Newt and Michele and Freddir

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I think Newt Gingrich would be a terrible nominee for President, and a pretty bad President. I think he doesn't lead effectively, I think he's essentially an American statist (not that government is the answer for everything, but that it is a big part of the answer for many, if not most, things), and I think he is erratic and prone to errors that can hurt the country.

But for the life of me I don't understand the hubbub over this Freddie Mac thing. Yes, it paid him a lot of money for his insights, whatever they may be, but there's no evidence he ever tried to convince legislators of anything on its behalf. And there's no evidence that their money influenced his own views or criticisms of the institution. It seems to me if anything that people should be upset with Freddie Mac for wasting its money on Gingrich.

And while I have some admiration for Michele Bachmann's tenacity and values and intelligence, my view of her character has taken a recent hit when she tried to convince debate viewers that the proof that he was "influence-peddling" was that he "took the money." So if you take money for A, that means you did B? Heck, taking money for A doesn't even mean you did A, let alone B. It's utter nonsense, and she knows it.

[Edited to change "Fannie Mae" to "Freddie Mac."]

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