Newt Gingrich prepares for likely White House bid

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The biggest obstacle to a Newt Gingrich presidential bid might be Gingrich himself.

The twice-divorced former U.S. House speaker has admitted an affair with a former congressional aide who is now his third wife. His career in Congress is remembered as much for his dramatic fall — the federal government shutdown, his censure and the loss of Republican seats in the House — as his rise. His polarizing style sometimes leaves would-be voters cold.

"I don't think it will be Newt's moral issues that will keep him from winning the presidency," said Tom Perdue, a Georgia-based GOP political strategist. "When he had a chance to govern, he proved that he couldn't."

Unlike many candidates, Gingrich won't have to struggle to make a name for himself. People already know Newt Gingrich. What remains to be seen is whether that hurts or helps him.

"The problem for Newt may be that some voters know him too well," said Ed Failor Jr. of Iowans for Tax Reform. "I think people can get past it, but it's not going to happen overnight."

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