Meet the spouses: The possible first lady or gentleman

Laura Francavilla and Christina Lipari , Staff Writer

On November 8,  the country will vote for a new president and gain a new first spouse in the process.  Throughout American history, the first lady has played an important role. Current first lady Michelle Obama created the “Let’s Move!” initiative to promote healthy lifestyles.

Mr. James Koester, a Government & Economics teacher, thinks that the first spouse can play an important role. He believes that Bill’s campaigns would probably involve raising academic standards. Melania Trump, on the other hand,  might have some different ideas to help children.  

But this election is quite different.  For the first time in US history, a man could potentially take the first lady’s spot.

“I think Bill Clinton was a very effective president, and his experience and contacts would certainly help a new Clinton Administration,” American history teacher Mr. Timothy Thieke said.    

On the other hand, Hillary and Bill back in the White House together could also be “a two headed monster” according to Mr. Koester. “They may work together in making decisions, however they both have very different opinions on certain topics.”

Another first for this election is the scandals involving the potential first spouses.   When Bill Clinton was president, he was the center of a huge scandal involving an extramarital affair with then White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Likewise, Donald Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, has been accused of plagiarizing her speech at the Republican National Convention this summer.

“I do not believe those particular scandals will sway too many voters,” Mr. Thieke said “Clinton’s adultery was a long time ago and is not relevant and Melania’s speech has already been largely forgotten.”

A concern of some voters is that Bill Clinton may have more experience than Melania Trump; Bill was, afterall, a past president.  

“[Mr. Clinton] would know how to handle it better and more professionally rather than someone just jumping into it for the first time,” Senior Joe Callan said.   He believes that Mr. Clinton would have a better understanding of  how to be a first spouse.

But just because Bill was a president doesn’t mean Melania couldn’t be a successful first lady as well., reported that Mrs. Trump expressed a desire to help the women and children.

Some people have other concerns regarding the two potential first spouses.  One is the idea of having a foreign-born first lady being that Melania Trump was born in Slovenia.

“I’m okay with [her being the first lady] as long as she knows about the US,” sophomore Chelsea Fedele said.

Another concern  is what Bill Clinton should be called if he becomes the first spouse. Suggested titles include First Mate, First Man, First Spouse, and First Gentleman.

Voters shouldn’t only be looking at the candidates but also at their spouses. The spouses hold a lot of power in decision making, as seen with the Clintons’ during Mr. Clinton’s presidency.  Each spouse has their own ideas and contributions to bring to the White House but it’s up to the voters to see which one can stand by the president’s side and put those ideas into action.

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