David Frum

01.19.12

Marianne Gingrich Speaks

Marianne Gingrich stepped forward in the December 2010 to say some shocking things about her ex-husband, Newt Gingrich.

(She’s wife number 2 in case you’ve lost count.)

Then she disappeared from the public area for the next year and a bit, remaining invisible even as her husband surged to head the Republican polls in December 2011.

To me, Marianne’s withdrawal from view suggested that her divorce settlement had been topped up and that a new more satisfactory arrangement had been reached. Evidently no, for now she’s back, threatening more revelations in a TV interview tonight.

For those who missed it the first time, here’s the most lurid anecdote from that December 2010 piece. It purports to have occurred in May 1999 at the time of Marianne’s simultaneous discovery of Gingrich’s affair with Calista Bisek and her own diagnosis with multiple sclerosis:

[Marianne] called a minister they both trusted. He came over to the house the next day and worked with them the whole weekend, but Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. “‘I can’t handle a Jaguar right now.’ He said that many times. ‘All I want is a Chevrolet.’”

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, “How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?”

“It doesn’t matter what I do,” he answered. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”