is an effective communicator of conservative ideas.  And you know it.
peter martial | 8/14/2010 - 2:03am
Gingrich is not a "likely presidential contender."  He left Congress because he is mentally ill, by all accounts bi-polar.  He is very smart and politically acute but even he knows he cannot be president.
Tom Maher | 8/13/2010 - 10:46pm
How viciously hateful and distorted this article is.

After a few weeks rest from Michael S. Winter's  ad  hominem attack on Glen Beck as an idiot we now have Michael O'Loughlin continue ad hominem attacks on Newt Gingrich as a hyocrite. 

This is extermely poor and artless scholarship summing the complex and extensive thoughts of both men with ??????school yard name calling.  Caho?lic scholarship is having anot?????????????her very bad day ?again.   ?It is really a disgrace for this article to be published in America magazine?.? ?  ?R?eader's expect higher standards of agumentation??.?
Timothy Weisman | 8/13/2010 - 8:59pm
Thank you, Michael.  As a young adult entering the workplace, I feel as if I am constantly running up against a society which collectively resists any personal culpability for anything.  We all want to ''be'' blameless, all the time, believing our actions bear no consequence on our responsibilities.  In the face of this attitude, I admire any leader who is willing to allow some room for personal vulnerability, which, on this particular point, does not seem to apply to Mr. Gingrich.  (Or John Edwards.  So there.)

That you point out Mr. Gingrich's ongoing effort to be seen as blameless whilst blaming (or perhaps ''faithful'' whilst ''unfaithful'') isn't shameful or abusive; rather, it appropriately portrays the active avoidance of honesty and just disclosure by a leader in power.  What grieves me is not so much Mr. Gingrich's party affiliation, nor his political disposition, nor his stance on marriage, be heterosexual, homosexual, or lacking, but rather his unwillingness to recognize his own apparent struggles and shortcomings.
Peter Lakeonovich | 8/13/2010 - 2:16pm
Wow. 

How privileged, Michael O'Loughlin, you are to get this platform to level nothing but a politically motivated insult at another human being.

Shameful.