Donald Trump’s stock is slipping. His 3 a.m. tweets are like Nixon talking to the White House paintings. When I first heard about his Insomnia, I thought it must be a daughter from a prior marriage. Alas, now is the Autumn of the Megalomaniac, and it’s feeling like an early Winter. However, Trump refuses to give up although “even if he doesn’t win” has crept into the campaign chatter. For a final assault on his opponent, Trump has threatened to play the adultery card. Whose — his?
Donald Trump peddled himself at one-time as the playboy billionaire. From a guest appearance in a soft-core erotic film to his days of loitering with Hef at the Playboy mansion, from producing Miss Universe pageants to surrounding himself with beautiful women, Trump’s persona is based in part on his lothario image.
Why then would he decide to go after Clinton for siding with husband former President Bill for his infidelities, including most pointedly Monica Lewinsky? The argument against Clinton is multi-faceted. The left criticizes her for attacking the women for preying upon her husband, rather than denouncing him as a philanderer and predator. The right attacks her for defending him because his affair took place while he was President and in the White House. The Stand By Your Man crowd called her stupid for staying, just as the Stay At Home crowd had condemned her for saying in 1992 that she wasn’t the kind of woman to bake cookies.
As a calculating politician, she might have stayed in the marriage until after her election as Senator. In the middle of her first term, with Hillary in Washington and Bill in Westchester, a press release announcing the decision to part and a private separation agreement would have been the best way to walk. But she didn’t do it. Rumors of Bill prowling the estates of Chappaqua did not provoke her to leave. Bill’s expurgated telling of their story at this year’s nominating convention made only passing reference to the bumps along their road. Although the Clinton team has wisely minimized Bill’s role in the campaign, they and Chelsea remain a tight family unit. Someday, the story of the Clinton marriage will be told but that will be after they have receded into history. For now, they are the nation’s most prominent power couple (condolences to Brangelina) in an unconventional marriage.
Trump has nothing to gain by going after the Clinton marriage. It won’t hurt Clinton; actually will probably push more fence-sitters in her direction. Mainly, Trump needs what he does not have: a convincing reason for putting him in the charge of the American government. He hasn’t come up with anything yet, but I will continue to check the tweets over my morning cup of joe.