Hillary-Michelle in 2016: Awesome or awful?
'Hillary–Michelle in 2016' is the buzz on the Interwebs and TwitBook at the moment. Here's why such a hypothetical ticket would be awesome – and maybe not.
Hillary–Michelle in 2016? That’s the buzz on the Interwebs and TwitBook at the moment. There’s no substance behind the speculation, meaning no one in any position to know actually thinks either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Michelle Obama is considering teaming up on a presidential ticket.Skip to next paragraph
Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.
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Hillary-Michelle in 2016: Awesome or awful?
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At least for now.
So here’s why Hillary-Michelle would be awesome:
Rise of the matriarchs. Will women soon rule the United States, metaphorically speaking? Given that they were a 53 percent majority of voters in the 2012 election, according to exit polls, that seems at least possible. They are also a majority of US college students and are earning more university degrees than males.
Television comedy, our most sensitive of cultural indicators, increasingly depicts men as the clueless foils of intelligent females. In that sense, a Hillary-Michelle ticket would simply symbolize the change occurring at other levels in America. Hey, “Change!” Wouldn’t that be a great political slogan?
Center, meet left. While a Hillary-Michelle ticket would be unbalanced in terms of gender, it would be a better mix of Democratic Party factions than the current White House occupants. Mrs. Clinton represents the more centrist, business-friendly Democratic Leadership Council part of the party. Mrs. Obama presumably would align with her husband’s somewhat more liberal wing.
That’s why dreamers wanted to dump Joe Biden and put Hillary on the 2012 ticket. They thought that lineup would have broader appeal.
White House husbands, the sitcom. A first and second husband, both of whom used to be president? Both of whom have daughters but no sons? Both of whom won two terms? That is a comedy premise that just smacks you upside the head with its sheer-genius watchability. And it wouldn’t be a comedy; it would be real life!
Imagine the episodic possibilities: Bill and Barack disrupt the first cabinet meeting with their weekly poker game; Bill and Barack grill burgers in the Rose Garden and “accidentally” set the Oval Office on fire; Bill and Barack sneak out of the house and travel to North Korea with Dennis Rodman!
Any agents out there, we could script 10 shows of this in an hour, and we work cheap.
Now it’s time for equal time. Is it possible a Hillary-Michelle ticket would be awful? We can think of some ways.
The patriarchy’s revenge. It’s true that females ever so slightly make up a majority of US voters. But if males united against a perceived threat to their gender power, that could be a boost to the GOP. It’s possible Republicans could overcome the fact that the GOP lags in attracting minority voters.
There’s already a reverse gender gap, with more men voting Republican than Democratic. Exacerbate that, and the Democrats might lose their nascent demographic advantage in presidential races.
Game of Oval Office thrones. No, we’re not suggesting any actual swordplay might occur in a Hillary-Michelle White House. But given that the ticket would unite two powerful Democratic clans that have clashed in the past, it’s possible that the infighting might get intense if they were actually elected.
Mrs. Obama might feel her experience fits her for something other than a VP’s traditional water carrying. Mrs. Clinton might feel otherwise, sending Bill to inform the veep of her impending inspection tour of Iceland. Yikes.
Why bother? You know, both Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Obama have already had pretty important roles to play. Secretary of State is maybe the second-most interesting job in America, after that of the presidency, and it draws much less scrutiny and has much more freedom of action. As first lady, Mrs. Obama has a better job than VP, let’s face it. She’s got more power to shape the nation with her example, and she gets to sleep in the White House, not the VP’s mansion out on Observatory Circle in Northwest D.C.
Though Observatory Circle is a lot closer to Sasha and Malia’s school.