Presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich seemed most put out by an item our colleagues at The Reliable Source (we did a follow-up) wrote last week about his spouse’s shopping trip to Tiffany’s in Tysons Corner.
“Doesn’t the whole thing strike you as stupid?” he told CBS in an interview. Then Gingrich, as no one else can, deftly spun the “issue” into a brilliant 90-second attack on President Obama — who wasn’t even shopping there — for promoting “class warfare” and undermining all things good and decent in America.
He wrapped it all up by harrumphing: “I don’t think politicians or the news media have the right to decide how people spend, what they decide to spend, if it’s their money.”
Gingrich — his solid boost in the polls of late is partly due to his wonderful ability to pivot this way — of course knows that the media have always — certainly since Pat Nixon’s “Republican cloth coat”and before — reported where presidential candidates and spouses shop, what they, and even their friends and relatives, buy, wear, drive, eat — at home or out, watch — movies, plays, TV and sports — and where they vacation and get their coifs clipped (see Edwards, John and Clinton, Bill).
So either the former history professor has a serious case of amnesia or he’s still just the old, masterful pol we’ve come to know and love.