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Laden with baggage, Newt Gingrich tries to defy odds

By Michael Kranish and Brian C. Mooney
Globe Staff / January 1, 2012
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As NewtGingrich seeks the Republican presidential nomination, he is fighting not just for the country’s future, as he often proclaims, but also against his past. If he loses his bid, the reason might be summed up in a single word used against him in a recent advertisement: baggage. He has alienated countless Republican leaders, preached morality while committing adultery, and earned millions of dollars from some of the same special interest groups he has criticized. But if hewins the nomination, such a victory would doubtless be traced to his ability since childhood to come up with a grand idea and then fight for it against the odds.

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Gingrich’s life as an elected
politician seemed over. Having once hoped to ‘shift the entire planet,’
he now sought to reshape himself.
When 19-year-old Newt prepared
to marry his 26-year-old former teacher, his stepfather refused to attend and his mother wanted to go inside but ‘I couldn’t do it,’ she said.
So in a formative moment of
abandonment, passion, and determination, Gingrich said his vows.