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Bill Clinton-Your First “First Gentleman”

July 26th, 2016 was a historic day for an exciting reason.  On this day, the Democratic Party nominated Hillary Clinton to represent them as their presidential candidate, making history by breaking the highest and toughest glass ceiling America has ever known.  Interestingly, Hillary Clinton is not only a fiercely successful politician herself, but is also married to one of the greatest presidents in modern history.  Tonight, Bill Clinton showed us that he is prepared to make the transition from a powerful politician to the man behind the scenes, fully embracing his potential new role as First Gentleman.

“In the spring of 1971, I met a girl.”

With that, President Clinton opened a powerful endorsement speech.  In his speech, Clinton shifted our attention to the softer dimensions of Hillary as a real-life woman, wife, and mother.  Over the years, guided by Republican efforts, Hillary Clinton has often been painted as a cold-blooded, calculating woman and the spitting image of Lady Macbeth.  In this process, she has evolved into an object for public wrath. When Bill Clinton speaks of his enchantment with Hillary Clinton, when Bill tells us how he courted Hillary, when Bill introduces us to Hillary’s lovable family, Hillary Clinton once again becomes a real woman with relatable experiences and feminine characteristics.  More importantly, Bill shows us that Hillary was after all, a woman with incredulous charm and worthy of infatuation.  By describing her as possessing “a sense of strength and self-possession that (he) found magnetic”, Clinton humanizes a woman who has been scrutinized her entire life by the world for her political history.

However, their love story was not the only thing that was in the former president’s script that day.  President Bill Clinton continued to elaborate on Hillary Clinton’s qualifications, including every step of the journey that may soon lead her into the White House.  From implicitly reminding us of her time as a young litigator taking pro bono cases when she could have been digging into the pockets of Wall Street to expressing admiration for Hillary’s accomplishments in her political roles as Secretary of State and New York senator, Bill Clinton shows us that this woman has been living history her entire life and is undoubtedly the most qualified candidate to have ever sought the presidency. He makes the case that Hillary has been fighting for American causes every step of the way and will continue to do so in the White House.  Again, employing speaking techniques similar to those of Michelle Obama, Clinton implies that these promises will most likely not be delivered by the Republican nominee.

Although a man of many remarkable accomplishments himself, President Bill Clinton took care to leave them out of his speech, mentioning his presidency only to strengthen his case for Hillary.  Should Hillary Clinton become President of the United States of America, it seems that Bill Clinton is ready to embrace his role as presidential spouse.  He will most likely not interfere with politics within the Oval Office unless his assistance is seeked specifically, as Hillary will want to create her presidential legacy independently.  Nevertheless, we can be assured that our former President will still be actively engaged on the political stage.  Hillary Clinton had publicly stated that she plans to seek advice from her husband in regards to running the economy, and will also look to President Obama for his opinion.  Hillary Clinton will “put ‘em all to work”.

By Margaret Lu