Over the many decades when a female president had become conceivable but not yet real, fictional representations purveyed all kinds of notions — some silly, some serious, some sexist — of the first female president. (Jokes about the closet space in the White House were, as I recall, a staple.) But I can’t recall that anyone supposed that the first presidential campaign to feature a woman candidate would have her up against an opponent who bragged about grabbing women’s genitals, or that we would have the following exchange between her opponent and the sitting vice president:
Biden said of Trump on Saturday: “The press always asks me, don’t I wish I was debating him? No, I wish we were in high school and I could take him behind the gym. That’s what I wish.”
Casting scorn on Biden’s physical strength, Trump said, “Mr Tough Guy, you know he’s Mr Tough Guy, you know when he’s Mr Tough Guy? When he’s standing behind a microphone by himself.” Trump added: “He wants to bring me to the back of the barn? Oooooooooh. Some things in life you could really love doing.”
A fiction writer would hardly have dared to imagine the campaign to feature such a running parody of male pathology. It would have been ridiculed as insular feminist propaganda.
Maybe it will come out next that Trump has been scrawling Clinton’s telephone number on bathroom walls.