IF you want to figure out why Newt Gingrich is still out there grasping for lost power, howling at the moon like King Lear, look to Callista.
You can find her anytime standing statue-still on stage next to Newt as he speaks, gazing at him with such frozen attentiveness that she could give a master class to Nancy Reagan.
Ann Romney often introduces her husband, chatting warmly about his uxorious virtues, and then disappears offstage or to the back of the stage while he talks. But the 45-year-old Callista has created an entirely new model for a spouse, standing mute in her primary color suits and triple-strand pearls looking at the 68-year-old Newt for the whole event, her platinum carapace inclined deferentially toward his shaggy gray mane.
“She’s a transformational wife,” Alex Castellanos, the Republican strategist, told me. “She’s the wife who makes the candidate think he is destiny’s gift to mankind, born to greater things.”
While a trophy wife is admired by her man, the admiring eyes of a Transformational Wife are there to propel her man to the next level. And when a woman who wants to be a Transformational Wife merges with a man who calls himself a Transformational Figure, you can expect a narcissistic blastoff.