Let me finish tonight with this strange way we identify with politicians.
The great ones know the power of icons. Lincoln was the "railsplitter." Teddy Roosevelt knew the power of the "Rough Riders," FDR of that cigarette of his pointing upward.
One said "I came from regular people," the second that I fought for our country, the third we've got nothing to fear, just look at "me."
So what does it mean when a guy running for president says he's in hock for maybe a half million dollars to a jewelry company?
It says, "Hey, this guy doesn't just have breakfast at Tiffany's, but lunch, supper and a midnight snack." He damn near "grazes" at the place.
There's something fast-and-loose about this kind of behavior, don't you think? It's say something about the way you spend your money. Some people give up steaks and nightclubs and great clothes - not even to mention a half million in jewelry on the cuff - for a "lifetime" so their kids can live better.
Even people with money must wonder what's going on here between Newt Gingrich and the people behind the counter at Tiffany's.
Fast-and-loose. That's what it looks like. "Yeah, put it on the account. Just get it over to my office by 6. Yeah, the diamond necklace, the one she said she liked the other day. Can you get it here by then? Great."
How's this fit with Newt? Perfectly. Fast and loose.
Last week he said he didn't like the Republican plan to get rid of Medicare. That was Sunday. On Monday, he said he'd changed his mind. What he said on "meet the press" stays on "meet the press." On Tuesday, he was downright apologizing for what he said, then a few days later he was saying he didn't say what he said on Sunday, what he'd changed his mind on by Monday, apologized for on Tuesday. He was talking about something else, "not" the Republican Medicare thing.
Newt's "like" this. He goes out and attacks the President for requiring people to get health insurance, than he says that he believes people should be required to get health insurance, then it turns out that's been his position since the early nineties.
So where is this guy moored down? He's all over the place, on issues, on buying jewelry on time. "Just get it here by six, whatever she wants, just get it here by six."
Newt Gingrich. He's so busy saying and doing what will make us happy this minute that he can't keep track of what he promised to do a minute ago.
I agree with the New York Times. This half million dollar bill from Tiffany's is going to stick. It sort of clears up exactly who Newt Gingrich is. He'll say or do whatever will get him through the night.
He's the guy who buys a lot of jewelry - buckets of it - just to keep things humming.