While several of his rivals have tried and failed to turn Bill Clinton's decades-old sex scandals into a 2016 campaign issue, Trump is actually making it happen. After his complaint about Hillary calling him "ISIS's best recruiter" morphed into a debate about sexism just before Christmas, Trump changed the conversation again, tweeting on Monday "If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women's card on me, she's wrong!" Tuesday on the Today show, he added, "there certainly were a lot of abuse of women, you look at whether it's Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones, or any of them, and that certainly will be fair game."Hartmann quotes Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus who said that "in the larger scheme of things, Bill Clinton’s conduct toward women is far worse than any of the offensive things that Trump has said." And Marcus contended that what Bill did should be held against Hillary, because: "She is (smartly) using her husband as a campaign surrogate, and simultaneously (correctly) calling Trump sexist."
And Hartmann points us to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that calls Bill Clinton "a genuine sexual harasser in the classic definition of exploiting his power as a workplace superior, and the Clinton entourage worked hard to smear and discredit his many women accusers."
Over on Facebook this morning, my son John had linked to a CNN piece: "Trump: It's OK to talk about my personal life, too."
Trump didn't go into specifics.... But his personal life at times has been tabloid fodder, most famously in the early 1990s when his marriage to his first wife, Ivana Trump, fell apart after he had an extramarital affair with model and actress Marla Maples. Trump eventually married Maples in 1993, and the two divorced six years later. Trump married his current wife, Melania, in 2005.John commented: "I love the subtly sardonic phrase 'his current wife.'" That prompted me to type this out very fast over there at Facebook, and now I want to reprint it here. I said:
Trump is in a good position here: 1. The bad stuff was already exposed like hell in the tabloid press back when it happened. 2. That was over 20 years ago. 3. He's been with his current wife for more than a decade. 3. His kids turned out great (including the one with Maples). They are beautiful, smart, respectful, and productive. 4. There are so many people who know him and have had a motivation to speak ill of him this year and there's been silence. 5. He's not resting his case on personal rectitude. 6. He hasn't flaunted his religion and being quiet about religion is one way -- a good way -- to seem sincere and respectful toward religion. He's not asking to be seen as a religious paragon and to be voted for on that ground. 7. He isn't saying much at all in the social conservative realm, but he needs to fend off his competitors who are doing that big time. I think subtle prods to regard them as insincere are fine and I agree with the insinuations. 8. Hillary is vulnerable and he's signaling to her that efforts to paint him as sexist will be met with criticism about what she did toward women in defense of her husband. She deserves that criticism.