Lawrence O’Donnell Fills in the Gaps in Gingrich’s ‘Patriotism Made Me Do It’ Excuse for His Extramarital Affairs

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Lawrence O’Donnell’s send up of Newt Gingrich’s attempt to excuse his adulteries by saying that his patriotism combined with his workaholic tendencies drove him into the arms of congressional staffers is must-see video.

But I have to point out that not only was Gingrich having an affair with a staffer when he led the Republicans’ campaign to impeach Pres. Clinton because he lied in a deposition in civil lawsuit over his affair with a staffer, as O’Donnell points out, but both Gingrich and Clinton were engaged in extramarital affairs when they made the Defense of Marriage Act the law of the land.


O‘DONNELL: Time for tonight‘s Rewrite. This is what Newt Gingrich meant to say when he was pretending to confess his sins on Pat Robertson‘s Christian Broadcasting Network.

There‘s no question at times of my life, specifically when I was leading the attack on Bill Clinton for having extramarital sex, partially driven by how passionately I felt about extramarital sex, that I worked far too hard to make sure that extramarital sexual things happened in my life that were not appropriate.

And what I can tell you is that when I did extramarital sexual things that were wrong, I wasn‘t trapped in a situation of ethics. I was doing things that were wrong. and yet I was doing them, just like Bill Clinton.

I found that I felt compelled to seek God‘s forgiveness, for obvious political reasons. Not God‘s understanding, because there‘s a limit to how much even God can understand, but God‘s forgiveness.

And I do believe in a forgiving God, but not an understanding God. That would be asking too much of God. He‘s only God, after all.

I think most people deep down in their hearts hope there‘s a forgiving God. I for one am betting my entire political career on it. Somebody once said that when we‘re young we seek justice, but when we get older we seek mercy, and money and power and, of course, Viagra.

There‘s something to that, I think. No, I don‘t think. I know. There‘s definitely something to that, especially the power and the Viagra thing.

I feel that—I mean, I‘m now, you know, I‘m 67. You don‘t have to worry about me so much in a government office, no matter how many attractive younger women work there, because look at me, I still work like Newt Gingrich, which, believe me, never made things easy with the ladies.

But now I look like Newt Gingrich at 67 years old. And I just don‘t think I‘m going to get lucky, no matter how many staff members I chase around the office, which is, by the way, how I met my current wife.

But remember, I was chasing Calista around the office at the same time I was chasing Bill Clinton in his sex scandal. I had sex on the brain in those days.

OK, I‘m a guy, so I had sex on the brain anyway. But imagine when I had to go to work every day, and in fulfillment of my solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, I had to think about Bill Clinton having sex, all day.

I‘m different now in my advanced years. I can‘t remember the last time I thought about Barack Obama having sex. I mean, it‘s certainly not every day, like I had to do with Clinton.

I‘m a grandfather. I have two wonderful grandchildren. I have two wonderful daughters and two great sons-in-law. Calista and I have a great marriage, even though it started as an extramarital affair. In fact, probably because it started as an extramarital affair, because in my experience nothing, absolutely nothing is hotter than an extramarital affair.

But I guess I‘ll save those details for my “Playboy” interview. And let‘s be realistic. There are millions of marriages out there in this country, including millions of good, solid Republican marriages out there in this country, that started as really, really hot extramarital affairs.

Sure, a lot of those marriages end up splitting up over, guess what, big surprise, extramarital affairs, because extramarital affairs can be a very, very difficult habit to break. Take my word for it.

But I swear to you, I am clean and sober now on that whole extramarital affairs thing. In my daily battle with my personal demons that relentlessly urge me to have extramarital affairs, I am winning.

I think that I‘ve learned an immense amount. And I do feel that God, in that sense, has given me—has blessed me with an opportunity as a person, even though there‘s absolutely no way that God could ever actually understand me.

Forgetting all this political stuff—I know how silly that sounds, a career politician telling you to forget about all this political stuff. But that‘s exactly the kind of thing you have to say as a career politician, so people might forget that you‘re a career politician.

As a person, I‘ve had the opportunity to have a wonderful sex life with many more people than I was ever supposed to and to find myself now truly enjoying the depths of my life in ways that I never dreamed it was possible to have a life that was that nice.

And to my devoted third and possibly final wife, Calista, I would just like to say, don‘t wait up, honey. Working late again tonight.

One comment

  • Doc Watercotts
    March 18, 2011 - 7:20 pm | Permalink

    First of all, get real, Lawrence O’Donnell is in love with Newt and is using this story as a fantasy to help him them both sleep better.

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