During the second debate, a commanding presence was sitting in the audience as former President Bill Clinton showed his support for his wife’s bid to become the nation’s first woman president. While Bill Clinton’s name isn’t on the ballot in 2016, there’s no question that Bill Clinton is running for president too.
Donald Trump has attempted to make Bill Clinton’s history with women an issue in the campaign as a means to deflect attention from Trump’s checkered history with women. However, a fundamental difference between Bill Clinton and Donald Trump is that even in the midst of impeachment hearings, a Gallup poll found that President Clinton received a 73% approval rating from the American public, numbers that Mr. Trump can only dream of.
Two for the price of one
During his 1992 campaign for the presidency, Bill Clinton said his election would give the nation “two for the price of one,” referring to his wife, Hillary Clinton. Now, some 24 years later, the country is again looking at a two for one deal if Hillary Clinton is elected president. For all the stories written over the years about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s marriage one thing stands out: in good times and bad, they are a team.
While Hillary Clinton’s name will be the one on the ballot next month, for many Americans over the age of 40 it will be a referendum on how they felt about the first Clinton presidency. For a majority, the answer will be positive. A Gallup poll in 2014 showed that former President Clinton had the highest approval rating of any living president with 64% of the country viewing him positively.
Fond memories of Clinton presidency
Much of the country looks back with fond memories of the Clinton years as the last time America was free of conflict and the economy was running smoothly. During the Clinton presidency, the average GDP growth was 3.82 percent compared to the anemic growth during the Obama years of 1.78 percent. The nation was still nine months away from the horrors of 9/11 when Bill Clinton left office, and life seemed simpler and safer.
Bill in charge of the economy?
The country has never had a former president become the first spouse, and it has raised numerous questions as to what the role of Bill Clinton would be in a second Clinton administration. During the primary campaign, Mrs. Clinton told an audience that if she won the White House, Bill Clinton would play a significant economic role. Mrs. Clinton was criticized for the remark and the campaign later said she was only kidding.
My husband, who I'm going to put in charge of revitalizing the economy because, you know, he knows how to do it. Especially in places like coal country and inner cities and other parts of our country that have really been left out. — Hillary Clinton
Few people in the world have stronger personalities than current and former presidents of the United States. They have experienced the heights of power and responsibility, and few people are in a position to tell them ‘no.’ Bill Clinton is no exception. A few weeks ago, Mr. Clinton said that Obamacare was “the craziest thing in the world,” which caused the Clinton campaign a few anxious moments. Some feel that the former president did more harm than good to Hillary’s primary challenge to Barack Obama in 2008, but that did not deter the former president from speaking his mind.
Bill will play an active role
If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, we will see an active role for the new First Gentlemen. Just as Hillary counseled Bill during his term in office, we are likely to see Bill advising Hillary. It is unlikely that the former president would be given any formal role in the new Clinton administration, but Mr. Clinton would certainly be called upon by the president for special projects.
But I will certainly turn to him as prior presidents have for special missions, for advice. — Hillary Clinton
With the odds of Hillary Clinton being the next president of the United States looking increasingly stronger less than a month before the election, it’s looking likely that we’ll once again have a “two for one” Clinton presidency.