The advent of online video has managed to make many a past and present politician blush, as vividly displayed by last year's "Macaca" incident involving former Republican Sen. George Allen and the more recent images of 2008 presidential hopeful John Edwards' dedication to hair care.
Clearly the power and reach of YouTube and its ilk haven't been lost on Newt Gingrich, either.
In the hot seat for referring to Spanish as the "language of living in the ghetto" during a recent weekend speech, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday posted not one, but two videos to his dedicated YouTube channel, in an attempt to explain himself.
An English version runs about two minutes, while the Spanish adaptation--which Gingrich himself acknowledges is "not perfect" and is subtitled in English-- takes about a minute longer.
The twin videos show the one-time Congressman, clad in a suit and gold necktie, gazing directly into the camera with a wall of books as a backdrop. He acknowledges that he made poor word choices he feared created "a bad feeling" in the Latino community. His point, he says in a methodical tone, was not to make a commentary on the Spanish language, but to say that people who live in the United States should make an attempt to master English.
Since his YouTube channel debuted last July, Gingrich has posted 17 videos on subjects--ranging from the Iraq war to the 'Vote Different' YouTube video that attacked Hillary Clinton. And we couldn't help but notice that the hobbies listed on the possible presidential contender's bio include zoos, dinosaurs, and, of course, national security.