When the histories of this warped campaign are constructed, when a lasting inventory of its every last ignominy is done, Donald Trump’s guarantee that all of his appendages measured up to greatness will be front, center and protuberant, evidence of the election’s vulgar endowment.
But there’s a more specific reason to dwell on that pants-dropping moment during a jaw-dropping debate. It broke with decades of political history, challenging the belief that one of the greatest threats to a presidential future was a profligate past.
John F. Kennedy admitted nothing. Bill Clinton denied everything. He had to persuade a leery electorate that his libido was overrated so that he could demonstrate, in the White House, that it wasn’t.
From Gary Hart through Newt Gingrich, politicians raced to stay a step ahead of sexual scandal.
Or they were relished for their apparent immunity to it. Four years ago, the GOP chose a nominee who wore special religious undergarments.