BOSTON (CBS) – For months, the Donald Trump campaign has tried with limited success to remind us all about the Bill Clinton sex scandals of the 1990’s. Watching Melania Trump’s interview on CNN Monday night, I was reminded of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s infamous “60 Minutes”interview in the run-up to the 1992 New Hampshire primary, and the comparison isn’t flattering.
For starters, the “60 Minutes” interview featured the Clintons together, holding hands, conceding problems in their marriage but pledging to work through them together.
Last night Mrs. Trump was sent out to face the cameras all alone, and while she did defend her husband, she did so in the flat, unemotional tone of someone reading their lines from a script.
As in her convention speech, her words were fine but lacked discernible passion, or any anecdotes that might explain her professed trust in him.
Back in 1992, Bill Clinton was a young, appealing candidate with an obvious grasp of policy and an optimistic vision of the future. That made it easier for voters to buy his campaign spin that the infidelity was a distraction, a personal flaw interfering with what he might do for people as president.
Donald Trump is an old, widely unappealing candidate with little to say about policy beyond a few punch lines and a harshly negative view of the country and the campaign. An unprecedented percentage of voters already didn’t like him – his juvenile vulgarity may have expanded and cemented that sentiment, if the current polls are any indication.
Back then, the Bill and Hillary show saved his campaign.
I doubt Melania Trump did the same Monday night.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: