Hanson: The 2012 Election Circus — The Acts, The Players, The Hype

The Latest Scandals

Taxes: What does it matter that Gingrich released one year of his tax records? Any candidate can prep them a year in advance. Were I running for office a year or two down the road, and were I cynical, this year I would triple my charitable contributions, cut back on freelance writing to lower my income, and trim my deductions — on the assumption that one transparent year would be proof of thirty out of sight. So to be fair, Gingrich and all the candidates, if we go down this full-disclosure road, should release the last three years of returns. If so, I suggest that Gingrich will have as many tax/income problems as Romney.

Women: The Marianne Gingrich Nightline tell-all was a bust. In theory, we must sympathize with her: 60-ish, without much income, suffering from MS, forced to watch her ex — now soaring, both financially and politically, without her and without apparent acknowledgment of her long support for his career that must now be evident in his success — with insult added to injury as Newt parades around a younger, more attractive third wife as if he were a perpetual honeymooner. But to hear her is almost immediately to wonder, “Hmmm, let’s get this straight: you are mad that Mrs. Gingrich III and Newt did to Mrs. Gingrich II what you and Newt did to Mrs. Gingrich I? If you were sick and penniless when he left you, so was the poor first wife whom you once replaced.”

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