Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Kanye West's Yeezy Season 3 Show: 5 Stylish Things You May Have Missed
- Read the Cover Story: Ryan Reynolds: Sexiest Dad Alive
- Jamie Chung Reveals the Reason She Has Never Watched Husband Bryan Greenberg in One Tree Hill
- Utah High Schooler Hands Out 900 Carnations to the Girls at His School for Valentine's Day: 'It Was Totally Worth It'
- Let Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans Heat Up Your Valentine's Day in Their Gucci Guilty Video
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- January 09, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 1
Newt & Callista Gingrich: Party of Two
She Got Him to Try Golf, Share at Restaurants and Enjoy Opera. But Can the Candidate's Third Wife Help Him Win Over Republican Voters?
Those close to the Gingriches say that such displays of spousal support are not just show. "Newt is a changed man," says Mary Ourisman, a former U.S. ambassador. "Callista has been amazing for him." Though Newt was still taking some heat ahead of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus for his six-year extra-marital affair with Callista when she was a congressional aide, friends say she is now among his strongest assets. "We take time for each other on a regular basis," Callista told People during a chat after the book signing. "We enjoy being with one another." Their togetherness has vexed some staffers worried about Newt's time, but he insists, "You have to slow down to really be with each other."
He is aware that some voters may judge him for two failed marriages, both of which involved infidelity. "He admits he made mistakes, and he asked for God's forgiveness," says daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman, 45, echoing a sentiment Newt expressed in debates. Asked if she forgives him, she says, "I do. We all moved on. Obviously it was a very difficult time." She is now close to Callista, whom she calls a good influence on her dad, and offers an example: "He now shares his calamari. It's a silly thing, but he's more relaxed." Newt allows, "I had to learn a lot about having had failed relationships and trying to think about what matters in life. What are you going to invest in?" To demonstrate his priorities, he shares the plans for that evening: a concert at which his wife would play the French horn. His job? Carry the horn.
What Callista brings, friends say, is humor, down-home practicality and an ease with people honed in tiny Whitehall, Wis. At Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she was a scholarship student, "she knew how to make people feel comfortable," says music professor Timothy Peter. "She had a gift for grace and conversation."
In McLean, Va., where the Gingriches share a two-story brick house, they can be spotted at the local Giant food-shopping together or on the golf course, where Callista often edits Newt's books on her BlackBerry while awaiting her turn. "We have a lot of fun," she says. "We make documentary films together, we write books together, we travel together."
An accomplished horn player and an alto with the choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Callista has kindled Newt's budding love of opera. (Yet, "Dancing Queen" by ABBA remains his ring tone.) More significantly her Catholic faith led him to convert in 2009. "His conversion made him into somebody who reflected on his life, on people he had hurt in the past," says former aide Rick Tyler. "That has given him a sense of calm."
But there have been rough spots: A spring cruise the Gingriches took to Turkey and Greece at Callista's urging as his campaign was starting caused a firestorm. Soon after, several staffers quit. Ourisman counters that Callista made him a better candidate: "She has taught him a lot about how to deal with people." His sister Candace Gingrich-Jones, who is gay, credits Callista with helping to mend a sibling relationship soured by a disagreement over marriage equality. "Callista makes the effort to stay engaged," Gingrich-Jones told The Atlantic Monthly. "In the past 10 years we've seen each other more." Gingrich pals believe Callista could have a similar salutary effect as First Lady. "She is stunning and smart," says one. "People need to give her a chance."
- Sharon Cotliar/New York,
- Wendy Grossman Kantor/Virginia,
- Linda Marx/Miami.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!