News & Politics

If Hillary Wins, What Becomes of Bill?

Whatever else can be said of Hillary Clinton, her candidacy for president proves historic in more ways than one. Not only could she become the first female commander-in-chief. She and her husband Bill would become the first couple to each have held that position. How would that even work? What will Bill Clinton, a former president, do while his wife takes on his old job? From the New York Times:

He will not be invited into the Situation Room. He will step away from his family’s foundation work and may not even have an office in the West Wing, given the undesirable optics of a former president and husband looking over the shoulder of the first female commander in chief.

But the steps Clinton aides are planning to shape his new life do little to address a potentially thornier problem: Historically, when Bill Clinton does not have a job to do, he gets into trouble.
It was during the government shutdown in 1995 that Bill Clinton began his affair with Monica Lewinsky. It was in the early years after he left the White House that his friendships with wealthy playboys became tabloid fodder. Sidelined by Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton went rogue and started lashing out at Barack Obama. More recently, his dinner with the businessman Mark Cuban and his tarmac encounter with Attorney General Loretta Lynch were reminders that when Bill Clinton has time on his hands, he can create dangerous distractions for his wife.

Idle hands are the devil’s playthings, especially when attached to Bill Clinton.

Beyond the question of how Bill will occupy his time with Hillary in the Oval Office, we need to figure out what to call him. First Gentleman? First Man? First Spouse? Even if Hillary loses, that’s a question which time will eventually compel us to answer.