In the spirit of auld lang syne, let's ring in the new year with a column about how Bill Clinton's sex life will be the secret sauce to his wife's election in November.
It's no surprise that the campaign for the presidency has devolved - or evolved, depending on your perspective - to talk about sex and affairs. Donald Trump is calling out Hillary Clinton for playing the "women's card," and most of the world is wondering how a master of chauvinist piggery like Trump can be leading in the polls.
The two front-runners evoke strong visceral reactions from both supporters and opponents unlike any other candidates in their field, and in addition to fear, two things explain it.
The reflexive response to stomping bulls like Trump and fearless women like Clinton is driven by sex and power, two things Bill Clinton has in abundant supply and is happy to share if asked. And that's exactly the invitation he received from a Washington Post columnist recently.
By now, most have read or heard of the column that pulled Ruth Marcus into a media storm because she put in writing what was already in everyone's head: namely, that Bill Clinton's past sex life will be a topic of the 2016 presidential election.
Some might say Marcus herself got schlonged. As one of only a handful of female columnists in the national press, she often writes good commentaries worth noting. But this particular column got traction because it serves as approbation (by a woman!) to publish titillating stories, not because it includes any earth-shattering observations.
What a bonus! A "liberal media" type says Bill Clinton's sex life is fair game. What better invitation to pull out the old blue dress for another waltz around the news cycle? There is no free press, and sex sells. Besides, scandal is woven into the very fabric of our republic.
A Google search instantly produces a list of 82 political sex scandals in U.S. history involving high-level federal officials, beginning in the era of Alexander Hamilton and ending in the age of Anthony Weiner. Not one involves a woman in public office caught in flagrante delicto, and this helps explain why the nation is reluctant to elect a female president.
For many, a strong man conjures up images of virility, whereas a strong woman conjures up images of emasculation. Look no further than shirtless Vladimir Putin riding a big horse, promising to make Russia macho again, and the Hillary Clinton nutcracker, sold on Amazon for $28.95. A 9-inch fully functional resin nutcracker with an "amazing likeness of Hillary Clinton," the device has stainless steel teeth secured on her "inside upper legs to grip and crack nuts in their shell."
The irony is that Hillary haters might think that the media's airing of her husband's dirty laundry again would cause damage, but it won't. Pairing sexy things with Hillary Clinton, regardless of their virtue, will help her in the general election with those voters who fear she aims to take all the sex out of American politics. You know, like all the National Rifle Association members who are afraid that President Obama is going to take away their guns.
Who's better than Bubba to assure these angry folks that a woman in the White House won't bring celibacy to American politics, stop the flow of pornography, deny insurance coverage for erectile disfunction drugs or cancel the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition?
For media outlets dominated by men and politics, and roughly half an electorate who thinks about sex all the time, getting the OK from a "liberal feminist" to spice up coverage of Clinton's campaign to become the first woman president is a direction every news outlet will follow all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Voters want the promise of equal opportunity, quality child care, national security, health care and other kitchen-table staples from presidential hopefuls, of course. But a large segment also want to read stories that affirm their standing in society.
So turn off the holiday music and put it away. Package up 2015 and put it on the shelf. It's a new year, and there's plenty of opportunity buried under the discarded wrapping paper and pine needles. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and there are 11 months of salacious campaign coverage to look forward to.