Bimbo eruptions is the term that Betsey Wright, Bill Clinton’s longtime gubernatorial aide, coined to describe the multifarious women who popped up in 1992 to accuse her boss of a variety of sexual transgressions. In Clinton’s case they never really stopped erupting during his presidency, especially as he turned his attentions to Monica Lewinsky.
Now it’s Donald Trump’s turn as scores of women indict him for his past conduct. On Sunday night the spotlight shone brightly on Stormy Daniels, the plucky and composed porn star who recounted on CBS’ 60 Minutes her dalliance with Trump in 2006 at Lake Tahoe, where she apparently gave him, among other things, a good spanking in his hotel room with a rolled up magazine that had him on its cover. It sounds like quite a rumpus took place. If Clinton seems like something out of Fielding’s Tom Jones, Trump is closer to Cleveland’s novel Fanny Hill.
Daniels, it seems, knew her man. She quickly brought the Donald into line, catering to his needs while making sure he knew who was boss. She made no bones about her aims; the encounter was strictly transactional on her end. Even Trumpian, you might say. She made no pretence of being a victim. No ‘me too’ status for her. Quite the contrary. Her aspiration was to appear on Trump’s television show Celebrity Apprentice. He promised but did not deliver in this regard.
Soon enough Trump, she alleges, began to play the heavy. Daniels says that she was menaced by a Trump goon in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 who told her to keep mum about her tryst or else. Trump would have been wiser to have exercised restraint. But then again, wisdom has never been his strong suit. Instead he bore down once more on Daniels. The result has been to turn her into a national celebrity, jousting with the president to tell her story, such as it is. More interesting than the details of their sexual encounter may prove to be the naked truth of the attempted coverup. Clinton attempted to besmirch the reputations of the women who attacked him but Trump appears to have added a more sinister element in the form of not-so-veiled threats.
What does Melania, who has remained behind at Mar-a-Lago, make of all this? Dedicated to her young son Barron, she never banked on the kind of ignominy that is now being dumped upon her husband almost daily as his peccadilloes are minutely scrutinized by the national media and held up for the titillation of the masses. She may be the one person who emerges from the Trump White House with an intact reputation. The more beleaguered he becomes, the more her reputation climaxes.