If a great woman stands behind every successful man, a not so great wife can kick her ambitious political husband in the behind. In future years, Callista Gingrich will be cited as a prime example of how the wrong wife can turn an aspiring presidential candidate into the butt of Jay Leno’s jokes.
The perfectly coiffed third wife of Newt Gingrich, the former Callista Bisek could make Martha Stewart run to the mirror checking for spinach in her teeth. The New York Times described Callista as a virtual clone of Nancy Reagan: “At 45, 22 years her husband’s junior, Mrs. Gingrich always looks perfectly composed. She favors an almost retro look — platinum hair teased and sprayed, bold-colored suits accessorized by a triple strand of pearls or eye-popping diamond jewelry.” Yet despite her retro country club appearance, Ronald Reagan might have said, “I know Nancy Reagan, I married Nancy Reagan, and Callista Gingrich — you’re no Nancy Reagan.”
In a game of images, Callista Gingrich turned out to be a political consultant’s worst nightmare. Here are the key ways she has ruined her husband’s chances to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012:
Callista Gingrich had an affair with Newt Gingrich while he was still married. Everyone knows the wife whom Dad had an affair with when he was still married to Mom doesn’t belong at the wedding — and the same principle applies to political campaigns. Sure it took two to tango. But every time voters see Callista alongside Newt she reminds them he cheated on his wife, a sticky crumb that rural conservative won’t be able to brush off their overalls.
Callista Gingrich has expensive taste in jewelry. Perhaps taking a clue from Pat Nixon’s cloth coat, Callista Gingrich should have stashed her jewels in the vault until the moving pan pulled into the White House driveway. Though we wouldn’t expect Newt to buy his wife baubles from a gumball machine, Callista’s Tiffany tastes seems tacky in a Target economy. After news broke the Gingriches had a half million dollar revolving charge account at Tiffany, NBC reporter Lisa Myers joked the couple had become known as the “Blingriches,” according to Newsbusters.
Callista Gingrich talked Newt into going on a luxury cruise when he should have been home campaigning. Forget work-life balance, Americans want their presidents to roll up their shirt sleeves and work hard. It was indulgent for Newt Gingrich to go on a Greek cruise when he should have been pounding the pavement in Des Moines. Though some might think the vacation was Newt’s idea, the New York Times reported an angry campaign aide blamed Callista: “We have a spouse who controls the schedule,” he said.
The recent fleeing of Gingrich’s top campaign staff — like nervous passengers from a sinking Titanic — does not bode well for the former House speaker’s presidential campaign, but it could prove good news for his wife. Callista and Newt will now have more time to shop at Tiffany and take luxury vacations.