Opinion: The first man: Will Bill help or hurt Hillary?

Ashley Atherton

Of course, former President Bill Clinton is extremely supportive of his wife’s president campaign. Until recently, Hillary seems to have intentionally kept her husband out of the spotlight when it comes to her campaign.

Hillary has wisely done as much as she can to separate herself from Bill Clinton’s legacy. She has campaigned as her own person and not as the former First Lady. She, like her GOP competitor Jeb Bush with his brother’s legacy, is doing everything she can to be seen as a separate individual.

I think Hillary has done a much better job at this than Jeb has, but now that her husband is taking to the campaign trail, will that make her look stronger or weaker? Usually, spouses campaigning for their significant other’s political campaign is helpful. However, the former Secretary of State has a much different circumstance since as we all know her husband served as the commander-in-chief for eight years. This legacy has the possibility of following her around, especially now that Bill is campaigning by her side.

Bill Clinton took to his wife’s campaign trail for the first time this weekend in Iowa, rallying up crowds. Bill told countless voters in Iowa how Hillary clearly has the skills to be the next president, pointing out her strong stance and history in foreign policy, claiming that she would make decisions that will keep this country’s security intact. He highlighted many of her strong arguments for domestic issues that are of the utmost importance, such as economic policies.

The former president also turned something that seemed to be following Mrs. Clinton around like a plague into a new-found cure: the Benghazi testimony. Mr. Clinton said that because Hillary endured the eleven hour testimony without so much as breaking a sweat or smearing her mascara, she clearly came out as the winner and reminded voters why she has the skills to be president. All of this seems to have been more positive than negative for Clinton. She has, as many have put it, had a good week.

But don’t worry, her Republican opponents have always made sure to turn anything associated Hillary into something awful, including her marriage. This is the major way I think Bill could hurt instead of help.

Republican candidates such as Senator Rand Paul have made comments in the past that place a great deal of blame on Hillary Clinton for her husband cheating. Other Republicans say Hillary is too much like her husband. In another statement from Rand Paul’s campaign, they tell voters she is corrupt, breaks laws, engages in conflicts of interest and creates cover-ups.

Republican politicians may try to frame Hillary as relying on her husband for votes. Bill Clinton is a great speaker and has a charismatic personality. The best evidence we have to back this up is how well he fared and still fares in the aftermath of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Even through all of the media coverage and nearly being impeached, the man is still positively received, sometimes even thought of better than Hillary.

No matter what arguments people make against Hillary and Bill, I do not believe it will hurt Hillary in the long run. I think in some ways, it may help her seem more warm and charismatic to the electorate.

Ashley Atherton is an opinion writer for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].