[Newt recalls:] "Clinton and I used to talk like it was a graduate-school session," he says. "We both like books, we both like ideas, we both like exploring language and exploring concepts and trying to find solutions."
But then in 1998, Monica Lewinsky exploded and war broke out between the parties. Of all the ironies in Gingrich's paradoxical career, this was certainly the most bitter — at the very moment when he tried to rise above the ugly partisanship he had done so much to foster, it dragged him back down. ...
One night, Marianne says, Bill Clinton called from the White House. She answered the phone and the president asked if he could please speak to her husband. Could the Speaker come over immediately? After he hung up, Newt summoned his driver and went in the back door to the Oval Office. During that meeting, he would tell her later, Clinton laid it out for him: "You're a lot like me," he told him.
Whatever else happened at that meeting, Newt Gingrich was muzzled in the critical run-up to the '98 midterms.
She called a minister they both trusted. He came over to the house the next day and worked with them the whole weekend, but Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. " 'I can't handle a Jaguar right now.' He said that many times. 'All I want is a Chevrolet.' "
He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused....[But he] told the press that he and Marianne had an understanding.
"Right," Marianne says now.
That was not true?
"Of course not. It's silly."
During that period, people would come up to Marianne and tell her to settle, that she was hurting the cause.