What should we call Bill if Hillary Clinton is elected president?

On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton officially became the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee  making her the first woman in American history to represent a major party in a presidential election.

Naturally, Americans began asking the tough issues like how much did Clinton’s Armani jacket cost (for the record, she wears jackets that are far less expensiveand what will we call her husband, Bill Clinton?

The latter is a topic that we’ve been concerned with for well over a year.

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 07: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and her husband former U.S. president Bill Clinton greet supporters during a primary night event on June 7, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. Hillary Clinton surpassed the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic nominee over rival Bernie Sanders with a win in the New Jersey presidential primary. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, NY – JUNE 07: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and her husband former U.S. president Bill Clinton greet supporters during a primary night event on June 7, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. Hillary Clinton surpassed the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic nominee over rival Bernie Sanders with a win in the New Jersey presidential primary. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Back in January 2015, Bill Clinton, told Rachael Ray during an appearance on her show that “Adam,” would be a good choice.

A few months later in November 2015, Hillary Clinton discussed it with Jimmy Kimmel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

“It’s a little bit more complicated with him because people still call former presidents ‘Mr. President,’ so I have to really work on this,” Clinton said.

“The first president lady would be a nice thing to call him,” Kimmel suggested.

“The first dude, first mate, first gentleman. I’m just not sure about it,” said Clinton.

First gentleman — the unofficial term used for the spouses of the female U.S. governors in office — has gained a lot of traction online among the American people, primarily because it is the male equivalent of a first lady. But since none of our first ladies has ever been president, it could seem a bit diminishing to refer to Bill Clinton in that manner.

As Hillary Clinton and several others in the political realm have noted, Americans have made practice of calling all of our former presidents, Mr. President. Bill Clinton is entitled to the same treatment.

“I have never seen anything like this,” said Peggy Newfield, Atlanta’s etiquette expert and founder of Personal Best Inc. and the American School of Protocol. Newfield was mentored by Letitia Baldridge, social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy and one of America’s foremost etiquette experts.

“If Hillary Clinton becomes President, then the White House will decide what the appropriate terminology for former President Bill Clinton will be,” said Newfield. “Should this happen a new form of protocol will be introduced.”

Because they share the same name, Newfield said it is most likely that the acceptable reference for Bill Clinton will be former President Clinton.

In print, things could get very confusing. Any story referring to President Clinton and former President Clinton would just be hard to read. And addressing an envelope to the pair will require a lot of space.

“You cannot lump them together,” said Newfield. You would have to write President Hillary Clinton on the first line and on a second line you would write former President Bill Clinton, she said.

No doubt, we’ll be talking about this right up until election results roll in — at which point, we will either have to get serious about what to call the first male ex-president presidential spouse or just settle back into the more familiar term of first lady.

Reader Comments 0

133 comments
y8sisgr8
y8sisgr8

The thing that hasn't been mentioned is how will Hillary Clinton be addressed? Most people would probably think of "Madam President",  But if the former protocol of "Mr President" is used, then you could logically conclude that her title should be "Mrs President".  So when addressing them informally as a couple, it then becomes "Mr and Mrs President"?

Dwayne Nix
Dwayne Nix

Whatever they call Former President Bill Clinton, they must put some Respect on it!

Mary Eye
Mary Eye

We used the words "first gentleman" in North Carolina. It seemed respectful and fitting.

Garay Serg
Garay Serg

how about the best economic presidency for decent families?

Bill Markos
Bill Markos

"Rapist in Chief" doesn't sound too shabby either, but this is what y'all wanted so......

Bob Elliott
Bob Elliott

Hillary is also the first presumptive female candidate under active investigation by the FBI? The Supreme Court has been politicized and now the FBI. One day our country will fall apart and those who caused it will blame others.

Kevin Webb
Kevin Webb

He will always be former President Clinton

Tommie Wood
Tommie Wood

What ever he want i just want her to win i want to she a run the show it may be better.

Keith Stone
Keith Stone

God Save us From The Clinton disgrace

Patrick Moore
Patrick Moore

When Hillary takes office Bill's title will be "Mr. President". You address someone by their highest office held. So essentially not only will we make history by having the first female President, we will also make history by having two Presidents in the White House. Extremely interesting.

Patrick Moore
Patrick Moore

I mean you can insert whatever childish comment you want, but the facts are that he is a former 2 term President. All former living Presidents are called President because it is their highest office held. That's the reason they don't call Hillary "Senator", because Secretary of State is a higher office.

Kelly Joyce Sr.
Kelly Joyce Sr.

Doesn't matter what you call him just warn all the female interns about him!

Yorker Johnson
Yorker Johnson

I. HOPE SHE THERE WINNER ALL HATERS TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE THEY ALL WAYS IT TAKE TRASH TO NO TRASH

Vivienne Baker
Vivienne Baker

AJC don't you mean 'when' Hillary wins. How foolish of a country would we be to put that disgusting person trump in office. He can't even run a successful campaign, yet to run a country as the U S?

Barbara Wilson
Barbara Wilson

I can't think of another politician more disgusting than Monica Lewinsky's ex boyfriend's wife.

Jonathan Sirko
Jonathan Sirko

Viv your a fool. How is his campaign not successful. Look how many people he knocked out of the race and his record number of votes. Hillary only had one person to beat and had a hard time doing that. Trump 2016

Kathryn Tucker
Kathryn Tucker

There are other scenarios... Like if she gets indicted and the dems have to run someone else. Don't count chickens before they're hatched.

Viv Baker
Viv Baker

Really Barbara Wilson? The slime slug small handed, small minded racist didn't come to your mind?

Rosanna Kelly
Rosanna Kelly

He'll be running the country from the bedroom