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BarnacleBill's avatar

Will Newt Gingrich's conversion to Catholicism salvage his political career?

Asked by BarnacleBill (16083points) March 3rd, 2011

Both Time and the NYT ran articles about Newt Gingrich’s recent conversion to Catholicism and his interest in subsequently “testing the waters” for a return to politics as a conservative religious candidate. Time article and NYT article

Many people have converted to Catholicism because of a spouse’s devout adherence to the religion. However, for Newt, it offers an solid bloc of conservative pro-life single issue voters. And confession and penance offers him a way to expunge his past record of personal transgressions by placing his past between God and himself, thereby “sanitizing” himself as a candidate. It’s an interesting way to salvage a career.

Do you think it will be enough to resurrect Gingrich’s political career?

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20 Answers

markferg's avatar

I sure ‘testing the water’ is not where he’ll stop. He’ll keep going until his target demographic thinks he’s walking on it!

ragingloli's avatar

The sad thing is, it probably will.

Cruiser's avatar

Newt’s political career doesn’t need salvaging….his is a strong as ever nor do I think his conversion to Catholicism 2 years ago apparently is really a political maneuver in as it was a personal one primarily to appease his wife who is Catholic and very active in her Church.

Of course the media will try and spin this into a political hot potato. What ever happened to separation of Church and state.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@CWW, I wonder that myself.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think Newt’s conversion will help him. He is yesterday’s news.

iamthemob's avatar

Catholicism has never been a boon politically – it is traditionally a hindrance. When JFK was elected, his Catholicism was exceptional.

filmfann's avatar

It doesn’t make him a better person in my eyes. He will still be the jerk who pressed his wife for a divorce while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer.

coffeenut's avatar

Ah yes….good ol Newt Gingrich….Yes…Definitely

iamthemob's avatar

@coffeenut – you sound like Rain Man. ;-)

coffeenut's avatar

@iamthemob lol…I was trying to give a answer without revealing I don’t know who he is…I just wanted to type “Newt” lol…

Summum's avatar

Great question and to answer who knows.

crisw's avatar


“Of course the media will try and spin this into a political hot potato. What ever happened to separation of Church and state.”

The media is not the state.

And it’s people like Gingrich who try to blur (if not outright erase) the lines.

Cruiser's avatar

@crisw 2 separate points I made there. Sorry if I implied otherwise not my intention.

janbb's avatar

I don’t think Catholicism is seen as a political asset even now. I’ve certainly heard that Gingrich has political aspirations but I doubt the conversion is part of that.

crazykookycat's avatar

CWW answer is pretty much spot on. Those who liked Ginrich will always like him, and those that don’t won’t. The guy could sprout 3 pairs of tits, and I still wouldn’t want to hear what the prick had to say.

cak's avatar

I think he will stay about the same as he is now. Newt still has clout, it doesn’t seem as in-your-face as it was; however, it’s still there…unfortunately.

I don’t see his confessions as a way of sanitizing himself; to me, he dug his hole a long time ago.

So not a Newt fan.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I’ve been thinking about this all day. The Republican Party is really in shambles, with the Tea Party doing more damage to them than to the Democrats. If Gingrich could run on a ticket with another Republican with a history of political leadership, it could suck the gas out out Caribou Barbie’s snowmobile, and restore a semblance of equilibrium to the political system. What’s really underrepresented in politics is moderates and innovation.

ETpro's avatar

Newt no longer has a political career. He has a fund raising career. Last election, he outraised all the Republican rock stars. His 527, Americans Solutions for Winning the Future brought in $14.5 million; outdistancing Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee combined. It isn’t exactly clear where all that money went, though. He spent S13.8 million of it, largely on himself. There was $2 million in chartered jet travel and chauffeur limos. Most of the rest went to administrative expenses. Much of that went to a Administrative Services firm named The Gingrich Group, which seems to consist of a man named Newt Gingrich. You can hear all about how Newt’s fund raising scams work.

So you see how actually running would mess up a really good thing for Newt.

markferg's avatar

@ETpro – I want to get into fundraising, it sounds like fun the socially responsible thing to do.

ETpro's avatar

@markferg Fundraising is the fun and profitable part—and I totally agree. Me too! Unfortunately, the hard work is getting to be Speaker of the House first. That’s the part of the formula I’m still stuck working on.

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