First Lord? First Gentleman? First Man? Just plain ol’ President Bill Clinton? Bubba?
A young Capulet heiress once remarked, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” And while I admire the teenager’s eloquence, I have to disagree. Names and titles are important. No one wants to play for the New Orleans Pelicans, even though they have Anthony Davis, the French Quarter and some stellar Jambalaya. If Radiohead stuck with their original name, On a Friday, or Pearl Jam stuck with theirs, Mookie Blaylock (seriously) would either be where they are today? There’s no way to tell, but for the sake of bolstering my argument, let’s say no.
William Jefferson Clinton has been known as Bill, William, Willy, Bubba, Teflon Bill, Slick Willie, Raw Hide (Secret Service,) and the Wizard of “Is” to name a few. And if Hillary wins the presidency, Bill would be our 46th First Lady. Of course, Bill is not a lady and thus would not assume this title. So what will we call him? I personally enjoy First Lord, playing off the whole lords and ladies thing and borrowing a bit from the UK and tilting towards Westeros. Unfortunately, it seems as though his official title will likely be First Gentleman. The Philippines and India currently have First Gentlemen, and in our own country, there have been 29 First Gentleman to Governors and Senators.
So, it’s First Gentleman. A bit of a let down.
Although Bill Clinton being the first First Gentleman in U.S. History is actually stunningly appropriate.
But wait, it’s not quite that simple in this situation because Bill is a former President, and former Presidents are always referred to as President (insert last name here.) And thus, many may choose to forgo his official First Gentleman moniker and simply call him President Bill Clinton, or former President Bill Clinton. However, I have a problem with both of these for sake the of brevity and clarity. When Bill and Hillary enter a room is Wolf Blitzer going to say, “here comes President Bill Clinton and President Hillary Clinton.” That’s ridiculous. Furthermore, saying, “here comes former President Bill Clinton and President Hillary Clinton” is far too long-winded and verbose for an introduction.
In terms of titles, First Gentleman is fine I guess. It’s stately, serious and rather stiff, but it’s supposed to be.
First Man immediately makes one think of the Garden of Eden and I suppose my First Lord suggestion is a bit too British for our Executive Branch.
And, if all else fails, we can always revert back to Bubba.
by Jesse Mechanic