15 May 2016 | 2:44 pm
The latest stories I’m talking about are those involving the “John Miller” and “John Barron” hoaxes, in which a man whose accent and cadence are identical to Trump’s brags in the third-person about Trump’s greatness and sexual appeal; and the NYT’s big take-out this morning on Trump’s patterns in dealing with women, complementing previous reports of his assessing the physical hotness of one of his daughters as a toddler and of the other as a grown woman. If you’re ready for a can’t-unsee-it version of the toddler case, try this.
No previous stories have stopped Trump, or even slowed him down. Last summer I wrongly assumed that the rules of political gravity that have applied to other media-age candidates would affect Trump as well. Just as Rick Perry had run into trouble four years ago for his debate brain-freeze, just as Marco Rubio suffered serious damage this year for a similar unfortunate minute, so Donald Trump might have problems for mocking John McCain as a loser, or attacking George W. Bush as a liar, or inventing stories about Muslims rioting in New Jersey or a military background for himself or his own opposition to the Iraq war.
But of course he didn’t have problems. So I am hesitant to speculate about what else might dampen his appeal. But here is why the latest stories seem potentially different. They are about something everyone can understand.
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