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Why Bill’s Past Could Still Hurt Hillary

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slate articleThe following is an excerpt from Michelle Goldberg | December 30, 2015 | Slate.com |

Donald Trump has all but promised us that in 2016 we will revisit the peregrinations of Bill Clinton’s penis. “You look at whether it’s Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them,” he said Tuesday on NBC’s Today show. “That certainly will be fair game. Certainly if they play the woman’s card with respect to me, that will be fair game.” Like that, thanks to Trump’s near-supernatural command of the news cycle, Bill’s sexual history returned to the headlines. With Bill about to head out on the campaign trail—and with Hillary putting gender issues at the center of her bid for the presidency—it’s likely to stay there for a while.

Among Democrats, the conventional wisdom is that this can only help Hillary. Bill Clinton remains incredibly popular. People historically rally around Hillary when she seems like a victim—her approval ratings surged during the Lewinsky scandal. Besides, the oft-married Trump can’t credibly attack anyone for infidelity, especially given his own past defenses of Bill, whose only sin, in Trump’s estimation, was not cheating with hotter women. As Josh Marshall writes, “[I]n a general election, with an electorate not driven by the things that drive Trump supporters, having a thrice married, philandering blowhard like Trump trying to beat up on a woman over her husband's philandering, about which she is if anything the victim rather than the perpetrator, is almost comically self-destructive on Trump’s part.”

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