Newt's Zipper Issue

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 9, 2007; 9:56 AM

Hypocrisy or honesty?

Does this mean Newt is running?

Will he be asked about this during his Fox News gigs?

We all sort of knew that Gingrich was having an affair back in the late '90s--and not just with anyone, but with a woman on the House payroll. After all, he ended up marrying the woman after breaking up with his second wife, Marianne.

Since he was leading the impeachment charge against Bill over Monica at the time, this might be seen as an example of . . . how shall I put it? . . . a flexible morality? But Newt kind of got a pass because he was out of office when this came out and yesterday's news. Unlike today, when he is contemplating a run for president. (Possible slogans: I'll return fun to the Oval Office? My mistress was better looking than Clinton's?)

Well, I report, you decide. Here's the story:

"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged he was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, he acknowledged in an interview with a conservative Christian group.

" 'The honest answer is yes,' Gingrich, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate, said in an interview with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson to be aired Friday, according to a transcript provided to The Associated Press. 'There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards.'

"Gingrich argued in the interview, however, that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton's infidelity. 'The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge,' the former Georgia congressman said of Clinton's 1998 House impeachment on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. 'I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept . . . perjury in your highest officials.' "

Right, it wasn't about the sex, it was about the perjury. Whereas Gingrich's affair was only about the sex.

At first, I thought this New York Times piece on Barack Obama was pretty intriguing.

NEW QUESTIONS raised about his FINANCES. Boy, I figured, the investigative reporters are really on his trail now.

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