Let me preface this by declaring that I detest Newt Gingrich.
The former House Speaker carries so much baggage with him that it boggles the mind that he is even considered a legitimate candidate for president (perhaps this highlights the disarray within the Republican Party).
Gingrich has had, to put it mildly, quite a messy private life and serious questions have been raised about his ethics and morality.
One of his ex-wives, Marianne Gingrich, claims she has enough dirt on Newt to destroy his campaign once and for all. Some might dismiss her allegations as the spite of a spurned woman, but whatever she reveals about her ex-spouse I would tend to believe.
Newt Gingrich simply does not inspire much confidence.
Marianne told the Washington Post that in 1999, Newt requested an “open marriage” – strongly suggesting that he was not exactly enamored with fidelity. This was quite astoundingly hypocritical for a man who espoused “conservative family values.”
After she refused, he demanded a divorce (on the same day Marianne was celebrating her elderly mother's birthday).
“How could he ask me for a divorce on Monday and within 48 hours give a speech on family values and talk about how people treat people?” Marianne said. (At that time, Newt was cheating with the woman he's currently married to, Callista, who, by the way, is more than two decades younger than him).
Perhaps Marianne suffered some bad karma -- because Newt was cheating with her when he divorced his first wife (and former math teacher) Jackie Battley. To add a horrific dimension to this tale of forced separation, Newt reportedly informed her of his decision to leave her while she was in hospital recovering from surgery. (Newt has denied this version of events).
Even worse, Newt reportedly said of Jackie: She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer. (Of course, Newt also denied saying this)
In a self-serving “admission” of his infidelities, Gingrich once told a Christian TV network reporter: There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.
As for Newt Gingrich's political career, that, too, has been riddled with scandal and wrongdoing.
During his tumultuous tenure as House Speaker, he was hit with no less than 84 charges of ethics violations.
He was eventually sanctioned $300,000, an unprecedented event in the long history of house speakers. Gingrich eventually resigned in disgrace.
And now he's running for president.
However, as sleazy as Gingrich is, he is no worse than a man who has already served two terms as President.
Democrat William Jefferson Clinton has conducted his personal life with such recklessness and lack-of-control that he makes Gingrich look like a choirboy.
When discussing Bill Clinton's sordid personal life, where does one begin?
To call Clinton a “serial womanizer” would be akin to describing Mount Everest as a rather tall mountain.
There have been dozens and dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct against “Bubba,” some of which he has admitted to, others he has denied.
Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Sally Perdue, and Dolly Kyle are only a fraction of the massive number of women who have accused Clinton of sexually harassing (or even raping) them.
Granted, some of these allegations were probably false, but the sheer magnitude of accusations would strongly suggest that Bill Clinton is a vile, immoral human being who should not even have been elected dog-catcher, much less president of the greatest nation on earth.
But he was elected twice (both times by impressive margins).
Millions of people (even so-called “feminists”) still admire him and would probably vote for him again if he was allowed to run.
When Republican politicians are exposed as adulterers, hypocrites, and frauds, they are usually (rightfully) attacked and vilified by the liberals, Democrats and most of mass media.
However, when a Democrat is similarly accused (Clinton, John Edwards, Jesse Jackson, Elliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, etc.), those same parties are usually silent or they simply laugh it off.
Often, liberals will claim that the detractors of these men are focusing on “trivial” or “unimportant” issues. I recall during the Clinton presidency, many of his supporters declared that his personal life was “irrelevant” and that he reigned during a time of economic prosperity in the country.
Those same people likely hate Gingrich and believe he is “unfit” to be president.
I counter that Clinton's behavior was actually far worse than Gingrich – if Bill can be president, so can Newt.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.