Newt Gingrich Announces Candidacy for Republican Presidential Nomination

Atlanta, Georgia, March 22, 2007 -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose career was thought by virtually all observers to have evaporated in a hail of spittle in 1998, announced today that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2008. The former Speaker had hinted as early as the autumn of 2005 that he "could be cajoled to run, if the voice were soft and silky enough", but only with today's announcement does Mr. Gingrich's candidacy become official.

Newt Gingrich has generally remained out of the political limelight since being driven from the House as a liability in 1998 by pitchfork-wielding congressional colleagues following nearly 2,500 federal indictments on ethics and related charges. After paying a $300,000 fine to the House Ethics Committee for "unprecedented lying, gigantic hypocrisy, and having positively absurd hair", Gingrich chose not to take a congressional seat to which he had been reelected, departing the capital carrying only several staplers, a hole punch, and a U.S. Congress throw rug he claimed held "sentimental value".

Mr. Gingrich, a staunch "family values" advocate throughout his career, is perhaps best remembered for his "Divorce Contract with America", the document credited with reenergizing the Republican party during the first two years of President Clinton's first term and shepherding the ailing party to its first majority in the House of Representatives since 1954.

Mr. Gingrich has said the inspiration for the "Divorce Contract with America" came from his incurable habit of serving his wives with divorce papers while they were in hospital beds recovering from serious illnesses. This unusual behavior pattern began with Mr. Gingrich's first wife, Jackie Battley, to whom he served divorce papers in 1980 while she was undergoing treatment for uterine cancer.

He followed up by visiting his second wife, Marianne Ginther, in 1999 at the hospital where she was receiving treatment for multiple sclerosis and confessing to her that he had been having a long-standing affair with a 19-year-old House clerk, Callista Bisek née Flockhart, and that he would therefore like her, Marianne, to please clean out her sock drawer as soon as she could walk again.

Callista Bisek was likewise visited by Gingrich in the hospital where she was receiving treatment for a ruptured appendix in 2006 and informed that her services would no longer be required in the Gingrich entourage. Mr. Gingrich's fourth wife, Perky McBoob, is thus far in good health and therefore expected to join Mr. Gingrich on the upcoming campaign trail.

Despite Mr. Gingrich's widely held reputation for unprecedented levels of brazen hypocrisy, the former Speaker believes his chances in the upcoming primary battle are "very good to excellent. I have a lot of new ideas, and a lot of good old ideas that I've reworked."

Mr. Gingrich said he has made a few edits to his famed "Divorce Contract with America" to "make it more workable in today's political environment." A few of these changes are as follows:

Item one of the Contract, which states that all laws that apply to the rest of America should also apply to Congress, has been altered to read "not apply" rather than "also apply".

"I think that will give important lawmakers such as Bill Frist and Tom DeLay a little more wiggle-room when working back room deals, financing their legacies, and that kind of thing," said Gingrich.

Similarly, item two, which suggests that a major auditing firm should be contracted to conduct an independent audit of Congress for waste, fraud, or abuse, "isn't really all that necessary. When you've got good people there, you know you can trust them to do the right thing for America."

Item four, which aims to limit the terms of all committee chairs, has been amended with this phrase: "…unless the committee chair happens to be a Republican."

Item six, which states that all committee meetings should be open to the public, has been amended to read "unless it is in the incumbent party's best interest, and therefore America's best interest, to keep such meetings secret (with the exception of any case wherein the incumbent party is not the Republican party)".

Item eight, which calls for a balanced federal budget, remains intact, but with the codicil that massive no-bid military procurement contracts are to be treated as an item not included within federal balanced budget calculations, "because war is always an emergency, even if we're not actually at war at any given time, and you can't be expected to balance the budget in an emergency."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich plans to launch a full-scale media assault pitching his revised reform plan as soon as he returns from visiting his fourth wife, Perky McBoob, in the hospital where she is reportedly now suffering from implant rejection syndrome.

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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