A debate moderator asked Hillary about that nightmare scenario — the one where she and Bill’s humidor move back into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave — asking what Bill’s role would be if she were elected.
Leaving aside, for the time being, any (pointedly-relevant) off-color jokes about “carpets” and “drapes” — Bill wouldn’t be stuck with the traditional FLOTUS function of choosing china patterns and draperies.
When asked whether Bill’s influence as an advisor on economic issues would be a “kitchen table” or “real policy” role, in typical Clinton fashion, she let us know she wants it both ways.
Play to the strong feminist expectations in her party? Check. She’s leader enough to handle the job, blah, blah, blah. But… she also wants to ride the coattails of her husband’s Presidency. Why? Because in his presidency, America was pretty prosperous. In the Obama-Biden-Clinton presidency? Not so much.
If they are pinning their hopes on Bill Clinton recreating the 90’s, it is unclear what their plan to accomplish that may look like.
No word, for example, on how the Clintons expect to spawn another dot-com revolution (from which that economy profited so greatly), or whether the House and Senate will be handed over to Republicans to help recreate the conditions with which Bill Clinton managed the economy in the nineties. Presumably, Hillary would expect any proposed plan to help fix the economy without nuking Obamacare. Has anyone bothered to tell her that Obamacare is part of what tanked the economy in the first place?
But let’s get back to the real, burning question here. What should we call Bill?
I’m returning to that question because policy outcomes of a Hillary presidency make me even more queasy than the idea of the Septuagenarian skirt-chaser in the Lincoln Bedroom does.
Some have tried to gender-flip FLOTUS and call him the First Gentleman Of The United States, which, if you haven’t already checked, would work out to FGOTUS. It’s an acronym as aesthetically appealing as roadkill. But there are reasons better than aesthetics to reject it.
It’s bad enough that Bill — a white guy, if anyone’s keeping score at home — got to be called the “first black president”. Do we have to call him a “gentleman” too? How many lies do we need to prop up one family’s reputation? At least make them do their own lying, and don’t do it for them.
Gentleman is a word that has fallen out of favor, but it has a meaning. General Grant once stopped an officer from telling an off-color story. When the officer complained that there were no ladies present, he replied: “but there are gentlemen”. (Quoted from page 640.)
When scanning definitions for the word, it was hard to imagine applying any of those meanings to William Jefferson Clinton with a straight face, and without irony. He is neither a royal nor is he an especially noble or polite person. Just ask the women who claim he was sexually inappropriate and/or violent with them.
This would just create a needless opportunity for friends and foes alike to make sport of the office of President. A better option would be to keep “FLOTUS” as the designation, changing only what the letters mean, that would at least keep tradition somewhat intact.
Feel free to put your own breakdown for what FLOTUS could stand for, but I can start us off with a suggestion of my own, drawing from his history of womanizing:
First Letcher Of the United States
(Or FLOTUS for short.)