I’m one of those stereotypical people who doesn’t like a single candidate who’s running. However, all other political matters aside, I think the very fact that a female is running (not the first time it’s happened) is an achievement. I’m not exploring any political views regarding Hillary, because I don’t know myself. Nonetheless, she fascinates me as a female candidate and serious contender.
What about Bill?
Bill has been one of Hillary’s strongest assets. However, lately he’s become so visible and vocal that he threatens to overshadow her. The past couple of weeks have been especially bad with regard to Bill’s marketed publicity. The race has a long way to go, and the couple is starting to make the impression (intentionally or otherwise) that it would be an equal or almost equal power duo in the White House. Obviously, two sets of shoes cannot fill a job for one. Hillary could wind up looking like she’s incompetent to lead without her husband “manning” the puppet strings. (Sorry. That was a horrid pun, for which I apologize to the Clintons and anyone reading.) This fact exposes a challenge at the heart of Hillary’s campaign. The attitude that a woman cannot or should not be President is fantastically transparent in its sexism. This is an attitude that even now faces a potentially rich breeding ground. I have encountered it all around me in the wake of Hillary’s campaign.
Plenty of Americans sport the “Why an American President Must Categorically Have Male Genetalia” attitude. If the Clintons’ roles were reversed (pretending for a moment that he didn’t serve two terms) and it was a potential First Lady making such a strong mark on her husband’s campaign, America would probably delight in such remarkable activism on the part of a First Lady. Or maybe not; I’m not sure. Granted, First Ladies can be damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Regardless, I hope we’ve come a long way since First Ladies were mere fixtures and icons of grace.
As it stands, Bill can help Hillary tremendously, but she carries the tremendous weight of demonstrating her power, independence, intelligence, and leadership qualities as a female. A sad state of affairs.