Saying Hillary Clinton Should Ditch Bill is Really Asking This — “Why Does She Stay?”

Hillary Clinton should ditch Bill, Hillary should leave Blii Clinton, Does Hillary Clinton need to leave Bill to win White HouseTo suggest that Hillary Clinton stands a better chance of prevailing in November 2016 by kicking William J. to the curb, because voters are incapable of seeing HRC as her own person is, in a word, preposterous.

As Hillary Clinton is at the beginning of her second campaign for president, her husband Bill — “42” in White House parlance — appropriately has been laying low, presumably to let her gain the traction she needs to be her own candidate.

But a recent article in The New Republic suggests that Bill should go one step further for the entire 2016 political season for his wife to succeed — that he should Stay. Away. From. Hillary. The article entitled, “The Best Thing Hillary Could Do for Her Campaign? Ditch Bill” not so subtly shames her for not staying away from her husband and his foundation work, suggesting that Hillary sabotages herself with outdated wifely commitment. The article goes one step further in offering the unsolicited advice that if Hillary really wants to be elected in 2016, she’d better steer clear of the hubs.

There are few people who don’t already identify Bill and Hill as a couple. Solo appearances and stump speeches by Hillary will happen, of course, but they won’t erase our collective knowledge of her smooth-talking, charismatic husband or the fact that there was once a time when they proudly advertised themselves as a “two-fer.”

It’s pretty much impossible to say the name “Clinton” and not automatically think of Bill as well as Hillary. So to offer the campaign a strategy of ditching the husband is offering no real strategy at all, serving only to raise the this question without really asking it — Why does she stay with him?

Republicans, of course, will want Bill to stay in the picture so they can pound the drum of “Hillary’s never done anything on her own” and “she owes her whole political career to him,” planting the seeds of doubt about whether a President Hillary Clinton would be sharing the Oval Office and her presidential duties with her husband. But to suggest that HRC stands a better chance of prevailing in November of 2016 by kicking William J. to the curb, because voters are incapable of seeing Hillary as her own person unless Bill stays in Chappaqua for the next 17 months, is, in a word, preposterous. It’s like claiming that Americans can’t differentiate between Jeb and George W. and George H.W. or that somehow we confuse the father/son Paul team.

Somewhat surprisingly, it’s not Bill that could keep Hillary from the White House, but rather the ill will some women feel toward her that comes from an odd mix of views on marriage and feminism. I’ve stopped counting the number of women I know who’ve said they can’t forgive Hillary, let alone vote for her, because she didn’t divorce Bill over “what the meaning of the word is, is.” These friends and colleagues view Hillary’s decision to – yes – stand by her man, as a means to an end for her career rather than one of marital devotion and feel that somehow that makes her a bad fit to be the leader of the free world.

Regardless of how much or how little Bill Clinton appears with his wife on the campaign trail, he will always be the political elephant on the Clinton stage. Daughter Chelsea and grandbaby Charlotte are likely to appear with Hillary throughout her campaign, so whether Bill is actually standing with them or not, his specter will be always be present. So to suggest, that Hillary needs to “lose” Bill is the most impractical and least useful political advice anyone one could offer Hillary.

It’s off the cuff suggestions like that, ones that seem like they are meant to help Hillary, that only serve to keep stirring the already turgid pot of Hillary ambivalence — if only she hadn’t gone into the “family” philanthropy business after she was Secretary of State, if only she’d keep her distance from Bill — that will keep us from seeing what so many of us want to see in our lifetimes — a qualified woman president being elected to the White House.


Joanne Bamberger is an independent journalist, journalism entrepreneur and founder of The Broad Side. She is also the editor of the forthcoming anthology, Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox (She Writes Press, November 2015), already an Amazon #1 Hot New Release! You can find Joanne on Twitter at @jlcbamberger and on Facebook.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/U.S. State Department/in the public domain

  • 8Pi

    It isn’t true that Hillary Clinton’s not divorcing Bill Clinton is not at issue. It may be the 21st century, but, even in a woman’s small business venture, for example, the second other business people, customers, and potential customers see a man connected with it, it becomes that man’s business. The woman hasn’t, in fact, started the business solo, and been running it, and performing all related tasks, solo. She will have to spend the rest of her days explaining that, “No. ‘Fred’ has nothing to do with my business.” And it won’t matter one bit. All the old stereotypes apply. Successful women who are not linked to any man, no matter how remotely, might well bear the brunt of being additionally typed as to sexual preference. That’s what people care about, still.. in 2016. A woman without a man, if she is successful must be queer. A successful woman with a man, is only successful because of him.

