August 11th, 2010
11:50 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Marianne Gingrich

The second and most well-known of Newt Gingrich's three wives broke her silence to Esquire Magazine, discussing the origins of her marriage, the former House Speaker's struggles, and his 2012 presidential aspirations.

According to the profile written by John H. Richardson, the former Mrs. Gingrich (pictured here in 1995 with her then-husband) said Newt Gingrich has always had a wife since he was a teenager. Marianne was with him for 18 years and during that time he rose from a congressional "bench warmer" to Speaker of the House of Representatives. She was his closest adviser until his political career and their marriage collapsed.

Will run for President in 2012? While initially incredulous, Marianne Gingrich admitted: "He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don't have to be connected. If you believe that, then yeah, you can run for president."

Esquire: Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican

Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq

The two American Muslims begin a cross-country trip today, visiting 30 mosques in 30 U.S. states. Their journey begins at the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month-long devotion during which Muslims around the world fast and pray to fulfill one of the five basic requirements of their faith.

Aman, a journalist and comedian, and Bassam, an advertising copywriter and documentary filmmaker, are friends who last year visited 30 mosques within New York City over Ramadan, breaking their fasts and praying with diverse congregations every night. They documented that journey through a blog, which gained thousands of readers and comments from as far away as South Africa and China.

He and Bassam present their blog from a non-Muslim point of view, writing about their visits "as if anybody who just walked off the street would experience them."

The two view their trip not only as a way to build solidarity among Muslim Americans, but to also help non-Muslims learn about Islam. "We notice there is a lot of curiosity from non-Muslims and they want to know about Islam but might feel awkward about how to approach it," Aman said.

This year, the two men have raised nearly $6,000 to pay for this year's journey, Aman told CNN. ["We're] going in with an open mind and don't know fully what to expect."

Their first stop is the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem, founded by students of Malcolm X.

30 Mosques 30 Days

Linda McMahon

The co-founder of WWE wrestling promises to make her contest against Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal among the most expensive ever. McMahon, the Republican who won the nomination last night, spent $22 million doing so, the New York Times reports, and she's prepared to spend another $28 million to win. In response, the Blumenthal camp already has started gathering video, including McMahon kicking her husband in the groin mid-ring during a wrestling skit.

New York Times: Connecticut senate race poses test for Democrats

UPDATE: Steven Slater

The JetBlue flight attendant has caused social-network frenzy. Two Facebook fan pages dedicated to him have collected nearly 100,000 supporters.

Facebook fan page: Steven Slater

Facebook fan page: Steven Slater

New York Daily News: Sully who? JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater becomes hero to wage earners everywhere

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Mike

    I like it how Democrats always cry about the Republican hyprocrits. Especially when they vowed to hold meetings in full open on CSPAN and then pass massive legislation under sneaky back room deals and budget reconcilliation. They say they will hold everyone to higher standards and yet several are under ethics investigations. It's also interesting to me that most liberals always point to Republican hypocrisy and their belief in God when plenty of Republicans never mention God. There are plenty of Democrats that are faith based people yet you don't hear people saying stuff like "there those crazy christians increasing bailout money to the unemployed". Why do they always associate Republican principles with religion (I acknowledge that there is a closely related group as well)? Newt has good ideas. His personal life stinks but again, that's his personal life. Same thing Dems say about Clinton, Roberts, Kennedy, and many others. Newt/Huckabee ticket would be stronger that Newt Palin.

    August 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • westside

      If the shoe fits......

      August 11, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. zyxavan

    He was having an affair at the same time he was blasting Clinton for having one.

    August 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tristan R.

    I've been watching politics for several decades – for me, party affiliations get in the way of governing in the best interests of our entire nation at times, and as importantly for every individual who lives in our country. I do realize platforms and party agendas are a part of our political dynamic however I very much enjoy being an independent and have always strived to support the best person running for a particular office without regard to party affiliation. I look at personal credentials such as integrity, character, experience, ability, and passion to do what's right for our country as a whole. There are people with issues, personal and professional, on both sides of the aisle, and if one looks back through the years – there always have been. Unfortunately, the choices offered up by the Dems and GOP for all of us to choose from have too often not been the best available to us, in some cases we learned this after the fact. I feel the people of this country are realizing the results of ineffective, fragmented leadership today more than ever. Add to this the inability of Congress and the Senate to govern and manage our country's affairs responsibly in a lot of serious areas and it is here where the party lines have the most troublesome impact on our country. As a nation, I hope the people across the US begin to speak clearly in the years ahead that what we all want and demand is responsible leadership. Not just a vision, but the ability to say what they're going to do and then do it. In the best interest of the country – not their party. Don't we want our elected officials to make sound decisions based on our national agenda, welfare, and needs? I'm fine with a person being a member of the GOP or the Democratic party. It helps define their beliefs and position generally. It's also quite OK with me when one of them doesn't agree on a particular issue with their party and follows another path. I want what is best for our country, and we're not getting this from our leaders no matter their affiliations or associations. In this case, it doesn't matter to me if Newt wants to run for office or if his ex-wife still thinks he's a wonderful leader. I don't. And there are other GOP members as well as many Democrats who don't deserve my support and won't get it. I hope there are positive, effective young leaders in our country that will one day get it right and get us back on the right track.

    August 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    I wonder if he still smokes dope?

    August 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brenda Curtright

    I certainly would not want a man for President of the U.S.A who has married and divorced 3 times. If he cannot hold a marriage together, then how in the world can he hold the highest office in the world together when everything seems to be falling apart in the U.S.A. He seems to be a bright man, but he will not get my vote. He needs a new spouse, that will give him something to do!

    August 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Smith in Oregon

    Wow, 50 Million dollars to BUY a US Senate seat, the Republican Potty'ticians must be so proud of their selling America to the highest bidders. Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon represents what is so very wrong in America's democracy 'of the people and for the people' today.

    August 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sophie

    There’s a party going on at Newt’s place (www.newt.org). He’s issued a statement on Prop 8 defending traditional marriage which is pretty funny. What’s funnier is that he’s asked for comments.

    Best so far is “Which one of your multiple marriages was the most sacred to you?”

    http://www.newt.org/newt-direct/newt-statement-ca-marriage-ruling#disqus_thread

    August 12, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. evan Mark

    why can we not make this a multicultural center? also,
    We should be wary of overt islamophobia, and be careful to single out extremists, such as the Taliban.
    You absolutely MUST see this:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9aw6Cnw0hY&w=640&h=390]

    August 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
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