Hillary will get to White House surrounded by ego and scandal
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The parallels between former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonClintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents Why Klobuchar should be Biden's vice presidential pick MORE and Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE are growing. Both are 70 years old; Both have been U.S. presidential nominees; And now both have been accused of sexual assault by numerous women. Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJuan Williams: Mueller, one year on Biden tops Trump by 9 points in Fox News poll With VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world MORE is linked to these men in very different ways.

But in navigating both her husband's affairs and alleged assaults and her contest with Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton has used similar tactics: weather the storm, think long term, and when you have to, fight. The first time, it got her husband into the White House. This time, it might just get her there.

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Bill Clinton and Donald Trump share more than the same age, a history of extramarital affairs, and a list of alleged sexual assaults. There is no political office too high to attain, no skyscraper too tall to build, and no international project too big to complete for people like them.

Their ambition knows no limits, and boundaries that seem impenetrable to many of us, in their minds, don't apply. But their willingness (and need) to cross lines often gets them in trouble. They have affairs, perjure themselves (Mr. Clinton), and tell increasingly outsized lies to smother pesky truths (Mr. Trump).

On one measure, Mr. Trump does top Mr. Clinton. He has already been accused of sexual assault by ten women, a number that will likely grow. It may become a great irony of this election that two men who have treated women so poorly will be directly tied to our first female President. 

Paradoxically, these two men have both helped and hindered Mrs. Clinton's ambition. Mr. Clinton's political career no doubt served as a springboard for Mrs. Clinton's. But she continues to be beleaguered by his sexual indiscretions and ongoing rhetorical missteps. For instance, on October 3rd Mr. Clinton noted that Obamacare, which Mrs. Clinton supports, has led to increased premiums and less coverage, calling it "the craziest thing in world." 

Mr. Trump has succeeded in making the campaign uncomfortable for Mrs. Clinton, marching out Mr. Clinton's accusers and perpetually framing her as a criminal. But such outrageousness has made it difficult for him to expand his demographic reach among likely voters making  her the favorite to win the election. 

Throughout Mr. Clinton's political career, Mrs. Clinton chose again and again to support him. Much has been made of her treatment of the women who accused Mr. Clinton of assaulting them. Indeed, in the 1990s she worked with a team of Clinton operatives to discredit the accusers' stories.

She made a choice to fight for her husband and her family, and to do what she thought was best for the country and ultimately her own political ambition. Is she calculated? Probably. Is she resilient? Absolutely. At 46 years old, Mr. Clinton was one of the youngest Presidents ever elected. At 69, Mrs. Clinton would be one of the oldest. She plays the steady tortoise to his more flashy hare. 

Mrs. Clinton's consistency also provides a clear contrast to Mr. Trump. He has become increasingly unmoored in recent days, insisting that the election is rigged by a global cabal of financiers, noting that he is innocent of sexual assault because he does not find the accuser attractive, and bizarrely suggesting that he and Mrs. Clinton should take a drug test prior to the third and final debate.

Mrs. Clinton has been largely absent through this flurry of unusual statements. But she doesn't fight because she knows that her long-term goals are better served by silence. And that men like Trump always collapse under their own weight. 

Been there. Done that. 

Trump's personality has loomed large in the final weeks of the campaign. He needs immediate recognition and demands that he be noticed. His need for gratification from women, his crowds, and the polls have been on full display.

At no point was this more clear than during the second presidential debate on October 9th in St. Louis. As Mrs. Clinton spoke, Mr. Trump paced the stage, seemingly unable to fully yield the floor for her allotted two-minute response. During the debate, Mrs. Clinton answered questions about healthcare, foreign policy, and the economy, often with Mr. Trump in close proximity. Since the debate, Mr. Trump has continued to circle her, hounding her with threats of a special prosecutor and jail time. All the while, Mrs. Clinton just keeps plugging away.

All the way to the White House.

McGowan holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at William Paterson University and stay-at-home dad living in Wyckoff, New Jersey. 


 

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