Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gingrich and Irony

On this date in 1997, the House voted to reprimand Newt Gingrich for ethical misconduct.   In an ABC news report, then-Representative Mark Sanford (who would later face a sex scandal as South Carolina governor) said that he would not have voted to make Gingrich speaker if he had known about the misconduct beforehand:


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On April 17 of that year, Gingrich announced that he would use a loan from Bob Dole to pay the $300,000 cost of the investigation.  In his floor statement, he praised his then-wife:
Marianne and I have spent hours and hours discussing these options. She is here too today. Let me just say that I have never been prouder of Marianne than over the last few months. Her ability to endure the press scrutiny, to live beyond the attacks, to enjoy life despite hostilities, has been a remarkable thing to observe and a wonderful thing to participate in. But she always came back to the same key question: What is the right thing to do for the right principles? Through the difficult days and weeks as we reviewed the options, it was the courage of her counsel which always led me to do my best. Marianne and I decided whatever the consequences, we had to do what was best, what was right, morally and spiritually. We had to put into perspective how our lives had been torn apart by the weight of this decision. We had to take into account the negative feelings that Americans have about government, Congress, and scandals. We had to take into account the responsibility that the Speaker of the House has to a higher standard. 

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Toward the end of his remarks, Gingrich said:  "We in this House are role models. People all over the world watch us and study us. When we fall short, they lose hope. When we fail, they despair."