From this New York Times report does one conclude that Newt Gingrich is a highly self-centered person, interested in no one else, not even his wife (wives) but only focused on advancing his career? Had he used and then cast aside his first wife (after she was afflicted by some disease), when he met some one else, used her and then threw out this "some one else," when she again was down with a disease? Will the bell toll for the poor third wife some time in the future, one wonders?http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/21/us/politics/for-gingrich-wives-always-at-center-of-career.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=globaleua210
For Gingrich, Wives Always at Center of Career
Published: January 20, 2012
WASHINGTON — When Newt Gingrich was House speaker, lawmakers would routinely arrive at his elegant suite in the Capitol and find an unexpected adviser sitting on the couch: his wife, Marianne.
Like the wife who preceded her and the one who succeeded her, Marianne Gingrich was her husband’s political sounding board — “my best friend and closest adviser,” he once wrote. As a young congressman, he took her to private sessions with David A. Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget director, and to a dinner in Manhattan with Richard M. Nixon, the former president.
He sought her counsel during meetings; it made aides and colleagues uneasy, several said, because she seemed to feel awkward about it, and sometimes had little to say. When Speaker Gingrich flew aboard Air Force One to Israel for the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, Marianne was with him.
Now the second Mrs. Gingrich is making news with her allegation, denied by her former husband, that he asked for an “open marriage” while he and Callista Bisek, now his wife, were having an affair. Her remarks on ABC News have thrust Mr. Gingrich’s marital history — his pattern of replacing one wife with another, younger one — into the spotlight on the eve of the South Carolina primary, just as his bid for the Republican presidential nomination is appearing to surge.
But more than a jilted spouse, Marianne Gingrich serves as a window into the complicated psyche of a man who, those who know him say, seems to need a woman by his side. Friends and colleagues offer that for all his ego and bombast — “Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich,” one of his presidential rivals, Rick Santorum, declared at Thursday’s presidential debate — Mr. Gingrich has leaned on his wives to help project his vision of himself.
“I think Newt is very dependent on having the support of someone, and obviously he has chosen women,” Sue W. Kelly, a former Republican congresswoman from New York, said Friday in an interview. “He has a sense of a private personal destiny that is his alone, but inside, I don’t think he is certain of himself, and he’s got to have someone there,” said Ms. Kelly, who described herself as “very fond of” Mr. Gingrich.
At 68, Mr. Gingrich has been in one marriage or another for nearly 50 years, and each of his three wives has played a role in assisting and in her own way advancing his political career.
“For Newt, the political life is everything and each of the women in his life was integrally involved in it,” said Chip Kahn, who managed Mr. Gingrich’s two failed Congressional campaigns in the 1970s and now runs the Federation of American Hospitals in Washington. “They were advisers. They were sounding boards. They were people he took really seriously.”
His first wife, Jackie Battley, was his high school geometry teacher and seven years his senior; they married in 1962, while he was a 19-year-old college freshman, over the objections of Mr. Gingrich’s mother and stepfather. Nine months later, they had their first child and she supported the family while he completed his studies.
Mr. Gingrich was still married to Jackie when, in 1980, as a freshman congressman, he traveled to Ohio for a Republican fund-raiser and met a county planner there, Marianne Ginther, a pretty brunette in her 20s. They were married the following year, and Mr. Gingrich soon brought his new wife into the political fold; in 1984, he listed her as co-author on one of his books.
But by the mid-1990s, as he made his political ascent, Mr. Gingrich became involved with a House Agriculture Committee staff member, Callista Bisek, nearly 23 years his junior. They carried on a secret affair for six years, and were married in 2000, after Mr. Gingrich left the speakership in 1999. Today, the third Mrs. Gingrich, with her striking platinum hair, diamond baubles — the subject of controversy because her husband spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at Tiffany — and bold suits is a constant presence on the campaign trail, often introducing Mr. Gingrich and looking on adoringly as he speaks. She has also been a business partner in his book and movie production company.
Many who know Mr. Gingrich see parallels with his earlier wives. “The way he is taking Callista everyplace,” one friend of his said, “that’s how he took Marianne everyplace.”
