The Left’s Trumpnesia Problem

donald trump
Younger members of Gen Z are new to politics in a way that would probably baffle adults who consider themselves longtime savants. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Peter Hamby
June 10, 2024

Most journalists would probably like to forget about the media coverage of the 2016 campaign, but unfortunately, the drama of that year is burned into all of our brains like an acid flashback. I have one particularly vivid memory I return to from time to time. I was in my hotel room in St. Louis on the morning of the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. MSNBC was on in the background, and I turned to watch Andrea Mitchell interview Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook. It was the same day that Trump held a Facebook Live press conference with three of the women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct back in the ’90s—Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey—and Kathy Shelton, a sexual assault victim whose rapist was defended by Hillary Clinton more than 40 years ago. The four women, Trump announced, would be attending that night’s debate. 

Mitchell asked Mook about this ploy, which was all over the news. “This has been reported many times,” he said calmly. “Obviously, the Clintons had a tough time in their marriage 20 years ago. This was litigated a lot, and I don’t think voters are interested in litigating it again.”