his current affair

As He Enters Race, Newt Knows All of History Was Leading Up To Him

Somebody found his running mate!Newt Gingrich is temporarily quitting his dubious money-making schemes today to run for president, which will give him attention and help him make more cash when he returns to his important work mailing people’s pets “dog of the year” awards that require owners to send Newt $5,000 for a plaque. He will announce this the same way he sort of did, sort of didn’t, then sort of did again months ago: on the Facebook and the Twitter. And then he will go on Sean Hannity’s show to seal the deal with a kiss. Also, he may think he is the culmination of all of human history and see himself as a triumphant figure like Charles de Gaulle, of all people.

Is Matt Bai ever really right? Probably not. But what he writes sounds good to the kind of people who read the Times, and sometimes he is fun, like this:

Mr. Gingrich is a devotee of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, who meditated on the concept of “departure and return” — the idea that great leaders have to leave (or be banished from) their kingdoms before they can better themselves and return as conquering heroes. One of Newt’s heroes, the French general and statesman Charles de Gaulle, embodies just this kind of romantic narrative, having spent 12 years out of power before returning to lead his country. So does Ronald Reagan, who traveled the country after losing his bid for the Republican nomination in 1976, then came roaring back to win it all four years later.

Like Mr. de Gaulle, Mr. Gingrich has been out of power for about 12 years. And if elected president, Mr. Gingrich, like Mr. Reagan, would be 69 when taking the oath of office. (Mr. de Gaulle was 68.) Coincidence? It might seem that way, but I’m guessing he sees something more portentous in the parallels.

Oh that Matt Bai, always guessing!

As delightful as it is to imagine Newt dressing up in De Gaulle’s French military uniform with the funny hat and playing with his zoo animal friends, we feel this is probably a reach. Newt Gingrich has reportedly read a lot of historians, not just this guy. And if you ask us, this is the historic figure Newt sees himself as: T.E. Lawrence. Or maybe that dog that was in the bin Laden raid? One of the two. [NYT]

About the author

Jack Stuef is your loyal editor and a freelance satirist or something like that. He is a contributing writer for The Onion. E-mail him or whatever.

View all articles by Jack Stuef
What Others Are Reading

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.


  1. Texan_Bulldog

    Ronnie may have had a whole host of issues but comparing him to Newt probably has him & Nancy rolling in their graves. What….Nancy isn't dead yet? Oops.

    1. ttommyunger

      Oh she's dead, all right. At least that's what Frank Sinatra said….No, wait! He said she FUCKS like a dead woman, sorry, my bad.

  2. forgracie

    When he first came to power (back when most of you kids were still filling diapers) I told a friend of mine that "Newt will take care of Newt." I still feel that way. This will be the kamikaze of all presidential runs.

    1. poncho_pilot

      as long as it ends with Newt smashing head first into the deck of an aircraft carrier i'm all for it.

    2. Lascauxcaveman

      And by "kamikaze" I think you mean "fail to get much interest and just sort of fade away before the first primary."

    3. lulzmonger

      If only he can somehow top McCain's "my fellow prisoners" … oh man … I'm getting all tingly just thinking about it.

      YES HE CAN!

    1. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

      Like a cross between the Municipal Sewer Committee annual meeting and Temptation Island.

  3. CapeClod

    "And if you ask us, this is the historic figure Newt sees himself as: T.E. Lawrence."

    So he's going to blow up trains and get buggered by Turks?

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Well, hopefully he rides a motorcycle, anyway, so he could meet an early demise.

    2. Arken

      Don't forget, T.E. Lawrence also changed his name, left all the publicity behind and spent the rest of his life in intentional obscurity. I fully support Newt following his example.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        And joined the RAF. Don't think Newt meets the weight requirements for the USAF (or age, for that matter).

          1. V572..whatever

            Which are manufactured in his former district, no matter how much the Air Force doesn't want them. Lockheed Martin says, "Thank you, Newt!"

  4. OC_Snurf_Serf

    c'mon…Newt is a changed man, he's been married to his third wife 11 years now.

    1. Terry

      She must have him followed or something. No, I bet its that he doesn't have the Congressional staffers to choose from.

      1. SorosBot

        She hasn't gotten cancer or MS yet. As soon as she gets sick, however, it'll be out the door.

        1. neiltheblaze

          Wouldn't it be a pisser if he got sick and she dumped HIM? Not that I sit around hoping for people to get sick or anything (OK – maybe Cheney) – but it would be justice of the poetic variety.

