Saturday, May 07, 2016

What About Bill?

 Opinion |

So, every day, it looks more and more like Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency.
Even though I’m a big supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I have to say that I will definitely vote for Secretary Clinton if the alternatives are Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Let’s face it, I would vote for a cross-eyed orangutan before I’d vote for Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. In the long run, the orangutan would cause less damage.
Judging from the polls, it seems like a lot of people agree with me. If the Republican Party truly charges over the cliff by nominating Trump, the White House is Hillary Clinton’s to lose.
So, having reached grudging acceptance of the distinct possibility of a second Clinton presidency, it’s time to address the elephant in the room. By which I mean, what are we going to do about Bill?
We’ve never had this question to deal with before. Not only would Bill Clinton be the first male presidential spouse to occupy the White House, but he’d also be the first ex-president to hold that position. I mean, my God, “that position” doesn’t even have a name. What do we call him? “First Gentleman”? Would we borrow a phrase from our British cousins and call him the “Presidential Consort”?
Too bad we don’t have a title she could grant him, like “Duke of Chappauqua” or something.
And how do you address him face to face? He still has the courtesy title of “Mr. President,” but can you imagine calling him that in front of Madame President? Awwwk-waaard …
What exactly are his duties going to be, anyway? You certainly don’t want him moping around the Oval Office, reminiscing about old times. “Hey, honey, remember when I sat there and ordered the bombing of Kosovo? Wasn’t that awesome?” … “Bill, I’m working here, can you go play golf or something?”
Sure, he’d be great at promoting causes, as First Ladies have been accustomed to doing in the 20th and 21st centuries. But can you see him hosting teas and social functions? The mind reels.
Fortunately, I have a solution.
See, there’s a lot of speculation as to who Secretary Hillary Clinton should pick as her running mate. Some have suggested unifying the party by nominating Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in the interests of wedding the party’s actual liberal wing with its centrist Republican Lite establishment.
I, however, do not believe that either of those firebrands will be able to do the all-important (to a campaign) job of sucking it up, putting aside their disagreements with the top of the ticket, and keeping their mouths shut. Plus, we need those two back in a Democratic-controlled Senate (also an increasingly likely possibility), sounding off for actual progressive values.
So Hillary Clinton, who’s done so many unprecedented things already, should take a bold step and nominate none other than her husband, the Big Dog his ownself, William Jefferson Clinton, as her running mate.
Wait, wait, hear me out here. First off, he’s not ineligible to be president if something, God forbid, should happen to Hillary. The 22nd Amendment only says that “No person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice.” There’s nothing in there that says a former president can’t succeed a deceased or incapacitated president if he’s veep at the time.
Second, you can’t deny that the guy’s a heck of a campaigner.
His speeches in support of Barack Obama at the 2008 and 2012 Democratic conventions helped clinch the case for Obama. And let’s face it: A lot more people actually like Bill than Hillary. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.
Plus, it’ll give Bill something important to do and keep him out of Hillary’s hair. In between jetting off to foreign capitals and promoting our interests, Bill can turn the Naval Observatory (the traditional vice-presidential residence) into his own “man cave,” hanging out with Joe Biden and Al Franken, drinking Scotch, smoking cigars, and watching football and action movies on the 100 inch big screen TV. Late at night, they can sneak over to the actual observatory and play with the telescopes, because that would be awesome.
Crazy, you say? The way this campaign is going, Hillary Clinton picking her husband as her VP choice might not even make the top five on the “crazy stuff that happened” list.