While Bill Clinton is currently referred to as President due to his time in the Oval Office from 1993 to 2001, Clinton might have had a new title by the end of November 8 if his wife, Hillary Clinton won the presidency. Not only would Hillary have been the first woman to be President, but Clinton would have been the first man in a position traditionally known as the “First Lady.” Clearly, we couldn’t have called him that. Would we have still referred to him as “President”? Or maybe “First Gentleman”? Hillary liked that second one.
Jimmy Kimmel asked Hillary this question almost exactly a year ago, when she stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! in November 2015. In the interview, she joked that Clinton told her that he was running to break the “iron grip that women had had on being spouse of the president.”
Hillary admitted that this wouldn’t be a big deal if her husband hadn’t already been President. Former presidents are usually referred to as Mr. President even after they leave office. If this wasn’t the case for Clinton, he could just be called “First Gentleman” and be done with it.
“First dude, first mate, first gentleman, I’m just not sure,” Hillary told Kimmel.
By May 2016, during the primaries, Hillary had a better idea for what her husband will be called if she becomes president. She also had plans for what he will do while she’s in office.
“I want to help bring back the kind of economy that worked for everybody in the 1990s,” Hillary said during a May campaign stop in Kentucky, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time. “I’ve already told my husband that if I’m so fortunate enough to be president and he will be the first gentleman, I’ll expect him to go to work…to get incomes rising.”
When Hillary was on The View in April 2016, she suggested hosting a contest to pick her husband’s official title.
Clinton touched on the subject at an Inglewood, California event in June, ABC News notes. At that time, he told a man wearing a “Bill Clinton for First Lady” T-shirt. “Nothing would make me happier than to wear that shirt. Heck, I’ve made enough decisions in my life; I want to be told what to do. It’s great,” Clinton told the man.
(By the way, there is a website called First Lady Bill where you can buy the “Bill For First Lady” T-shirts.)
In August, Vox and Morning Consult polled 1,921 Americans on what we should call Clinton if Hillary becomes president. Forty-three percent picked “Former President Bill Clinton,” while 20 percent picked “First Gentleman.” Only 3 percent supported “First Dude.”