Pelosi's dirt on Gingrich: Who will it really hurt?

The Democrat threatens to release damaging information about the surging Republican, but arguably, having Pelosi as an enemy actually helps Newt

As Newt Gingrich rises in the presidential polls, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatens to reveal some juicy info about the Georgian from a congressional ethics investigation in the 199
(Image credit: Spencer Platt, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Some Democrats are worried about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's rapid and apparently enduring rise in the Republican presidential polls. Fellow former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) isn't one of them. After serving in Congress with Newt from 1987 to 1999, "I know a lot about him," Pelosi told Talking Points Memo. "I served on the investigative committee that investigated him" for tax and campaign-finance violations in the late 1990s. And I'll divulge details "when the time's right." Gingrich thanked Pelosi for an "early Christmas gift," then shot back with a threat of his own: Leaking sealed House Ethics records would open Pelosi to an ethics investigation. Gingrich is already taking flak from GOP rivals for appearing in a friendly climate change ad with Pelosi in 2008. Will Pelosi's threat hurt him even more — or will it backfire on the Democrat?

This could cost Newt loads of GOP supporters: "The mere thought that Newt has even more baggage on the carousel of politics is enough" to lose my vote, says Don Surber in the Charleston, W.V., Daily Mail. "He is already over the weight limit for baggage," and even if Pelosi is bluffing, Gingrich has made plenty of well-placed enemies on both sides of the aisle. Ironically, Pelosi's "fair warning may be doing Republicans a big favor," by encouraging them to ditch Newt before it's too late.

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