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