A wife's burden

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  1. This isn’t just some random female senator running for president. If that were the case, I would be more willing to follow you. This is the wife, which is considered by some to be family, of a former president. This is not a nephew, or brother, or son. This a case of a former president that will be living in White House at the same time. The potential for that former president to have influence on policy or decisions cannot be ignored and won’t be if the media carefully follows any similarities between Bill’s policy and Hillary’s.
    Bill is already asked and gives on his own, opinions about the current president’s actions. Bush’s father has generally chosen to keep out of the light about his opinions on his son. But when you live in the White House, it would not be so easy to just hide from public view as a former president. We don’t ask Laura Bush what her thought’s on some issues are because she has so little experience outside the White House in international affairs. This will not be the case with Bill.
    Basically, Bill’s previous job is way way more significant here than a simple gender argument. You should not take offense if he is asked what his opinion is. He will probably recognize when his opinion would hurt the current president/his wife’s cause and respond appropriately, like previous supportive spouses have. It should also not be a big deal to have his term compared to how hers is going. He will have been the latest Democrat before her term. Reagan and Bush are both used to compare to this president as the previous Republican terms.

  2. Jack — I wouldn’t find it at all offensive if the issue were phrased or approached in terms of his status as the most recent Democratic president (vs. the current), for instance. There’s certainly a degree of that with Bush and prior presidencies — but the overtones here are much different.
    The assumptions seem to be that a) because she’s a wife, he’ll be able to influence her, and/or b) she’s merely an extension of him (i.e., “another Clinton).
    Which is garbage, imho. I’ve never had a problem distinguishing them, myself. They’re very different — and not just politically.
    The concerns about dynasties are valid, though. I suspect that George W. Bush rode in partially on his father’s coattails, and some folks who trusted the father extended that to the son.
    If people don’t judge Hillary on her own merits, but instead try to view her as the wifely incarnation of Bill, they’re doing themselves, and her, a disservice — and they’re likely to be extremely surprised by the reality.

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