The PJ Tatler

Ex-Congressman Duke Cunningham Endorses Newt Gingrich from His Jail Cell

Looks to be one of those days when real life and Onion headlines are interchangeable. Voice of San Diego reports:

Jailed ex-Congressman Duke Cunningham wants Newt Gingrich to know he’s got the Republican presidential candidate’s back.

Cunningham apparently has been watching the Republican presidential primary debates while spending 100 months in a Tucson, Ariz. federal prison. Cunningham, a Republican who represented northern San Diego, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion in 2005 in one of the biggest federal bribery scandals in recent memory.

Cunningham also reports that Newt can expect strong turn out from the prison community:

I have 80% of inmates that would vote for you. They might not be able to but their extended families will.

Cunningham’s whole letter can be read as a PDF here.

This is reminiscent of how R. Emmett Tyrell Jr. concluded his column this week:

Back in 1992, I appeared with Chris Matthews on some gasbag’s television show. Was it Donohue? At any rate, I said candidate Clinton had more skeletons in his closet than a body snatcher. It was a prescient line then, and I always got a laugh. I can apply the same line today to Newt, though he has skeletons both inside and outside his closet. Conservatives should not be surprised by the scandals that lie ahead if they stick with him.

Those of us who raised the question of character in 1992 were confronted by an indignant Bill Clinton, who treated the topic as a low blow. To listen to him, character was the “C-word” of American politics. It was reprehensible to mention it.

By now, we know. Character matters. Paul, Santorum and Romney have it. Newt has Clinton’s character.

What next? Which Ghost of Political Scandals Past will reemerge to further embarrass conservatives while we should be preparing to unite for victory?

(Hat tip to Belladonna Rogers’s advice column this morning on the first-rate Tyrell piece.)