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Yet it is Gingrich's personal baggage that will decide whether he gets his chance to replace Cain as the ABM candidate, and if so whether he will last longer than the three previous fruit flies. It is true that Ronald Reagan was divorced, but only once, whereas Gingrich has been divorced twice, both times after infidelities that won't go down well with the Christians in Iowa. Newt's first wife, Jackie Battley, claimed in September 1980 that he visited her in hospital, where she was having a benign tumour removed, to discuss the terms of their divorce, though this has been denied by Newt and at least one of their children. I have myself heard three contradictory accounts of this episode, and there are probably several more. 

This year Newt came up with this excuse for the infidelity that led to his second divorce, from Marianne Ginther, and marriage to his former staffer, Callista Bisek, who is 23 years his junior: "There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate." So now we have adultery as patriotic duty. Only in America..

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