THE NEWT SLIM-FAST DIET

In politics, appearances are everything. To assuage his critics, Newt Gingrich last week started paying down his debt to the ethics committee and promised not to borrow more than $150,000 from Bob Dole. But the appearance that Washington was talking about was more cosmetic: a newly svelte and shorn Speaker. Gingrich is following a regimen of careful eating and increased exercise that has resulted in a loss of nearly 20 lbs. And the Georgia mop-top is getting his hair cut every two to three weeks. Result: a slimmer, more sophisticated Speaker. But Newt's G.O.P. critics say he also has a slimmed-down...

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