    This all applies to Hillary Clinton. She should have ditched her philandering husband years ago. She didn’t need him. But she hung on… what message has that sent? Well, the obvious one.

  • holycow

    I agree with 8Pi below. Hillary is under attack for her husband’s lack of morals in this election, yet it was not her that supposedly strayed from the fidelity of the marriage. I do not get it when Trump uses that as a defense for his pedophile ways with Teen USA dressing room peeping-tom activities which he freely admits he feels he is entitled to doing (and does) or his molestation of women, who now have come out of the woodworks because I saw an ad posting for anyone who was hurt by Trump (as well as molested) that they should come forth (and get paid to reveal them obviously). I thought the pro-Hillary was after Trump for his business crimes in not paying workers or being bilked by his University of their tuition, etc., but this posting came on the heels of the tape that was found and aired about Trump telling Billy Bush he likes to grab women between their legs … and he can get away with it because he is a celebrity. After watching Debate 2 and coming away fully disgusted seeing Bill Clinton and his daughter next to him when Trump turned the debate into who-did-what-to-who and whose-sin-is worse-than-mine, which I believe the moderators were to blame for this – if I were Hillary I would not accept anymore debates since she is getting blamed to threatening the supposed-victims of her husband’s philandering to keep quiet. She is not that popular that she will not be affected by this mudslinging. If she had lost Bill when he was accused of messing with the intern, she could not come away blameless with this but money was probably the thing that motivated her because of Bill Clinton’s connections and the Foundation planned under his name which would be the meat of their income after he left the White House. You just can not have your cake and eat it too … or not in this life of polar opposites. It is a shame – I wanted to see the First Female President with a stellar reputation when taking the White House and now all the fallout from her husband’s activities with women will haunt her forever because she got involved protecting him.

  • jae

    Yup, Lost respect for her when she didn’t divorce him. Had she gone it alone, I think she would have done better. She is teaching men it’s OK to cheat and that women will stay. We won’t.

Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
Get Over Yourselves. We’re All Rory Gilmore
Hillary Clinton, Shake It Off, Taylor Swift, Hillary Clinton Campaign song
Six Reasons “Shake It Off” Should Be Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Theme Song
Nancy Reagan dies, Just Say No, Ronald Reagan
A Not-So-Positive Ode to Nancy Reagan’s Frothy “Just Say No” Campaign
I Married for Health Insurance
Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
A Case of Nixonian Deja Vu
Post-Election Munchies: What is Your Grief Snack of Choice?
Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
A Case of Nixonian Deja Vu
Trump Reality Check, Now with Actual Facts!
Fascism Facts
I Married for Health Insurance
Get Over Yourselves. We’re All Rory Gilmore
Post-Election Munchies: What is Your Grief Snack of Choice?
Women’s Elections Rights in Saudi Arabia: A Token Drop in an Abysmal Bucket & the Plight of Women Under Sharia Law
Maybe It Wasn’t Rape: Emerging Matriarchy and the Altering of Women’s Past Sexual Narratives
Paris attacks, Paris terrorism
Is Paris Burning?
Chinese government and women's reproductive rights, adopting Chinese girls, international adoption
Dear Xi Jinping, I Am Writing to You as an American Mom of a 19-Year-Old Chinese Daughter
The Vital Voice of Hillary Clinton: Part 1
Maybe It Wasn’t Rape: Emerging Matriarchy and the Altering of Women’s Past Sexual Narratives
The Eyes Have It!
Ashley Madison, Jared Fogle, sex, rape, sexual affairs
Ashley Madison vs. Jared Fogle: Rape, Sex and Hacking in America
women's viagra, Viagra, Flibanserin, sexual arousal, women's desire, sex after menopause
That “Little Pink Pill” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Get our new weekly email
Broadly Speaking

featuring our best words for the week + an exclusive longread