Thursday, March 29, 2007

Right here, right now

In a new series of posts, we'll take few minutes every few days and look at the values and issues of the Right, and how they are implemented by the current crop of Republican Presidential hopefuls.

Today: Family Values (all data from wikipedia)

Newt Gingrich:
In 1962, Gingrich married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old; she was seven years his senior at 26 years old. Jackie raised their two daughters, worked to put Newt through graduate school and was a loyal political wife. Gingrich and Battley divorced in 1980. Battley has charged that Gingrich discussed the terms of their divorce settlement while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery.

Marianne Ginther in late 1981. Marianne was quoted in a 1995 article in Vanity Fair as saying: "I don't want him to be president and I don't think he should be." Marianne added, "Right now, the presidency is not a single person. It's not so much what he'd be doing. It's what I'd be doing." by which she meant not that Newt would not be a good President but that she did not particularly look forward to being first lady. They divorced in 1999, the same year Gingrich had an affair with a then 33-year old member Congressional staffer, Callista Bisek, whom he married the next year.

Rudy Giuliani:
Giuliani has been married three times. His first marriage was to educator Regina Peruggi, whom he had known since they were both children, on October 26, 1968, soon after he graduated law school. In 1976, the couple decided on a trial separation; Giuliani later said the marriage suffered "through my overwork." The couple did not have any children.

Giuliani met local television personality Donna Hanover sometime in 1982, and they began dating when she was working in Miami. Giuliani filed for legal separation from Peruggi on August 12, 1982. Giuliani and Hanover started living together later that year in Washington, D.C.

A Roman Catholic Church annulment of the Giuliani-Peruggi marriage was granted at the end of 1983, according to Giuliani, because he discovered after fourteen years that he and his wife were second cousins and they did not have the Church dispensation thus needed.

Giuliani and Hanover then married in a Catholic ceremony at St. Monica's Church in New York on April 15, 1984. They had two children, son Andrew (born January 30, 1986) and daughter Caroline (born 1989). Andrew first became a familiar sight by misbehaving at Giuliani's first mayoral inaguration, then with his father at New York Yankees games, of whom Rudy Giuliani is an enthusiastic fan; Andrew also was an accomplished junior golfer.

Beginning in 1996, Giuliani and Hanover's public relationship became distant, with Hanover appearing at few public events. In 1997, a Vanity Fair article report that Giuliani had a romantic relationship with Cristyne Lategano, the mayor's communications director. The mayor and Lategano denied the allegations.

In May 2000, the New York Daily News broke news of Giuliani's extramarital relationship with Judith Nathan, a sales manager for a pharmaceutical company. Giuliani then called a press conference to announce that he intended to separate from Hanover. Hanover, however, had not been told about his plans before his press conference, an omission for which Giuliani was widely criticized. Previously, Giuliani had hinted at the relationship by referring to Nathan as his "very good friend." Giuliani now went on to praise Nathan as a "very, very fine woman", and said about his marriage with Hanover, that "over the course of some period of time in many ways, we've grown to live independent and separate lives." Hours later Hanover said, "I had hoped that we could keep this marriage together. For several years, it was difficult to participate in Rudy's public life because of his relationship with one staff member," a reference to Lategano.

Giuliani then moved out of Gracie Mansion and into an apartment where two gay friends of his lived. Giuliani filed for divorce against Hanover in October 2000, and an unpleasant public battle broke out between their representatives. In May 2001, in an effort to mitigate the bad publicity from the proceedings, Giuliani's attorney revealed (with the mayor's approval) that Giuliani was impotent due to his prostate cancer treatments and had not had sex with Nathan for the preceding year. "You don't get through treatment for cancer and radiation all by yourself," Giuliani said. "You need people to help you and care for you and support you. And I'm very fortunate I had a lot of people who did that, but nobody did more to help me than Judith Nathan." Giuliani and Hanover finally settled their acrimonious divorce case in July 2002, after his mayoralty had ended, with Giuliani paying Hanover a $6.8 million settlement and granting her custody of their children.

Giuliani subsequently married Judith Nathan on May 24, 2003, and thus gained a stepdaughter, Whitney.

By March 2007, The New York Times and the New York Daily News reported that Rudy Giuliani had become estranged from both his son Andrew (now a Duke Blue Devils golf team member at Duke University aspiring to a professional career, and who was quoted as saying "there's obviously a little problem" between him and Judith) and his daughter Caroline (now a high school senior, due to enter Harvard University in the fall), missing major events in their lives and sometimes going long stretches without talking to them, and that neither of them was taking part in his presidential campaign. The official Giuliani campaign website biography mentions Nathan but not his children or his former wives.

Fred Thompson:

On June 29, 2002, Thompson married Jeri Kehn, an attorney and a political media consultant at the Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, and McPherson law firm in Washington, D.C. She once worked for the Senate Republican Conference and the Republican National Committee. In October 2003, they had a daughter, Hayden Victoria Thompson, and another child during November 2006. He also has three grown children from a previous marriage, one of whom is deceased (Elizabeth "Betsy" Thompson Panici) , and five grandchildren.

Mitt Romney:

Romney married his high school sweetheart, Ann Davies in 1968. They have five sons (Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, and Craig) and ten grandchildren. Ann Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998.

Sam Brownback:

He is married to the former Mary Stauffer, whose family owned and sold a successful media company in 1995. They have five children including an adopted son and daughter.

Raised as a Methodist, Brownback later joined a nondenominational evangelical church, and in 2002 he became Catholic. He joined the Catholic Church through Opus Dei member Father C. John McCloskey in Washington DC. However, Brownback himself is not a member of the Opus Dei organization.

More next time.

Update on Thompson (via Atrios)
Fred Thompson is said to have hurt his vice-presidential chances when his name was linked romantically to that of Margaret Carlson. The Time columnist and "Capital Gang" regular is reportedly too liberal for George W. Bush. Thompson's standing was not enhanced when gossips said he was simultaneously involved with another woman.