NYT: Callista Bisek’s friends from rural Wisconsin were stunned when, well over a decade ago, she confided that she was secretly dating an older, married man: Newt Gingrich. (She was) still in her 20s when they met …
Today, Ms. Bisek is Mrs. Gingrich, married for 11 years, but perhaps best remembered for the six-year affair that contributed to her husband’s political downfall. His critics cast Mr. Gingrich as a hypocrite who sought to impeach a president over infidelity while engaging in it himself with Ms. Bisek, who was a Congressional aide.
….As he prepares for a Republican presidential primary run Mr. Gingrich is presenting himself as a family man who has embraced Catholicism and found God, with his wife as a kind of character witness….
Barely a sentence goes by without Mr. Gingrich uttering the words “Callista and I.” They are constantly together … she is the voice on his audio books; her face is all over his 2012 Web site, where visitors can read “A Note from Newt & Callista”.
…Mr. Gingrich is well aware that social conservatives are skeptical of him because of his two divorces and admission of infidelity. He has been meeting with religious leaders around the country to address their concerns.
…At 45, 22 years her husband’s junior … she runs Gingrich Productions, making documentaries in conjunction with Citizens United, the nonprofit group that drew national attention in a Supreme Court case last year.
…The same friends who tried to talk her out of out of dating him more than a decade ago have concluded that she knew what she was doing, and are banking that voters will forgive and forget. Karen Olson, best friend of Mrs. Gingrich, summed up their history in what might just become a campaign catchphrase:
“They’re a great couple,” she said, “that had a nontraditional start.”
Full article here