Today ABC News began releasing excerpts of an interview with Newt Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne, who alleges that Newt asked her to allow him to have a mistress while they stayed married. When the interviewer asked her what she thought Newt was trying to say to her, Marianne, replied, “Oh, he was asking to have an open marriage, and I refused.”
Now, I am no fan of Newt Gingrich. In fact, I think he’s a triple hot mess. However, I’m kind of disappointed in ABC News and the sensationalism that this whole story is prompting. If we pay close attention to the way the story has been presented throughout the day, we’re supposed to believe that everyone is living in these chaste, monogamous relationships. Yes, Newt Gingrich was having an affair with a woman who has subsequently become his third wife. Not the best track record with the ladies, this guy Newt. But must we take him down with this claim? Aren’t there far better ways of taking him down? I’m not sure this personal relationship stuff is really any of our business.
Last week an L.A bishop stepped down because he admitted to fathering two children. Otherwise, when I read his bio online, he seemed to have accomplished some pretty amazing things. Yes, he broke the rules. I get that. I just wonder about all the judging that we do. Hypocritical? Yes. Creepy? Yes. Damaging to all of humanity? Probably not.
Newt Gingrich’s quest for an open marriage is far less threatening than some of the other ideas that have come flying out of this mouth. Let’s keep some perspective on what matters in this presidential race. I guess the public has a right to know, but the public better be thinking about what this kind of information actually tells us about how a person might lead a country. Integrity comes in all shapes and sizes, shades and colors, as does intelligence and passion. Engaging in an open relationship does not automatically make someone have questionable integrity. It’s lying and deception that calls integrity into question.
Please don’t vote for Newt Gingrich, but please think about what matters as we move forward with this interminable process of electing the President.