As Speaker of the House after the Republican Revolution of 1994, Newt Gingrich was at the top of his game. But when he took on Bill Clinton and lost as the then-President used him as a foil in for his 1996 reelection campaign, Gingrich left Congress amid scorn from his colleagues and national scrutiny of his affair and divorce. Twelve years and countless books, DVD movies, paid speeches, and television appearances later, Newt is back, according to recent poll numbers. A Nov. 14 CNN/ORC survey showed Gingrich was tied for the lead with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Recent Iowa polls show a similar story, giving Gingrich a shot at winning the 2012 GOP campaign's first official vote on Jan. 3, a victory that could hurtle the former speaker into a head-to-head showdown with Romney for the party's nomination. Gingrich's polling numbers indicate voters aren't too concerned about the details that were revealed this year about his private jet travel and $500,000 revolving credit line at Tiffany. But it's unclear how conservatives will react to the latest not-so-great Newt news: that he made big bucks in consulting fees from Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant the Tea Party loves to hate.
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