Trump and the Clintons, Time for Low Blows

They seem at their best in the photo. Donald Trump, the great lord in his tuxedo and white bow tie, “young” and married at 59 years old. Melania, his third wife, in a strapless cream gown. In the middle, beaming as anyone would at a friend’s wedding: Bill and Hillary Clinton. The former first lady, wearing a string of pearls and yellow silk, laughs heartily, while her husband slaps the shoulder of the real estate mogul.

That was in 2005, in Florida. Donald Trump was omnipresent, especially when he showered the Democrats with libations. Bill played golf with him, Chelsea hung out with his daughter, Ivanka. The entrepreneur made donations to the Clintons’ philanthropic foundation. What could be more natural in his position, he reasoned, than maintaining good relations with the political world?

Today, Trump shamelessly dynamites his former friendships. One month before the primary season begins, the strikes hit low. After the last Democratic debate on Dec. 19, 2015, he joked about Mrs. Clinton’s delayed return to the stage after a commercial break (the ladies’ restrooms were a one-minute and 30-second walk away.) The next day, he used a slang term that provoked heart palpitations in Washington: “schlonged,” a term that, in Yiddish, refers to “male genitalia,” as the press explained after consulting linguists and grammarians. Trump stated he just wanted to remind everyone that Mrs. Clinton had been “beaten” in 2008 by Barack Obama. …


The former secretary of state chose not to respond to the machismo of the Republican contender, which he has made a campaign standard. Everyone who understands “the humiliation this degrading language inflicts on all women should” have this same response, stated her spokesman. Mrs. Clinton confined herself to observing that the man who had invited her to his marriage to a Slovenian supermodel 25 years his junior had a certain “penchant for sexism.”

Sexism? Donald Trump jumped at the chance to remind the former first lady of her own marital difficulties. She would do better to look into her own husband’s “penchant for sexism,” he tweeted (in capital letters, like always).

Since then, the billionaire has repeatedly stated that Bill Clinton preys on women and that Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern who was behind the impeachment proceedings in 1998, knows something about that. He proposed providing a list of Clinton’s accusers; while one of Bill’s other “victims” has reappeared: Juanita Broaddrick, who was kindly invited to speak on-air by a right wing talk show host.

Republicans are not alone in continuing to take Bill Clinton to task for his behavior. “Trump has smeared women because of their looks. Clinton has preyed on them,” commented columnist Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post. In New Hampshire, one voter asked Mrs. Clinton about the women who have accused her husband of harassment. “You recently came out to say that all rape victims should be believed? Should we believe them as well?” Mrs. Clinton nodded, embarrassed. “Until they are disbelieved based on evidence,” she qualified.

The controversy is going downhill fast. Hillary had just begun to involve her husband – “my not so secret weapon” – in the campaign. The former president takes his first meeting on Monday, Jan. 4 in New Hampshire, a state where socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’s popularity poses a threat to the favorite. That same day, Trump will also be in New Hampshire. Ladies, take shelter. …

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