Bill Clinton may soon become a First Gentleman, or “First Dude,” as he’s put it.
While the role has no precedent in the US, First Dudes have taken diverse forms internationally. Global First Gentlemen range from ex-presidents—like the late Néstor Kirchner of Argentina, who helped his wife succeed him in 2007—to the enthusiastic family chef (Norway’s Sindre Finnes cooks for his children every night). Some lead very public lives, while others are virtually invisible. Take Germany’s First Gentleman, Joachim Sauer, who actually skipped Angela Merkel’s inauguration as the country’s first female chancellor. A German newspaper once called Sauer, a chemistry professor, “invisible as a molecule.”
So what will Bill Clinton do if he moves back into the White House? Hillary has said that she would be the one to handle traditional First Lady duties like picking flowers and china, while Bill might be tapped to consult on job creation and the economy. But here’s hoping the Clintons take at least some advantage of the opportunity to break down gender stereotypes.