Mr. Gingrich has said he has been “very open about mistakes I have made,” and about “needing to go to God for forgiveness.” He has declined to discuss in detail his previous marriages, leaving it to his two daughters, from his first marriage, to defend his conduct.
Some observers, though, see political calculation in the way he moved from one marriage to the next.
“Gingrich is a pragmatist; he’s an ambitious politician and he trades in people the same way he trades in ideas,” said Steven M. Gillon, a historian at the University of Oklahoma who has written a book about Mr. Gingrich. “Just as he redefines himself politically, he redefines the people in his life that support him in any particular phase. And I think that applies to the people he is married to.”
Mr. Gingrich began his political career in 1974, when he ran for a seat in the House of Representatives and lost. He and his first wife had settled in Carrollton, Ga., where Mr. Gingrich was teaching history at what is now the University of West Georgia.
They were active in the local Baptist church — one former aide said Jackie Gingrich was instrumental in getting her husband to attend. Former aides remember her as well-respected and well-liked, with good people skills and a way of helping out that “didn’t make the campaign staff uptight,” said Frank Gregorsky, then a Gingrich adviser.
Mr. Gingrich went on to win a House seat in 1978, talking himself up as a family man; by then the Gingriches had two daughters. But by the time he came to Washington, his marriage seemed to be in trouble, former aides said. They noticed a change in 1980, about the time he met Marianne. Mr. Gregorsky remembers his boss seeming smitten.
“He was just kind of floating there in the summer of 1980,” Mr. Gregorsky said. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is a side of the boss I have never seen before.’ ”
For years Mr. Gingrich has been dogged by stories that he had served his first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital being treated for cancer. His daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman issued a statement last year saying that that was untrue. She said her mother had undergone surgery for a benign tumor, and that her parents had been in the process of getting divorced — at her mother’s request — when her father took her and her sister to the hospital to visit their mother. (CNN, however, recently cited court documents showing that Mr. Gingrich had filed for divorce.)
“As with many divorces, it was hard and painful for all involved,” Ms. Cushman wrote.
Marianne Gingrich, who had grown up in the small town of Leetonia, Ohio, the daughter of the mayor, was often by her husband’s side after their marriage in August 1981. In interviews, several advisers said that Mr. Gingrich had seemed to be pushing her to take an advisory role for which she did not feel equipped. The advisers likened the couple to Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, the characters in the George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion,” in which an older, snobbish phonetics professor tries to remake a young Cockney girl.
“This was Newt’s way of saying, ‘If somebody is interested in me, she’s got to be good,’ ” Mr. Gregorsky said.
He said Marianne Gingrich eventually tired of being thrust into her husband’s political world, and for a time in the late 1980s moved back to Georgia. In an oft-quoted Washington Post interview in 1989, Marianne Gingrich said their marriage had been “off and on for some time,” while Mr. Gingrich, the newspaper reported, “estimated that the union had a 53-47 shot of lasting.”
By the time he became speaker, though, one person who worked with the couple said, Marianne Gingrich seemed to grow more comfortable in political settings and as a partner to her powerful husband. Ms. Kelly, the former congresswoman, who was elected in 1994, said Mrs. Gingrich seemed to have a calming influence on the speaker. And when his ego seemed to get inflated, she brought him back to earth.
“She kind of leveled things down,” Ms. Kelly said. “She was around a lot, but she was there to listen.”
In her interview with ABC, Marianne Gingrich asserted that her husband had told her he wanted a divorce in May 1999, several months after she received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. But publicly, Mr. Gingrich had been saying that Marianne was his most trusted political adviser. He gave her prominent mention in his 1998 book, “Lessons Learned the Hard Way,” which he dedicated to her — even as he was having an affair with Callista.
“What I did is what I always do when I have a crisis of decision,” Mr. Gingrich wrote then, describing his worries in the late 1980s about pursuing an ethics investigation against the Democratic House speaker, Jim Wright of Texas. “I talked it over with Marianne.”
A version of this article appeared in print on January 21, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: For Gingrich, Wives Always at Center of Career.