Trump Time Capsule #112: Gennifer Flowers

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.
Donald Trump on Twitter.

Donald Trump tweeted today that he has invited Gennifer Flowers, subject of controversies involving Bill Clinton’s infidelities when he was governor of Arkansas, to sit in the front row during his first debate next week against Hillary Clinton. This is in apparent retaliation for Hillary Clinton’s reportedly inviting Mark Cuban, anti-Trump billionaire, to sit at the debate.

Flowers soon confirmed that she had accepted the invitation.

Obvious time-capsule point #1: Nothing like this has happened in a general-election race before.

Head-scratcher point #2: Trump is running against the first female major-party nominee in U.S. history. And he focuses attention, in this important first debate, on a decades-old controversy? Involving the nominee’s husband? Whom she has stayed with through more than 40 years of marriage? And whom the Republican party of the 1990s destroyed itself trying to impeach?

Talk about impulse control.