So, it seems that one part of that juicy ABC News "bombshell" interview with Marianne Gingrich concerns one of the "big ideas" that Newt Gingrich, hive of constant innovation, had during the period of time the former House Speaker was out of office: he wanted Marianne, his second wife, to enter into an "open marriage" arrangement, so that he could continue to consort with Callista Bisek. (You know, the third wife that introduced him to Catholicism.)
ABC's Brian Ross interviewed Gingrich about the matter:
GINGRICH: I said to him, we've been married a long time. And he said, yes, but you want me all to yourself. Callista doesn't care what I do.
ROSS: What was he saying to you, do you think?
GINGRICH: He was asking to have an open marriage, and I refused.
ROSS: He wanted an open marriage.
GINGRICH: Yeah, that I accept the fact that he has somebody else in his life.
ROSS: And you said?
GINGRICH: No. No. That is not a marriage.
Of course, to a certain extent, this is something we've already basically known. Let's recall that in the August 2010 Esquire profile of Gingrich, Marianne offered this account of their marriage's last days:
Early in May, she went out to Ohio for her mother's birthday. A day and a half went by and Newt didn't return her calls, which was strange. They always talked every day, often ten times a day, so she was frantic by the time he called to say he needed to talk to her.
He wanted to talk in person, he said.
"I said, 'No, we need to talk now.'"
He went quiet.
"There's somebody else, isn't there?"
She kind of guessed it, of course. Women usually do. But did she know the woman was in her apartment, eating off her plates, sleeping in her bed?
She 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.
So, the new wrinkle here is that Marianne Gingrich is characterizing this as a desire on Newt's part to have an open marriage, rather than just have his wife tolerate his affair on the side. In many ways, this is a distinction without a difference, though I suppose it now makes a lot of his new demonstrations of Catholic conversion to be ... well, I suppose the phrase we're using these days is, "pious bologna."
Newt Gingrich has yet to weigh in on these new allegations from his ex-wife. In the past, he's written off his infidelities as events that occurred while he was too busy loving America.
UPDATE: There's been a mad dash to break these Marianne Gingrich scooplets, and the Washington Post has their own interview with Marianne Gingrich on the matter of this "open marriage." (This is the "exclusive print interview" with Marianne Gingrich, by the way.)
The fun part is that we learn that the day after Newt Gingrich asked Marianne for a divorce, he gave a lecture to the Republican Women Leaders Forum titled, "The Demise of American Culture" in which he decried the way liberals "talk about values," suggesting that they would not prefer that "young people" to "learn that George Washington was...A man of standards, a man who earned the right to be father of this country?"
As Marianne Gingrich told the Post:
“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?” she said.
I mean...has she met Newt Gingrich?
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Background on Newt Gingrich: