We’ve all heard the story about how Newt Gingrich — heartless, horrible man — went to his cancer-stricken wife’s hospital bed and told her he wanted a divorce.
We heard it so often, we believed it. I admit, I believed it. Did you?
Well, his daughter says we ought not have believed it:
My mother, Jackie Battley Gingrich, is very much alive, and often spends time with my family. I am lucky to have such a “Miracle Mom,” as I titled her in a column this week.
As for my parents’ divorce, I can remember when they told me.
It was the spring of 1980.
Later that summer, Mom went to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for surgery to remove a tumor. While she was there, Dad took my sister and me to see her.
It is this visit that has turned into the infamous hospital visit about which many untruths have been told. I won’t repeat them. You can look them up online if you are interested in untruths. But here’s what happened:
My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested.
Dad took my sister and me to the hospital to see our mother.
She had undergone surgery the day before to remove a tumor.
The tumor was benign.
As with many divorces, it was hard and painful for all involved, but life continued.
As have many families, we have healed; we have moved on.
If I have believed a lie — and it seems I may have — then I have been unfair to Gingrich. I didn’t like him much, back when I was a Democrat, so it was easy for me to believe the worst.
Now, in fairness I’ll have to take a second look at Newt. With new eyes.
I suspect I won’t be the only one doing so.
This election couldn’t get more interesting for its twists and turns.
UPDATE: November 19: Hot Air notes the media taking an interest