          1. finallyhappy

            I kind of think about heart attacks/strokes or overdoses for Limbaugh. unfortunately, it seems bad things don't happen to bad people as I could wish.

  5. DaSandman

    And he'll be out and about in our great nation, sampling the local harvest of amoral slightly vacuous bottle blondes.

    A quick hummer on the bus is a win in the Salamander's book.

      1. poncho_pilot

        he wasn't born in the US, he was hatched! from wikipedia (sounds like the bastard):

        "After hatching they eat algae, small invertebrates or other tadpoles."

  6. Frost/Nixon/Robocop

    You know who else returned to power after an attempted government shutdown aka putsch?

    1. James Michael Curley

      For years I have thought that the Newt's current wife looked like the Stewardesses on 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    1. mereoblivion

      Interesting. "Romantic narrative" usually puts me in mind of one of the other Aquatic Salamanders, but y'kno, different strokes . . .

  7. BaldarTFlagass

    This De Gaulle guy, if I recall correctly, was, uh, French? That oughtta go over real well with his "base."

      1. GOPCrusher

        And he wasn't in charge of France in May 1940. I wonder if this Newt character knows anything about history?

  8. freakishlywrong

    Wow. The Conservatards must have really perfected rigging elections in 2010 if ole' Newtie thinks he's got even a wisp of a chance. Koch and Rove must have assured him they've got a little something up their sleeves. This cowardly fuckwit would never put his goiter of a head on the line if not.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Newt has figured out that the GOP primaries are fantastic free (to him) publicity, and are great groundwork for a career writing books, giving speeches, and starring on "reality" TV. (See Trump, Donald) (See Palin, Any)

  9. mrblifil

    You heard it here first. The world is not prepared to encounter just how corpulent Newt is. He's as fat as Huckabee used to be. I don't say this with judgement, I'm just saying that people don't generally regard him as morbidly obese, when in fact he is. His entire media career is conducted north of his sternum. But in a Presidential campaign, there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. I predict he will drop out by South Carolina.

    1. Texan_Bulldog

      I say the free food candidates have to eat at all those festivals and carnivals is the only reason Newt is running.

      1. GOPCrusher

        Maybe he will have a massive heart attack in front of the Turkey Leg and Funnel Cake concession stand at the Iowa State Fair?

    2. mog253

      As a person of girth, I agree, this country won't sit still for a fat guy. Or stand up for that matter.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Who knows – with 1/3 of Americans already larded up, he might actually have quite a large constituency. (To match his lardish consistency.)

    3. Rosie_Scenario

      Not to praise Newt or anything, but I happened to see him in a hotel lobby while in San Diego in December. Took me a moment to recognize him and I was surprised that he seemed about average height and girth (U.S. American average.). Fairly ordinary over all. Just that familiar face.

      1. mrblifil

        Well I saw him less recently than that, so he must be into some major binge and purge activity. I saw him outside Fox News HQ on Ave. of the Americas, and he had the proportions of a Weeble, or someone wearing a hoop skirt. His waistline was massively immense. He was easily over 300 lbs.

    1. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

      I wish Newt all the success of David Carradine – erotically, anyway.

  10. OC_Snurf_Serf

    …fuck, just preparing to announce you may be considering a committee to investigate a possible run for president is now an actual full-time Republican career.

    1. justkillmenow

      That should be followed with something along the lines of 'he can't help it. He's been touched by the good Lord.'

  11. Callyson

    One of Newt’s heroes, the French general and statesman Charles de Gaulle
    Yesterday, it was his wife with the French horn, and now this. Je suis très bien amusé!

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Now if it's revealed that he likes drawing crude pictures of wild animals on the sides of caves, he's got my vote.

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      "Yesterday, it was his wife with the French horn"
      Tomorrow, it's Colonel Mustard with the candlestick.

  12. BaldarTFlagass

    Maybe the history-repeating-itself trend will continue, but this time Michael Lonsdale won't get there in time to prevent Edward Fox from completing his ass-ass-ination task.

  13. Sue4466

    Ah, so leaving Congress in disgrace was all part of his plan to go and "better" himself with the Reese's peanut butter eggs?


  14. DashboardBuddha

    "Newt dressing up in De Gaulle’s French military uniform with the funny hat"

    I don't think this one will be among Lizzie's fantasy repertoires.

