Bill Clinton... First Gentleman? Nope, Call Him "Adam" If Hillary Wins, He Says
The White House has never seen a woman president, nor a male First Lady equivalent. So here's a question: What would we call him? Don't worry, Bill Clinton is on it — he's been thinking hard about what his title would be if the former first couple makes it back into the White House. Drawing from the Bible, Bill suggested "Adam" during an interview with Rachel Ray airing on Thursday.
In comments released before the episode airs, Clinton said: “Let’s say, if a woman became president, we could, I could be called 'Adam.' I don’t know.”
But what if the "Adam's" name was Adam? "Adam" Adam? There could be a few problems with this.
Bill has plenty of thoughts on the matter, especially now the United States is moving closer toward legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide:
You know, if the president is a man, you call the president’s spouse ‘the first lady,’ so we’ll have to cross this bridge if a gay couple [is ever in the White House].
Sarah Palin's husband Todd went by "first dude" as his preferred title while his wife was governor. But that may not look great on official White House invitations. Nor would Adam. The President and Adam cordially invite you... just doesn't sound right. More commonly, male spouses of female governors are referred as the "first gentleman," which would look a lot better.
Former first lady Laura Bush appears to endorse the title; she used while talking about when the first man in the East Wing "finally happens" during an interview with C-SPAN in 2014 (she even offered a word of advice — "stand back and be quiet").
Even if he doesn't become the first "Adam," the former president clearly supports his wife as she moves toward her possible-we're-pretty-sure-it's-happening second bid for the presidency.
I’m happy to joke about it, but, look, I love my wife. Whatever she wants to do, I’m for. I think it’d be good for the country because she’s the ablest person I’ve ever worked with ... If she decided not to do it, I’d give her a bucket list and we’d go check ‘em off.
There will come a day when a president has a male spouse, but perhaps a better title exists. First Man? First Gentleman? Maybe the first presidential husband will set the precedent for a title, just as George Washington offered up "president" over king.
Alternatively — maybe we shouldn't define someone by their spouse's accomplishments, but by their own merit. Jill Biden is referred to not as the Second Lady, but, more appropriately, Dr. Biden. Accordingly, if Hillary were elected, Bill would likely remain Mr. President, just as all former presidents are — though this still could be problematic. The President ... which?
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