Joe DeSantis, communications director for Newt Gingrich, the world’s most handsomely paid historian, has been fiddling with the facts. According to several news accounts, DeSantis has made dozens of edits to Wikipedia pages on Gingrich, his wife, Callista, and a book they co-authored titled Rediscovering God in America. The site encourages readers to point out factual errors, but the loyal Gingrich aide has tried to rewrite history.
It’s sad, but true, that the former House speaker has been married three times and married two of his mistresses. Fact: During his last affair with now-wife Callista, he led an effort to impeach President Bill Clinton, who was having his own extramarital woes. Also fact: Ethics charges were brought against Gingrich during his time as speaker. In addition, he is apparently very generous, given that $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s to keep his wife in glitter.
Unfortunately for the campaign, it’s also a fact that social conservatives, a key portion of the Republican Party’s base, don’t think serial adultery is an impressive quality in a man who would be president. And diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but as Jacqueline Kennedy and Nancy Reagan learned the hard way, voters don’t think bling and first families go well together, especially in this economy.
DeSantis’s edits also violate Wikipedia’s conflict of interest policy since he works for the campaign and has a close relationship with the subjects. More important, in the age of the Internet and 24-hour news cycle, his best hope may be that history doesn’t repeat itself.
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