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Esme’s Blog: That Open Marriage Question

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a fifth-place finish in New Hampshire, New Gingrich has resurrected his campaign in South Carolina with razor sharp attacks on Mitt Romney and the news media. He has successfully deflected the embarrassing claim by his second wife that he wanted an open marriage.

When CNN’s John King opened the debate with a question about the “open marriage” charge, Gingrich lashed out at King for asking the question. Gingrich received a standing ovation.

The question from King could have been better worded. The issue for some is not that Gingrich, while married, engaged in an affair with a young Congressional staffer. The issue is that he engaged in an affair with a young Congressional staffer at the very time he lead the charge to impeach President Bill Clinton over allegations that the President was lying about an affair he was having with a young staffer.

It is, at the very least, the appearance of hypocrisy that is the issue. The young staffer is now Gingrich’s third wife.

Some voters will care about this, many others won’t. Some will agree with Gingrich that bringing it all up now is, in his words, “despicable”. But when someone runs for President their past, including their personal conduct at critical times in their public life is not only fair game, it’s a reasonable basis for a reporter’s question.

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