Okay to support Hillary in part because you liked Bill?

In a watercooler political conversation at work today I mentioned that I liked Hillary Clinton well enough; when asked why I said that among other reasons I liked her because I’d liked Bill Clinton and it would be good to have him back in the White House.

My coworkers immediately jumped on me, saying that the fact that she is married to Bill Clinton should have nothing whatsoever to do with my view of her, and even telling me that my viewpoint is sexist, and asking if I took into account any other candidate’s spouses when evaluating them.

To get two things out of the way, 1) Hillary Clinton can stand on her own qualifications even if she were married to someone no one had ever heard of. And 2) if she is elected I would not assume that we are electing both of them to office; she, alone, would be president of the country.

But that said, it’s ridiculous to pretend that her husband is not a former president, and perfectly reasonable to factor that in to one’s view of her. He may have no official position if she is elected, but as her husband and as someone who was formerly in the role he’s naturally going to be a primary sounding board and advisor. What I thought of him as president is a completely valid matter to factor in to my view of her.

What do you think?

(Mods: I put this in IMHO because the question isn’t really about either of the Clintons’ positions or whether they would be/were good presidents; it’s more a general/philosophical question.)

I think it’s as reasonable to use Bill Clinton’s presidency as a data point in deciding about Hillary as it is to use the two Bush presidencies to decide about Jeb. It might not be a complete picture, but it’s an indicator.

Agree with you completely.

Saying “it would be good to have him back in the White House” maybe made it sound like you thought Bill would really be in charge during a Hillary presidency.

I assume that’s not what you really meant, but if it sounded that way, I can understand your co-workers’ criticisms.

Her policies and personality are going to be very different, and indeed Bill Clinton’s influence on the political process is much different from what it once was. We have no idea of their relationship or whether she values him as an advisor.

It’s been part of the attraction all along to me. Being a rookie President isn’t easy. Having an experienced and utterly trustworthy (for advice at least) person at your elbow has got to be incredibly helpful. Not to mention that Bill repeatedly stated during his Presidency that he valued Hilary’s counsel and talked over all manner of situations with her. They are a tried and true political team.

As has been said, Dubya had his father. Whether you considered that an asset or liability is up to you, but in any case, I’m sure Dubya considered it helpful.

I’m good with you liking her because you liked him, if you’re O.K. with me with disliking her because he makes my skin crawl.

There is something sexist about judging a woman by her husband, but I think it’s human, and they clearly support each other and have similar political aims, so it’s not an unreasonable point of consideration.

As Hillary herself has said, she doesn’t need a tour of the White House; she knows where the Oval Office is. I totally agree with the OP, and don’t think it’s sexist at all. It’ll be good to see Bill as the “First Laddie.”

It is actually one of my reasons for supporting her. Not the main reason and I don’t think it sexist at all. She will actually discuss policies with him and also have input on what pitfalls to avoid (no Monica, for example).

Any further comments will go into the elections forum.

Liking Bill is the second most common reason for supporting Hillary right after “She’s a woman”.

On the other hand, he is one of the most charismatic politician of his era and she had the charisma of a dead gold fish.

If she wasn’t married to Bill, nobody would look twice at her, because she’s just so damn unlikeable. She’d be in the also-ran category with guys like Ben Carson.

ITT: People who hate Hillary attribute her success to her husband, then complain about feminism.

Well its true that she is extremely unlikely to have taken the same career trajectory as she did had she not been married to him.

In a world where she did not follow her heart to Arkansas, I suspect from reading her books, she would have stayed in Washington, then worked for the Carter administration, before spending the next 12 years in private practice, before being appointed by Bill (who would have become President no matter whom he married) to a position in his administration before being put on the bench as a Court of Appeals judge and potetially eventually been elevated to the Supreme Court.

Said every late night talk show comedian in the US, but no interns.

You can support anyone you want for what ever reason you want. Maybe this time Bill can be in charge of the White House Travel Office.


Well, SHE liked Bill, right? Married him…

Clearly your ideals overlap in some areas.

You can support any candidate you wish too. It’s your choice and no one else’s.

Are you concerned that you can’t support your choice against the watercooler crowd? Bill and Hillary are inseparable. Two for the price of one. He’s got the personality, charm, charisma, plays sax, had a pickup truck with AstroTurf in the bed, and a Rhodes Scholar to boot.

You can support Hillary for any reason you want at all.

Whether it’s a good reason for supporting her as a presidential candidate as well is another story.

You’re giving her a lot of credit, but she’s an intelligent and ambitious woman so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Her problem now is she needs to get elected. She is a very experienced wholesale politician, but she hasn’t done well at the retail level. Being married to Bill gave her many years of experience without holding any public office. She’s never been well liked on the street though, Bill’s fling with Lewinsky made the public like her enough that she could win a senate seat running against a sacrificial lamb. Now she has to win an election for real, and it’s the big one. If I was forced to bet on this I’d still say she’s going to be the nominee, but she would have been better off pursuing a judicial seat under Obama and hoping for a Democratic president to promote her to the top.

You mean select her as a running mate, get elected President, and then be kind enough to shuffle off this mortal coil?