Despite his skills, Fox News Sunday interview exposes why Newt Gingrich won't be a serious nominee for President (video)

But perhaps worst than that exchange for the former House Speaker was the hard cold reality that when he was pushing harder than anybody in the U.S. Congress in 1998 to bring down Bill Clinton for lying about having (oral) sex with Monica Lewinsky in the White House, Gingrich himself was cheating on his 2nd wife at the time, about as clear the living definition of hypocrisy imaginable.

But not to Newt.  No, for him it was all about the sacred Rule of  Law, a mantra heard incessantly throughout 1998 by all of those who favored impeaching Bill Clinton said at the time. A matter of lying to a grand jury. No man is above the law, etc. - you remember those greatest hits from 13 years ago.

But though it will always be a fact that when his Clinton's obituary is written, his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998 (though he was acquitted by the Senate in 1999, thus staying in office) will always be in the top paragraphs, Bill Clinton survived, and has thrived as a world leader out of office, and remains very popular.  The public as a whole was against his impeachment, and the Democrats actually gained seats in that November election in the House of Representative.  And Gingrich? He left Congress, disgraced just a few weeks after that election, never to return.

The majority of Americans did believe Clinton did wrong - but believed that the penalty of impeachment was disproportionate. You might recall it led to the creation of the progressive group They called for congressional censure of the President, but then it was time to "move on" to the affairs of the nation.

But not for Clinton, or his predecessor in '98, Bob Livingstone (who you might recall, was discovered to have had an affair, forcing him to step down in December of '98 and giving us Denny Hastert as Speaker of the House).

Gingrich's response to Wallace question on his role in trying to bring down Clinton didn't pass the smell test, frankly.

Gingrich : And it's not about personal behavior. It's about whether -- it's not about what he did in the Oval Office. You can condemn that. You can say it's totally inappropriate.

But it was about a much deeper and more profound thing, which is: does the president of the United States have to obey law? Or as long as he's popular or she is popular, can they flout the law and become a third world country where the leader gets to get away with anything they want to, but you and I obey the law?

I thought the notion -- I mean, I don't know what you would have had me do because I think the notion that the president of the United States committing perjury -- remember, he is a lawyer. This is not some accidental thing. And I thought the outcome was about right. The House indicted - in effect indicted him. That's what impeachment is.

WALLACE: But I'm just going to ask you man-to-man. Did you ever think to yourself "I'm living in a really glass house"?


WALLACE: Maybe I shouldn't be throwing stones?

GINGRICH: No. I thought to myself if I cannot do what I have to do as a public leader, I would have resigned.

Regarding his actual candidacy, Gingrich said he's "finishing up the explanatory phrase" of his ...well, whatever it is, and we'll say for sure if he's running in yet another month.  He has hired Texas Governor Rick Perry's Rob Johnson to join him as senior adviser in the exploratory process.

Because he toyed with the media about running for President four years ago, there has been a lot of deserved skepticism about how serious Newt Gingrich is about running for the Republican nomination for President in 2012 - and he didn't really clarify the issue this weekend.

There's no doubt that the 67 year old would like to be President - but it costs a lot of money and energy to put in a full fledged effort, and the possibility that he would be a viable candidate to defeat Barack Obama, based on his extensive baggage, both on a political and personal scale, remains a large question mark.

But it was Gingrich's responses to two questions posed by Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace that exposed him as being unprepared to be a credible candidate.

The first was on the obvious: How Gingrich, like so many of his conservative brethren,  suffers from such a visceral disdain for Barack Obama and his policies that it obscures his own real feelings on any public policy issue.  Translated? If Obama is for it, you've gotta be against it.

On the biggest story in the world right now, the U.S. and its Europeans (and Arab) allies engaged in Libya, Gingrich literally was for the U.S. creating a no-fly zone before he was against it, forcing him on Sunday to give a tortured explanation for his obvious contradiction in his opinion (not the first time for Newt , just the latest and most baldly explicit).

WALLACE: Some are saying that whatever the president does or doesn't do, you're against.

GINGRICH: Well, you should have played an earlier clip when I was on Greta's show in late February and I said we should be for replacing Qaddafi without using the U.S. military.

Now, the president on March 3rd changed the rules of the game. The president came out publicly and said Qaddafi must go. And so I was citing there my original position, which is if you are not in the lake, don't jump in.

Once you're in the lake, swim like crazy. Our goal should — now that the president said Qaddafi must go, our goal should be the defeat of the Qaddafi government and the replacement of Qaddafi as rapidly as possible, ideally by using western air power with Arab forces, including I think Egyptian and Moroccan and other advisers to help with the ground campaign. But I see no reason for American ground troops to go in.

But I think the president has positioned us where once the president of the United States says Qaddafi must go, we have an obligation as a country to get rid of him.

WALLACE: Here is where I'm a little confused because on Greta's show on March 7, which is the first clip, you said that we should start the no-fly zone immediately. All she asked you was what should we do about Libya?

You made no mention about what the president had said, you just said we should intervene — let me finish and you can answer — right away. Even if all you were doing was being a good soldier, why on earth would you say I wouldn't have intervened after the president committed U.S. service men and women this last week?

GINGRICH: Because there is an earlier Greta show in February, which is where this all started. In February, I said we should find ways to get rid of him using the kind of strategies that Reagan and Eisenhower used, which was to help freedom fighters without using American force.

That became impossible once the president publicly said Qaddafi must go. So she said, this is March 7, four days after the president said Qaddafi must go and my answer was the context of if Qaddafi must go, you establish the zone, but notice immediately after I said it, you take steps and you need to get rid of it.

I'm against a no-fly zone if it's 90 or 120-day or six-month experience of the truce. The goal should be to get rid of Qaddafi. That should be communicated publicly so Qaddafi's forces lose their morale.

It should be unequivocal. You can't find any unequivocal statement anywhere that Qaddafi must go. In fact, the alliance is saying, well, this is really humanitarian, it's really not directly, you know —

WALLACE: Well, OK. Let's — enough of the past.

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