Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Madame President's Husband: What Will the first First Gent Do?

Former United States Presidents are typically still called "President So-and-

Madame President's Husband: What Will the first First Gent Do
 so" even after they leave office. It's a name so snazzy, so prestigious, and so seemingly singular that it never goes away.

However, in the case of Bill and Hillary Clinton, as in the case of a few other US Presidental dynasties, the title of POTUS may not be so singular.

If Hillary wins the White House, this will be the first time the President is a spouse of a former President, but there have been a few times Presidents have shared a last name. And when this happens, typically people refer to the former President by a nickname or by their full name:

First Gentleman, whether he is or not. An ex-president is always called "President So-and-so", so if Hilary Clinton is elected President, there will be two President Clintons in the White House. They will be referred to as President Bill Clinton and President Hilary Clinton according to custom, so it is not likely that Bill will be called the "First Gentleman" at all.

One half-century ago, as President Lyndon B. Johnson was running for his own full term in 1964, Polly Bergen starred in the comedy Kisses for My President, the first feature film to feature the first woman President.

The focus, however, is less about Madame President Leslie Harrison McCloud and more about that man she married.

Bergen’s co-star Fred MacMurray depicted another “first” in political film history, the “First Male First Lady,” as the movie poster declared.

His character of Thad McCloud was a rather hapless presidential spouse, wandering around the White House uncertain about his what his public role should be.

When he stumbles into the East Wing, he discovers his staff of a Social Secretary and Personal Secretary, who cluck and coo to him that his life could be “one mad social whirl” if he was willing to preside over ribbon-cutting ceremonies and attend fashion show luncheons fundraisers.

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