Conan depicts Newt as a bejeweled pimp

May 24, 2011|By Luke Broadwater

The disastrous start to Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign is serving up plenty of fodder for late night comedians. 

After flip-flopping on Paul Ryan's budget proposal (and then claiming anyone who quoted him directly was spreading falsehoods, which was roundly mocked on Comedy Central), and then having his press aide send out a statement depicting him in an epic, machine-gun battle with sheep (which was also roundly mocked), Gingrich is now under fire for apparently running up a high jewelry bill at Tiffany's (reportedly as much as $250,000 to $500,000). 

While I don't particularly care how he spends his money or what debts he owes, Gingrich has been handling the questions disastrously. 

Last night, Conan O'Brien joined in the Gingrich mockery by depicting a bejeweled, pimp Gingrich on CBS's "Face The Nation." 

I've seen campaigns get off to rocky starts before, but Gingrich has managed to make two things into issues that shouldn't even be issues. He should have taken a consistent stand on Ryan's budget and he should simply answer the questions honestly about his Tiffany's spending (e.g., "Yes, I bought jewelry at Tiffany's for my wife. It was an anniversary present. I'm not sure what this has to do with the direction of our country. We need to institute polices X, Y and Z to get back on track, not worry about people's anniversary gifts.") By refusing to answer the questions, Gingrich opens the door to people's speculations, looks like he's trying to hide something, and, ultimately, becomes the butt of comedians' jokes.  

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