If Hillary Clinton is elected president, former President Bill Clinton will become First Spouse. This possibility raises some questions. First, since a president is constitutionally limited to two terms in office, would this create the appearance of a de facto violation of this limitation if Ms. Clinton allowed Mr. Clinton to be heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the country?
Second, in 2001 the special counsel investigation came to a conclusion by Bill Clinton admitting that he gave misleading testimony about his affair with Monica Lewinsky in the 1998 Paula Jones case. He accepted a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license, which resulted in his automatic disbarment from the Supreme Court of the United States. He also promised to cover $25,000 in legal fees related to the Arkansas disbarment proceedings.
Anyone else with this settlement in her or his history would not likely pass a background security check especially since the substance of the matter settled was alleged perjury and obstruction of justice. Furthermore, it is likely that one or more Supreme Court justices would need to be selected during a Hillary Clinton presidency. Would it be appropriate for a formerly suspended and disbarred attorney to have any role in that process?
Last, there were serious allegations involving alleged sexual misconduct by Bill Clinton with a number of women.
At best, the Lewinsky episode was the equivalent of the most powerful CEO in the world taking advantage of a starstruck 21-year-old intern who naively believed that President Clinton would leave his wife for her. The allegations lodged by some of the other women were far more serious.
So it seems appropriate to ask whether it is acceptable for Bill Clinton, as charming and brilliant as he is, to be allowed to return to the White House in any capacity. Would this be allowed in the private sector? I doubt it.
So why would it be all right in the context of the presidency?
Robert E. Panoff, Pinecrest