Dear Spencerian Editors:
If Hillary Clinton had gotten the nomination for Presidency, could she have chosen Bill Clinton as her runner up?
Little Rock, AR
Thanks so much for the question, Danette. The short answer is no, but wouldn't it be great if it could be so?
Here's the thing: the Vice President has pretty much one job duty to fill, and that is be prepared to take over if something should happen to the President. You would think this would mean that the Vice President has to be, you know, qualified in some way to be President of the United States, but John McCain's picking Sarah Palin has pretty much disproved that, I would say.
There is one pretty good reason Bill Clinton can't be Vice President and that is that he no longer meets one of the few legal qualifications to be Vice President. His disqualification is that he has already served two terms as President.
I know. It sounds pretty harsh. But you don't have to take my word for it: it's spelled out pretty clearly in our Constitution. Check out the Twelfth Amendment.
Now, the United States Constitution notwithstanding, I happen to think that Bill Clinton could again be a public servant, and a great one at that. The current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is a fairly young guy, sure, so that job may not open up under an Obama term. I suppose it's possible that Clinton could take a job as an Associate Justice, but that seems less likely.
I have predicted that a President Obama would be wise to name Bill Clinton as some kind of special peace envoy to the Middle East. President Clinton would be great at it.
If on the slim chance Obama loses in November and Hillary Clinton runs again in four years and wins, I am confident she will utilize her husband's considerable political skills to capacity. It just won't be as Vice President.