The Who2 Blog

‘Doonesbury’ on Newt Gingrich

Ouch! Newt Gingrich got slapped hard by a comic strip. You don’t see that every day. Because it was in the Sunday comics.

It’s finally 2012, the actual year of the presidential election, after two years (or more) of Republican candidates running against the probable reelection bid of President Barack Obama.

Sunday’s edition of the comic strip Doonesbury, by Garry Trudeau, is the harshest treatment of a presidential candidate in the Sunday comics I’ve ever seen. It nearly drew my attention away from that day’s provocative Blondie.

Trudeau’s target was Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. You can see the strip here at Slate.

Doonesbury uses every panel to point out the various Newt Gingrich scandals, and there are plenty (more than one per panel). It’s common knowledge that Gingrich has personal “baggage,” and he’s admitted to having extra-marital affairs that helped end his first two marriages (he’s on his third).

And, of course, many of the other things mentioned in Doonesbury are a matter of public record. Gingrich was, in fact, the first Speaker of the House to be reprimanded. He was also fined $300,000. Not only that, he had to give back the millions of dollars he’d received as a book advance, because the money came by way of publisher Rupert Murdoch, at a time when Congress was making legislative decisions that affected Murdoch’s business interests.

And so on.

But by the end of the strip, Trudeau is bringing in more personal charges, mentioning Leonard “Kip” Carter and “the parking lot scene.” That’s the kind of thing you have to go look up.

Political junkies already probably know that Kip Carter has been in the news lately as the guy who claims Newt Gingrich told him the first wife had to go because “she’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a president.” (You’d think a historian, as Gingrich claims to be, would have maybe heard of Eleanor Roosevelt.)

But what’s that got to do with a parking lot? As I say, you’ll have to look that one up.

And who is Anne Manning and what does she have to do with Newt Gingrich? Let the U.K. press tell you.

To read more about why Kip Carter’s name is in the comics, dig through this CNN story, which says the court documents of Gingrich’s first divorce make it clear his wife did not wish to grant him a divorce. Politics aside, there’s an interesting little tale about those documents, and how they had to be fished out of the back drawer of a former records clerk.

To read more (and I mean read) on Gingrich’s checkered past, try this Frontline transcript from The Long March of Newt Gingrich.

Of course, you should read the Who2 biography of Gingrich,and you can read about the other Republican Candidates in our Common Bonds feature, Presidential Candidates 2012.

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