Midway through the nearly hourlong debate, Tim Russert, the host of “Meet the Press” and the evening’s moderator, looked up from his notes at Hillary Clinton, the first lady-turned-Senate aspirant from New York, standing across the stage.

“The issue of trust and character has been raised repeatedly in this campaign,” he began, dutifully building the tension inside the room. As Russert finished his preamble, a video began to play, showing an interview Clinton gave two years prior in which she lashed out those who’d accused her husband of having an affair in the White House.



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