  15. LetUsBray

    Since the Newt is fond of quoting historians, I'll mention a favorite by Herodotus: "Look at that hideous blowhard engaged in a colossally self-indulgent waste of time."

  16. SorosBot

    Newt wants to become President long after losing political office; so he's promising he'll be the new Nixon.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Now the fun really begins: What question has Tesla, Churchill, and Quayle as answers?

  17. freakishlywrong

    Was Charles de Gaulle a thrice married disgraced former speaker and a shiester ? Cuz, if so, then, yeah, he's got a chance.

  18. Not_So_Much

    So, if it *is* the Apocalypse and he wins office at age 69, he's for sure a two-termer, what with his high level of personal fitness and dedication to clean living, right?

  19. elviouslyqueer

    It seems to me, though, that if Mr. Gingrich is looking for hopeful historical comparisons, the more apt one might be Richard Nixon. Unlike Mr. Reagan, who even in his lower moments retained a certain celebrity appeal, Mr. Nixon was humiliated and all but exiled after publicly self-destructing in 1962. He then retreated to the sidelines and watched as his party disintegrated, leaving a vacuum of leadership and gravitas on the right that enabled Mr. Nixon to make one of the great comebacks in political history.

    Wow, Matt, really? Because we all know how splendidly the Nixon presidency turned out.

    1. GOPCrusher

      I think it says volumes, when someone looks back at the Nixon Administration as a high point of Republiklan history.

  20. BaldarTFlagass

    "This matrimonial arrangement grows tiresome. Now is the part of the marriage where we cheat."

  21. Dr_Zoidberg

    Why is he doing this? Does he think he really has a chance?

    On the other hand….this will be good for the lulz.

    1. lulzmonger

      I've already ordered a new fleet of Mongering Units & oh lord, those poor babies are gonna get so beat down in the next year … my hands are already literally smoking from rubbing them together in fiendish glee so hard.

  22. fuflans

    when i think of important lessons from history i think:

    those who do not learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.

    but maybe that's just me.

  23. neiltheblaze

    Pudgy dude won't make it past South Carolina – but I hope he does. I want him to waste as much $$$ as possible.

  24. KeepFnThatChicken

    Or the Winston Churchills and George Herbert Walker Bushes, who did some good things, then immensely fucked things up, and were told to get the fuck out.

  25. BaldarTFlagass

    Maybe we can get the French to rename that cluster-fuck of an airport there in Paris after Gingrich.

  26. cheetojeebus

    Hubris: Check
    Looks like a pedophile: check
    Morally bankrupt: check
    Has a knack for fleecing the poorly educated: check
    Momma's boy who never grew up: check
    Fucker: check
    Basically a failure: check

    I smell success!

  27. jodyleek

    I can't shake this scene from my head: Newt a la Benny Hill, chasing buxom blondes in red, white and blue micro-mini dresses. Yakkity Sax playing throughout, of course. But who shall play the tiny bald man he pats on the head?

  28. baconzgood

    Why couldn't have Newt been wearing Lady Gaga's meat dress when that photograph was taken.

  29. iburl

    America yearns for your adulterous, pauper-throttling hand, our resplendent, chalky overlord!

  30. RadioGroundZero

    Newt's got to work on his "Obama is weak and timid" schtick. (Don't they all?) But he's got the deficit all figured out: "Block grants for Medicaid!" And, obvsly, no taxes on the job creators.
    Gingrich/Bolton '12

  31. Geminisunmars

    It's not so much the joke, but the responses that are funny. Don't play if you no likey.

  32. WhatTheHeck

    I don’t know if you guys realize I can predict the future, but I can.
    Here’s how it unfolds:
    Newt visits Nancy.
    Newt visits Margaret Thatcher.
    Newt visits israel.

    Republicans make it easy for me to read the tea leaves.

    1. mereoblivion

      Somewhere in there:
      Newt announces he is neotenic and will be reproducing before he achieves full metamorphosis.

    2. Rotundo_

      Here's my best Carnac on this:

      Nancy is busy that day, and all the other ones.

      Margaret smiles and shits her Depends and drools while looking at him wondering what the nice fat man wants to give her.

      Israel shines him up and treats him like a dignitary, 'cause you never know in american politics, like that Bush kid, oy…

  33. Slim_Pickins

    Name another "leader" that converted to catholicism while wandering in the dessert, or perhaps he was wandering among the deserts.

