Vanity Fair Editor Calls Newt Gingrich a 'Big Baby'

Now that he's frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich must feel a sense of deja vu with all the attacks he's getting from liberal media members.

Keeping up his end Thursday was Vanity Fair's national editor Todd S. Purdum with a hit piece intelligently titled "Big Baby":

Newt Gingrich, now breathing down Mitt Romney’s neck in New Hampshire, sees himself as a “transformational figure”—the words are his own. Here are some words that no one who has worked with Gingrich has ever used: “plays well with others.”

Isn't that clever, especially coming from someone with the title "national editor?"

For our sins, Purdum wasn't done with the juvenile witticisms:

Forget Newt Gingrich’s $1.6 to $1.8 million in consulting fees from Freddie Mac and his up-to-$500,000 line of credit at Tiffany & Co. Overlook the Greek cruise and the mass campaign-staff exodus. Pay no attention to his two messy divorces and his impeachment of a president over an extramarital affair while he was conducting an affair of his own.

But, please, don’t forget the pacifier.

Brilliant. Of course, like so many so-called journalists, Purdum forgets that impeachment wasn't about an extramarital affair. It was about perjury and suborning perjury, crimes the Arkansas Bar Association felt serious enough to remove Bill Clinton as a member the very day he left the White House in January 2001.

But facts aren't important when you're waxing pathetic:

The New York Daily News ran a front-page cartoon of Gingrich in diapers with the headline cry baby, and some Democratic group or another—I can’t remember just which—promptly passed around a palm-size reproduction of the drawing on glossy card stock, complete with a pacifier tucked into a slot. When our young daughter stumbled upon it a few years ago, she immediately recognized the pacifier for what it was, but was puzzled that an ordinary seat on the world’s most prestigious airplane could have made a grown man cry.

In fact, as some of the weary Clinton White House veterans who worked with Gingrich in those days, when he was Speaker of the House, reminded me, the pacifier is a perfect symbol of his sometimes shocking instability as he contends for an office—the presidency—in which steadiness is all.

What's funnier than Purdum's comedic swings and misses is that he, like so many others of his ilk, are recalling this incident as if a dark moment for Gingrich and Republicans.

If this had been such a seminal event for Clinton and his Party, why did the Republicans maintain possession of both chambers of Congress in the following year's elections? Ditto the subsequent midterms of 1998? Ditto the 2000 elections when the GOP also took back the White House?

What the Purdums of the world conveniently ignore is America loved the conservatism Gingrich ushered in in 1995 so much that Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress for much of the next twelve years with the only interruption coming when Vermont's Jim Jeffords became an independent in 2001. Americans were quick to rectify this in the 2002 midterms.

With "big babies" like this, who needs adults?

2012 Presidential Vanity Fair Todd S. Purdum Newt Gingrich
Noel Sheppard's picture