Newt's Freddie Deal: the Epitome of DC Slime

This was classic influence peddling, writes Timothy Egan
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2011 11:35 AM CST
Newt Gingrich's Freddie Mac Deal Epitomizes Washington Slime | Timothy Egan
In this Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a Republican Presidential Debate at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

(Newser) – You can laugh off Newt Gingrich’s giant Tiffany’s account, or even his marital merry-go-round. But his cozy relationship with Freddie Mac “encapsulates why Washington is broken and how the powerful protect and enrich themselves, unanchored to basic principles,” writes Timothy Egan in the New York Times. “Plain and simple, Gingrich was paid for his influence. A former speaker of the House, even a disgraced one, is still worth something."

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The deal “shows just how easy it is for former public servants to enrich themselves,” Egan continues. It’s also “a case study in the Gingrich method: denounce something as outrageous, while doing that very outrageous thing himself.” Gingrich has lustily attacked Fannie and Freddie, once even saying politicians influenced by them should face jail time. In this election he’s posing as an outsider opposed to the Washington establishment—despite his 33-year Washington career. “If Gingrich were any more embedded in the establishment, pigeons would be landing on his shoulder," Egan concludes. Click for the full column. (Read more Newt Gingrich stories.)

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