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Newt Gingrich basks in the sun as he stares longingly at the Statue of Liberty in a new ad asking for donations, only a week after taking shots at "elitists" who "ride the subway" like the filthy degenerates they are. Isn't it a bit hypocritical, you might ask, to raise money off the city while bashing everyone who lives in it? No. It is a sign that Gingrich sees New York as real New Yorkers do: as an exciting unlivable hellhole. "I like being in New York City at Christmas," Newt Gingrich said in December, probably right before stepping on a frozen dog turd.

Elitists on the subway? New Yorkers on the Internet thought that was hilarious -- wait till he hears about taxis! But maybe Newt's critique was more subtle. Maybe he meant the pretentious dorks, as described in the New York Observer several years ago: “Reading galleys on the subway is the closest the publishing industry comes to having a standardized mating call.”

In the 1990s, Gingrich spent a lot of time love/hating New York, calling it a "a culture of waste for which they want us to send acheck," a "malignant combination of machine politics, bankrupt welfare statism and rapacious unionism" that is perhaps ""subsidizing the Cosa Nostra." But then he also called it "the crown jewel of America" and " "the greatest city in the country," while he staff insisted, "He loves New York and New Yorkers." New Yorkers' ambivalence about their city is well-documented, and perhaps it's time for them to embrace Gingrich as one of their own. In the still from the ad at right, you can imagine Newt thinking "oh man I can't wait for brunch" and "is that a body in the water" simultaneously.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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