To this day, Barack Hussein Obama remains a man of mystery. Copious amounts of documentation from his early life and academic career have never been released. It took years of pressure, plus Donald Trump as the ringmaster of a media circus, just to see his birth certificate.
When the L.A. Times obtained a potentially embarrassing videotape of Obama laughing it up at a party for Arafat minion Rashid Khalidi, the paper pursed its lips and fastidiously hid the tape from public view. Their newspaper account of the part didn’t even mention that domestic terrorist Friends of Obama Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn attended the event. Another important connection from Obama’s past, his long attendance at Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church of racial hatred, was carefully buried by the media until conservative radio hosts and bloggers dragged it into the open.
The rules for “vetting” are very different for Republican candidates. We’ve already seen murky allegations from Herman Cain’s past assigned a level of instant credibility that would never have been granted if he were a black Democrat. Even after a much more serious accusation of a long-running consensual affair caused Cain to suspend his campaign, we still don’t know exactly what the initial “sexual harassment” accusers complained about.
Now CNN has magically obtained the sealed records of Newt Gingrich’s first divorce. Here’s the wonderful story of how this Yuletide journalistic miracle came to pass:
After initially being told that the divorce documents were sealed, CNN on Thursday obtained the folder containing the filings in the divorce, which had been stashed away for years in a Carroll County, Georgia, court clerk’s drawer. Retired clerk Kenneth Skinner told CNN his deputy took Gingrich’s file out of the public records room around 1994, “when he (Gingrich) became the center of attention,” because Skinner feared tampering and theft.
“During these years, you had to make sure those papers were there,” Skinner said. “People could go in those files and get things out. We didn’t have enough security to control it.”
Current Carroll County Clerk of Court Alan Lee said he called the retired deputy clerk, who told him where to find the papers, after CNN began looking for them last week.
Shazam! Those papers just popped right out of a clerk’s drawer, where they were supposedly tucked over fifteen years ago, to keep people from nosing around in them! Oh, the irony! Who knows what CNN might be able to discover about Barack Obama, if they bothered to look for some of his records with the intensity reserved for Republicans’ sealed divorce papers?
By an amazing coincidence, previous Obama opponents have also seen their campaigns destroyed by the sudden exposure of “sealed” divorce papers. It happened to both Obama’s primary and general-election opponents in his 2004 Senate race. In fact, it’s likely that the only reason Obama became either a senator or President is that Chicago Democrat machine operatives and their media allies were able to pull lurid details from Republican Jack Ryan’s divorce records, unsealed for the Chicago Tribune by a very helpful California judge.
The big CNN scoop about the Gingrich divorce is that, according to those veddy interesting papers lurking in a clerk’s drawer, Newt Gingrich’s long-standing assertion that his wife Jackie requested the divorce may not be true. This is the same divorce that, according to pop-culture mythology, was dropped in Jackie Gingrich’s lap while she was wasting away in a hospital bed, dying of cancer. The Gingrich’s youngest daughter debunked this story in a widely-circulated newspaper column last spring, except for the “dying of cancer” part, which Jackie Gingrich debunked by still being alive, and unwilling to grant CNN an interview.
The divorce papers show that Newt Gingrich initiated the legal divorce proceedings, not his wife, although the campaign insists that she asked for the divorce, and he got the legal ball rolling at her request. The divorce petition says that Jackie Gingrich “does not desire” a divorce at this time, and “does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken.”
CNN dug up a divorce attorney to suggest that Jackie might have responded this way to the divorce petition to “put the screws” to Newt and “make it as difficult as she possibly could.” Lots of people other than Jackie and Newt were happy to chat about their marriage with CNN’s reporters, which of course is the point of all this. It doesn’t matter whether the former Mr. And Mrs. Gingrich want their 30-year-old divorce thrashed out on national television. The ghosts of 1980 are always ready to emerge from crypts that would be left sealed by the media, if the candidate just had the good sense to wear a different letter after his name.