  34. whiterabid

    I listened to the White Album backwards and, surprisingly, came to the same conclusion as Newt. If Charles Manson isn't released and allowed to run, then Newt will definitely be the man.

  35. prommie

    Walter Mitty asshole. Dude has quite the fantasy life, don't he? He is a "historian" the same way I am a "General" because I read some Tom Clancy weapons porn.

  36. bureaucrap

    I see Newt as more like one of the very late roman emperors, who thought himself upon coronation to be the apotheosis of history, until he was beheaded by the praetorian guard two weeks later.

  37. Rosie_Scenario

    Do you think Newt will pose au naturel like DeGaulle did for that famous portrait? Let's hope not. Sorry no link, but I've seen it.

  38. mereoblivion

    Newt, channeling DeGaulle channeling Louis XV: Apres le deluge, all the newts come out.

  39. owhatever

    Smarter than Palin, fatter than Huckabee, more hair than Trump, older than sin, nuttier than a fruit cake and utterly disgraced. What else could the Republicans want in their candidate? Go, Noot.

  40. DemonicRage

    The time is so right for this square-faced man with a jowly chin to be President. Ever since his perceptive comment about Obama suffering from a Kenyan Colonialist outlook, I have been convinced that he really has his finger on the pulse of the nation, or maybe stuck in some other place.

  41. undeterredbyreality

    I was listening to some NPR show this morning in which his history professor recalled how Newt's visit to some WWII bombing site with his dad affected him so much he decided to get into politics. So this de Gaulle fixation has been hanging around for a while.

  42. ttommyunger

    Ugh! The picture is nauseating. That is one ugly pussy. The Feline, on the other hand, is quite beautiful.

  43. Schmegeg

    Newton Leroy McPherson, This is Your Life! First, let's have a look at the birth certificate. Harrisburg?? I bet you really were born in France. Then, your military record (visiting the Verdun battlefield does not count. but de Gaulle did piss there at one point).

    Then, the coup de grace, your marital record. More like Henry VIII (who regarded himself as King of France).

    In conclusion, Newton McPherson is obviously a deep cover Frankish conspiracy to overthrow the USA and install a Catholic monarchy.

  44. user-of-owls

    he may think he is the culmination of all of human history and see himself as a triumphant figure like Abdalá Bucaram.

    p.s. His Wiki entry has scrubbed the part about him hosting a presidential dinner for the world's most famous Ecuadorian: Lorena Bobbit.

  45. Beck_is_Trig

    Yes, but there is some critical information being ommitted from consideration: none of those other figures left their job in absolute disgrace before coming back as "conquering heroes" or whatever Newt fantasizes that he is, that egomaniacal obese little troll. Newt is more the equivolent of say, Peter III who was removed as Tsar because he spent his short time in power handing over Russian state power to a sworn enemy (Prussia) that he for some reason worshipped. Newt left under THAT kind of cloud being a serial adulterer who tore this country apart impeaching President Clinton for being what he, himself is thus proving not only is he a chubby and little narcisstic egomaniac, but that he has a host of ADDITIONAL mental problems that would be really fun to diagnose. Amiright, Psychwench?

  46. Beck_is_Trig

    I love the hilarious meme "Speaker Gingrich is an ideas guy" still being promulgated by wingnuts like slavemaster worshipper Joe Watkins. Dude, Newt hasn't had a government job or been considered an "ideas guy" on any forum aside from Rush and Hannity for like 12 years….it's as farcical as the grifters insistence on being called "governor" Palin. I mean, I played HS football and baseball like 10 years ago, I don't refer to myself when I meet people as a two sport athlete because that would be stupid. Wingnuts….I fucking hate them but I LOVE to laugh at them too.

  47. glamourdammerung

    So is a "reality show" in which Newt is scenically filmed inside other people's wives on the horizon?

  48. widget2011

    Blah blah blah…..lower taxes….blh blah blah…..american ingenuity…….blah blah blah……personal responsibility…..blah blah blah…..muslin president…..blah blah, blah……ownership society…….blah blah blah……fiscal responsibility…….blah blah blah……abortion…….blah blah blah…….new leadership…….blah blah blah……..privatize federal land……..blah blah blah…….lower taxes (for top 5 %)…..blah blah blah…..make america competetive again (lower wages)……blah blah blah…….. the bible says.

    There, enough "Dog Whistles"?

Comments are closed.