A question of temperament

Adding on to the post-debate news of Hillary Clinton rising and Donald Trump sinking is the unfolding story line of Alicia Machado, a Miss Universe from the 1990s who resurfaced this week after Clinton mentioned her in the final minutes of the debate Monday.

The context was, in brief, in an exchange over Trump’s supposed mistreatment of women. Clinton accused him of calling Machado, a Latina, “Miss Piggy” over a weight gain and “Miss Housekeeping.” Trump has not, to my knowledge, denied that he said those, but since the debate has called Machado’s character into question…most notably with a storm of tweets in the wee hours of this morning.

Take the “he said, she said” nature of this question out of this. I don’t think Clinton’s intent in bringing this issue up was to focus solely on Trump’s supposed misogyny. Rather, I think this was to feed into the narrative that he is temperamentally unfit for office, someone who “can be baited with a tweet,” as was said at the Democratic convention. I’m not sure what a presidential contender hopes to gain by firing off a string of snarky tweets between 2 and 6 am, but it’s not a good look.

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