Clinton Should Handle the Trump Tapes With Care

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: A Trump supporter holds a sign before the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing… I have also been informed that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body. Also that she exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way… I have also been told by an expert in child psychology that children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences, and that adolescents with disorganized families, such as the complainant, are even more prone to such behavior.”—Hillary Rodham, The Kathy Shelton Case, 1975

The future Mrs Clinton said this about a 12-year-old rape victim in her first criminal defence case. Mahlon Gibson, the prosecutor for that case, pointed out that Hillary was most reluctant to represent the accused at first. But when she got over her reservations, she grabbed at the chance to help Thomas Alfred Taylor avoid prison. She did seem to know that he was guilty, but nevertheless, managed to prove him innocent.

Hillary was just doing her job. One cannot condemn her for that. What is shocking is the ruthlessness with which she went about slandering this 12-year-old girl, who later said that the Democratic nominee for President of the United States “took me through hell“. However, the legal world is not for the faint-hearted, so to expect her not to be ruthless in a court case is idealistic.

 “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”—Hillary Clinton, 2015

This quote begins a chapter of Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “Hillary’s America”, called “The Enabler”. The chapter looks into the various controversies in Bill Clinton’s sex life—put into a list by—in great detail. D’Souza finishes off this section with quotes from Gennifer Flowers, a long-term mistress of Bill, and four  of  the women who have accused Bill of sexually assaulting them, namely: Sally Miller, who claims that Hillary put so much effort into intimidating her that she sleeps with a gun by her side; Paula Jones, whose court case against the Clintons ended in an $850,000 settlement, Juanita Broaddrick, who said in 1999 that Bill raped her; and Kathleen Willey, who accused President Clinton of groping her.

What all of these quotes have in common is that they accuse Hillary of helping her husband to get away with his alleged crimes. This is why, when it comes to bringing up the “Trump Tapes”, Mrs Clinton needs to be very careful.

When tapes of Donald Trump saying some extraordinarily lewd things about women were released over the weekend, it seemed to be the beginning of the end of his Presidential campaign. A plethora of Republicans denounced him and withdrew their support for him (if they hadn’t already), with some going as far to suggest that he should withdraw from the race altogether. However, if the Hillary campaign doesn’t play its cards right, this may not turn out to be the clincher that it was first thought to be.

What first needs to be understood is that this incident is not going to cause Trump’s supporters to flock to Hillary en masse. They have been pretty loyal to their man throughout this whole campaign, and even if they are put off by this, they will not vote for the woman they detest so much. Even the Republicans who have withdrawn their support are unlikely to be backing the Democrats any time soon. Admittedly, a vote for any candidate other than Trump will benefit Hillary hugely, but she cannot afford to be complacent.

Secondly, Trump has plenty of ammo to aim at her. Should Hillary continue to bring up the tapes at high-profile events, he could very easily attack her by bringing up Bill’s own scandals and her role in defending him, just as he did in his apology. Accusing the Clintons of these vices without evidence will make him look like a conspiracy theorist, but if Trump manages to show some of the evidence outlined in this article and others—he showed signs of learning how to play the political game in his handling of the “Bunch of deplorables” incident, so this isn’t impossible—then he could really do some damage to his opponent.

The opportunity she has, though, is to use the tape to convince those who do not like either candidate that her opponent is the one who truly must be stopped from entering the White House. If she uses the tapes to attack Trump at times when he cannot respond, she will gradually get the message home to the wider public that she is the natural President out of the two, if she hasn’t already.

When you want to prove that you are the lesser of two evils, silence is often golden. Hillary should use the Trump tapes sparingly, or she will risk setting herself up for a huge fall.

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