June 20, 2008

If Hillary become Veep, what's Bill's title?

If Michelle's the First Lady, then Bill would be the Second Gentleman, right?

But, then, who's the First Gentleman?

Sure, it sounds silly, but it points out the problem that was never addressed in terms of either Hillary for President or for Vice President: what's Bill's role? Because we were all supposed to celebrate Hillary's candidacy as this great triumph for women that all patriotic Americans were supposed to take pride in (kind of like those bogus women's team sports competitions that corporate America puffs up when American women win even though the only competition is China and Norway), nobody was supposed to mention that Hillary was running for President only because her husband was term-limited out of office, just like in banana republics like Argentina.

I, Ectomorph
After all that has happened, [Obama] must feel that he has earned the nomination in his own right and won't govern effectively if the press is constantly preoccupied with whatever the Clintons are up to at One Observatory Circle (the little-known VP residence that would suddenly be a lot better known if Socks the Cat moves in). ... If he needs to have her onside, then he'll have the common sense to promise her a job in the new administration that she can be fired from.

And since Obama can't fire Hillary if he makes her VP, he doubly can't fire Hillary's husband from his ill-defined but inevitably large role as the Looming Presence or whatever. An Obama-Clinton administration would be the best thing that ever happened to the gag writers for late night talkshow hosts, but Obama would be nuts to saddle himself with the Hill and Bill Show. Just imagine Obama getting all geared up to promote some boring carbon emissions bill, when it suddenly leaks out that the Vice President is divorcing the ex-President. Nobody would pay any attention to the President for months.

Bill is the exact opposite of the ideal husband of a lady leader, Denis Thatcher, a convivial man not very interested in politics or the spotlight. He was 10 years older than his wife, and so was winding down his business career as she reached the top of her political career. He had enough money and wasn't particularly on the prowl for more. Mr. Thatcher only gave short speeches and never gave interviews.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

I've been mulling the choice of the demonstrated incompetent Patty Solis Doyle to be Veep Chief of Staff. I think it sends two messages, one good: 1) Not Hillary for Veep no way no how. 2.) Obama intends to return to the Alben Barkley / Dan Quayle model of the vice presidency, no substantive role, use the office for essentially ornamental campaign helpers.
#1 I think is a very fine message, and clear.
#2 is not so good: I think Gore and Cheney were very helpful in putting forward the agendas of the Bush and Clinton administrations. It's a big, high-visibility role, potentially. It is risky, to allow a lot of power to flow into a person who you can't fire after the election, but I think a substantive guy in the role would be a plus. dave.s.

Anonymous said...

I, Ectomorph wrrites: "One Observatory Circle (the little-known VP residence that would suddenly be a lot better known if Socks the Cat moves in)"

Socks the Cat is long gone. The Clintons gave it to Betty Currie when they left the White House. (Currie was the African-American White House secretary who helped cover up Bill's shenanigans.) Pets serve the Clintons only as props. First Dog "Buddy" was run over by a car shortly after the Clintons moved to Chappaqua.

Anonymous said...

The idea of "first lady" comes from British notions of precedence, who walks into a room first. A wife takes precedence from her husband, unless he is a clergman (tribute to celibacy), in which case she goes with whatever precedence is hers by birth (from her father) or achievement (a twentieth c. novelty.)

So a male president is the first gentleman of the US, but the husband of a female president is not first gentleman, and the husband of a female vice-president is not second gentleman because men do not take precedence from their wives, unless we re-write precedence according to a modern American style. There is also the whole issue of international precedence to consider at diplomatic functions - the State Dept. has that down.

If you want to choke yourself, look at Burke's precedence, or at "precedence" in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Bill be called "The First Nose"? Or simply "The Chappaqua Dick"?

Anonymous said...

The Clintons, a heartbeat away from the Presidency? That's a scary idea, and it's not even my heartbeat.

kurt9 said...

Bill Clinton a gentleman?

Nah. Parish the thought.

Jim O said...

I think Socks is dead. As so is the idea that Obama will pick Hill.

Anonymous said...

His title will be, forever, what it always was:

"Slick Willy"