The question that forms the title of this post is foremost on the minds of the American electorate this morning.
The leak, no doubt by the Clinton mud-slinging machine, of an audio in which Donald Trump makes lewd comments about women plays into the Democratic nominee’s playbook, which is titled “This Man Is Too Crude to Be President.”
Let’s assess the damage. First, the audio was recorded eleven years ago. In an era in which politicians sidestep all sorts landmines by claiming they have “evolved,” Trump could have played the evolution card — which would have been pretty lame. Instead he did something unrpecedented for him. He issued an apology on Facebook, in which he acknowlegded he is not perfect. He also threw in a zinger about Hillary’s less-than-charitable treatment of the women her husband is accused of having sexully abused.
Will that be enough to put the matter to rest? Surely you jest.
Mrs. Clinton will pursue this angle with renewed zeal at Sunday’s debate, saying that Trump’s remarks prove what she has said all along about his lack of temperament and unsuitability to be president.
She will of course have her own fish to fry, and not just at the debate but in the time remaining between now and the election. In the 20,000 pages of Clinton documents released yesterday by Wikileaks (an arm of the Trump political machine?), statements that Trump — and more imrportantly, Bernie Sanders — made about her have been borne out.
It’s hard to know how former Sanders supporters, some of whom have already joined the Trump “After Berners,” will react to her statements that “Wall Street insiders are what is needed to fix Wall Street,” that “you need both a public and a private position” on political issues, and that “I’m kind of far removed from the struggles of the middle class.”
But even these bombshells are small potatoes alongside her statement to a Brazilian bank in 2013 that “[m]y dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”
These statements are not merely more lies that demonstrate that Clinton talks out of both sides of her mouth and cannot be trusted. They represent and out-and-out betrayal of her base.
The mainstream media have already begun circiling the wagons. If you examine the headlines this morning at Google News, for example, you find that the first three link to stories about Trump’s “obscene remarks,” the fourth is about Hurricane Matthew, and the fifth and sixth are about Paul Ryan’s condemnation of Trump’s remarks.
As for stories relating to Clinton’s Goldman Sachs transcripts? There aren’t any.
But other sources are carrying the story, which is too big to contain. In assessing who will be damaged more, consider that the Trump leak is over and done with. Those interested in knowing — and telling — what kind of person Clinton have just begun to fight. So far, they have skimmed the surface of those 20,000 pages. With a month left till the election, who knows what other gems are waiting to be unleashed?