January 5, 2016

BUT WILL HE STILL HUMP EVERY LEG?: William McGurn on how “The Big Dog–Bill Clinton–Gets Fixed.” Donald Trump’s statement that Bill Clinton’s sexual past is “fair game” for discussion has set the pace:

Now the Clintons must expect such moments throughout her 2016 campaign. Nor can Mrs. Clinton brush them off as her hubby’s problem, especially given that many of the women who accused Bill of sexual assault also say it was Hillary who orchestrated the smears against them. . . .

Mr. Clinton is now facing the heat himself as he gets into the race. It can’t help that his past misbehavior is resurfacing at the same time Bill Cosby, once a beloved figure himself, has just been charged with sexual assault. The comparisons between the two men are too obvious.

So is the question about the different responses the two men have received. Even before Bill Cosby was charged with a crime, the allegations against him led to his being stripped of honorary degrees, booted off boards and seeing his name replaced on buildings. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, is feted and rakes in the millions.

All this would be academic except for one thing: Mrs. Clinton needs the Obama coalition, especially its young women, to propel her into office. Unfortunately, as a recent New York Times feature about a Democratic mother and her daughter recently reported, “younger women are less impressed” by Mrs. Clinton than are older women. . . .

For one thing, Americans now know that the Clintons were often lying to us about her husband’s accusers. Exhibit A? When Hillary appeared beside Bill on “60 Minutes” to deny an affair with Gennifer Flowers that her husband would later admit to under oath.

As Christopher Hitchens once put it, Bill Clinton didn’t lie about sex. He lied about women. The Clintons’ problem today is that they are being called on these lies—and neither he nor his wife has a good answer.

I always use my mom as the bellwether for presidential elections; she has supported the winner as far back as I can remember. And as a Southern lady of a certain age, she absolutely adored Bill Clinton–almost as much as Elvis. She initially planned to vote for Hillary because, in her mind, voting for Hillary would mean a “third term” for Bill.

Today, my mom says she will “never” vote for Hillary. She (correctly) thinks she is a liar who, along with Bill, has used the Clinton Foundation to sell political influence and abuse power.

I also have another, middle-aged liberal woman friend who recently told me that she will no longer support Hillary. Why? Because after Trump began the discussion about Bill’s past sexual behavior, she thinks there’s an important difference between a man who is a common philanderer, and one who abuses power to get a piece. She feels sorry for Monica Lewinsky and the way her life was ruined at a very young age.

These are only anecdotes, of course. But in my mind, they indicate that there is an “abuse of power” theme with the Clintons that is resonating very powerfully with women voters.

Trump has (once again) dared to tackle an issue that others were too fearful to address, and in doing so struck a chord with a critical part of Hillary’s “war on women” base.

Hillary war on women cartoon

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