Thursday, 19 January 2012 19:59

Gingrich Affair and the Romney Tax Bill: A Nice Mess

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laurel-hardyTo paraphrase Oliver Hardy’s famous line to Stan Laurel, “Here’s another nice mess we’ve gotten ourselves into!”

It seems that Herman Cain is not the only Republican candidate who has girlfriend issues.  According to his second wife, Marianne, and ABC News, Newt Gingrich carried on an extra-marital affair with his aide, now wife number three, Callista, while he was still married to Marianne, even going so far as to ask Marianne if she would agree to share him in an “open marriage.”  What an ego!

 On another front we now find out that Mitt Romney pays just 15% of his income in taxes.  Nothing illegal about that, but Romney’s handling of the story was amateurish and embarrassing at best.  Finally, the Republican Party of Iowa has declared Rick Santorum the winner of the Iowa caucus, but not really.  Romney was declared the winner on caucus night, but following a recount Santorum was declared the victor with eight precincts not counted.  So the caucus was declared a split decision.  Unbelievable!

It seems Republicans are determined to implode.  President Barack Obama is beatable, but Republicans have yet to find the right candidate.  Newt’s fidelity issue only hurts his credibility.  Who cares if his marriage was perfect or not?  What voters do care about is honesty and truthfulness.  In published news reports the Gingrich children proclaim their dad to be a wonderful father and grandfather.  But the campaign never denies the accusations made by Marianne Gingrich.  Despite his many assets these accusations make Newt look like an ordinary politician whom most voters don’t trust and don’t like.  He must answer these accusations, or he runs the real possibility that his campaign will die on the vine.

No gain for Mitt Romney, however, because he has blown his response to the amount of income taxes he pays.  I keep asking myself how a candidate for President can be blindsided by a question regarding his income tax payments.  It never ceases to amaze me that candidates for public office will often ignore their own possible shortcomings and pretend that their opponents will never find out.  The fact is that opponents almost always find out especially when the office at stake is a major office like President of the United States.  So it is best for the candidate to address the issue up front or don’t run for office.  Mitt Romney is a perfect example of this.  He is a wealthy man.  His income tax payments will be an issue in the campaign especially with so much talk from Democrats calling for “shared sacrifice” and Republicans calling for lower tax rates for all Americans.  It is obvious that Romney never considered how he would answer such questions.  He made a big mistake.

Romney should have released his tax returns when he announced for president.  He could have framed his explanation in his own words, and the rest would have been history.  Romney looked dazed and confused when explaining his income taxes.  Not good qualities for a president. Remember that many times in political campaigns it is not what you say, but how you say it. 

Rick Perry’s withdrawal from the race would seem to benefit Gingrich.  But now on the heels of Marianne Gingrich’s disclosure whatever benefit Newt may have gotten from Perry’s withdrawal and his endorsement is greatly diminished.

The Republican nomination is now down to four candidates, and all four have issues that could devastate any political campaign.  Marital infidelity; taxes; inadequate campaign financing; and off the wall.  My guess is that President Obama and his campaign team must be jumping for joy.  The only good news for Republicans today is that this is January.  The nomination is in August, and the election is in November.  This is a lot of time. 

The Republican Party had better get its act together before it snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

chehardyby Lawrence Chehardy

Read also: Gingrich’s Wife, Perry’s Exit and Jindal’s Choice

About Lawrence Chehardy

For thirty-four years Lawrence Chehardy served as Assessor of Jefferson Parish and throughout his career has been a champion the maintenance of the Homestead Exemption.  During his years as Assessor Lawrence Chehardy served as President, Vice-president, and Treasure of the Louisiana Assessors’ Association. He also served on numerous boards and committees of the association. 

Chehardy has extensive knowledge of politics, political campaigning, and the political process. When it comes to political strategy and creating the campaign’s message, Lawrence is one of the best. Lawrence Chehardy has been instrumental in the election of numerous candidates through endorsements as well as campaign strategy. In many cases his endorsement turned the election in favor of those candidates.

In addition to his political commentary and public speaking engagements, Lawrence Chehardy is a founding member of the Chehardy, Sherman, Ellis, Murray, Recile, Griffith, Stakelum & Hayes Law Firm and serves as its managing partner.

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Lawrence Chehardy

For thirty-four years Lawrence Chehardy served as Assessor of Jefferson Parish. He has been the leading authority on Louisiana’s property tax laws. In addition to his political commentary and public speaking engagements, Lawrence Chehardy is a founding member of the Chehardy, Sherman, Ellis, Murray, Recile, Griffith, Stakelum & Hayes Law Firm and serves as its managing partner.

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