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December 8, 2011

Narrowing the Field

Patricia A. Kelly

Well, Herman Cain is out. He was pilloried for sure. He admitted he failed to tell his wife he had a friendship with Ginger White, but denied other wrongdoing. Maybe he’s guilty, but I’m still waiting for proof.


Somehow the story Ms. White told last week about looking at the ceiling during an intimate moment with Mr. Cain, and thinking of how much she needed money for her children, didn’t do it for me; certainly not as proof, and only possibly as a purgative. In any case, he’s out, and the Republican primary field has narrowed.


Pundits, so quick to jump on a tiny hint of information and create a firestorm of news, are saying that it’s now down to the last two men standing, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.


And what about them?


Mitt Romney, son of the late Michigan Gov. George Romney, was born in Michigan. After graduating from Brigham Young University, he obtained a MBA and a law degree from Harvard. He founded a business known as Bain Capital. He ran against longtime incumbent Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, losing the race.


He became the chairman of the Olympic Games held in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah, saving the games from both ethical and financial meltdown. After this success, he was elected governor of Massachusetts, where he oversaw reduction of a $3 billion deficit, and established near-universal health care. Rather than seek another term, he ran for president in 2008, losing in the Republican primary contest to Arizona Sen. John McCain.


Mr. Romney married Ann Davies in 1969, and has five sons. They remain married. They are Mormons.


Mr. Romney opposes Obamacare, in spite of its similarity to his Massachusetts program. He has changed his view on abortion, now opposing it.


Mr. Romney’s personality is said, in a very recent National Review article, to be one of the major differences between him and Newt Gingrich. Mr. Romney is organized, disciplined, consistent, and a very successful executive. He believes that change is developed through developing and executing processes. His ethics have never been questioned.


On the other hand, Newt Gingrich was born in Georgia to parents who divorced very soon after he was born. He was adopted at a very early age by his stepfather. He obtained a Master of Arts Degree in 1968 and a Ph.D. in modern European History in 1971. He joined the Baptist Church, and became a college professor.


While in college, at the age of 19, he married Jackie Battley, his 26-year-old geometry teacher from high school. They had two daughters. The marriage lasted until 1980. She did have cancer. They did agree to divorce.  Their children were told at the family dinner table before the infamous hospital visit wherein an argument ensued between them as Newt tried to discuss divorce terms one day after her surgery. She is alive but does not give interviews.


Mr. Gingrich married Marianne Ginther in 1981. They separated more than once, and she once gave him the book, Men Who Hate Women and Women Who Love Them. During their marriage Mr. Gingrich had a 6 year affair with congressional aide Callista Bisek, whom he married in 2000.


They now live together on a McLean, VA, farm and run a production company producing patriotic documentaries. Mrs. Gingrich is 45 years old. Her helmet of platinum blonde hair doesn’t move when she turns her head. The Gingriches are Roman Catholic.


Newt Gingrich has a long history of success in political office, having completed 10 terms in the House of Representatives. He has served both as minority whip and as Speaker of the House.


Notable successes included four straight balanced budgets while Bill Clinton was president – after the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” along with tax cuts and welfare reform. He verbally stood for morality in government, but after the Clinton impeachment, he was reprimanded by Congress for a book deal for which he received a $4.5 million advance, and for using tax exempt donations to fund a college course that he taught while in Congress.


He did not personally criticize President Clinton’s behavior during the impeachment, but did preside in his role as Speaker, although he was at that time involved in his own affair with his present wife. With Republican power waning after the impeachment, Mr. Gingrich stepped down as Speaker, and resigned three days after his election to an 11th term in 1998.


Since his resignation he has remained very active in the political arena, written books, run his production company and worked as a public speaker.


As for the personality difference between Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney, Mr. Gingrich is considered, according to the aforementioned National Review article, erratic, passionate, and a believer that change comes from cataclysm.


Just so you know.


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