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My Father, Newt Gingrich – Robert Costa

12/13/2011

‘That one brief moment doesn’t define our lives.”

Jackie Cushman, Newt Gingrich’s second daughter, tells National Review Online that her parents’ divorce, though painful, should not loom over her father as he pursues the presidency.

But Cushman acknowledges that the story of the divorce, and her father’s 1980 visit to Emory University Hospital to see her mother, Jackie Battley, has become political lore.

Cushman sighs when I mention the November 1984 issue of Mother Jones.

For more than a quarter century, the magazine’s profile of her father has haunted Gingrich’s reputation. In the piece, her father’s associates claim that he approached his first wife, then battling cancer, with a “yellow legal pad” scribbled with a “list of things on how the divorce was going to be handled.”

Ever since the article was published, Gingrich has been accused, to various extents, of coolly and abruptly leaving his cancer-stricken wife for a much younger woman.

Cushman, who was 13 when her parents split, says she and her older sister, Kathy Lubbers, have for the most part moved on from their initial frustration with the Mother Jones story.

But as Gingrich continues to rise, Cushman hopes that “inaccurate” retelling — which she says skews and politicizes her parents’ conversations — will not define her father’s character.  […]

Continue reading at National Review.

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