By Rachel Hartman
Newt Gingrich isn't the only conservative candidate carefully handling talk about his marital history.
Longshot presidential contender Buddy Roemer, a former governor of Louisiana, delicately remarked Monday night on his own divorce, as Byron York reported for the Washington Examiner.
"I've always been a churchgoing Methodist boy, from a cotton field in north Louisiana," Roemer began his speech to conservatives gathered at an Iowa's Faith and Freedom Coalition event. "After a long period as a divorced man--12 years--I remarried some 10 years ago. I married the piano player in a church next door to my own-- Scarlett. Thank you, Jesus."
The comment provoked approving laughter.
Roemer didn't, however, note that he was describing his third marriage, After recounting how he used to sneakout of his own church service to join his wife's, Roemer then proceeded to discuss his social-conservative credentials. "I'm a pro-life traditional values man," he said.
Roemer's speech is the latest illustration of the delicate balancing act that some conservative candidates face as they try to get out in front of talk about their multiple marriages.
Gingrich, former House Speaker and current conservative icon, has prominently featured wife Callista in his exploratory campaign rollout. Just last month, Gingrich was put on the spot at a public forum about his past infidelities. Gingrich, unlike Roemer, has a very public history of cheating.
However, the power of perceived trespasses against a conservative moral code may diminish on the campaign trail, simply because so many candidates have similar personal backgrounds. In addition to Roemer and Gingrich, real estate magnate Donald Trump--also touted as a possible 2012 GOP hopeful--is on his third marriage.