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If Hillary Clinton prevails over Donald Trump, will Bill Clinton be the First … Gentleman?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton arrive at Temple University in Philadelphia on July 29, 2016

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Former President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center in Cincinnati, Feb. 12, 2016. Image source: VOA
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Sept 07, 2016: Come January, there could be two presidents in the White House. That is, at the polls November 8.

The second president would be Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, who would take on the role as … first lady? First spouse? First man?

At this point, we don’t know. The protocol for the first-ever scenario is really guesswork.

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“There are no precedents,” said Allan Litchman, professor of history at American University in Washington, D.C. “But certainly he should not be called the first lady. He should be called the first gentleman, of course.”

FILE - Then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton are shown in Washington in 1994. Image source: VOA
FILE – Then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton are shown in Washington in 1994. Image source: VOA

In the United States, a first lady traditionally maintains a low profile and a quietly supportive role. Historically, first ladies adopt a non-controversial policy initiative; just think of first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity. It’s an issue that the vast majority of Americans can support.

Hillary Clinton tried a different approach, taking on the overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, a very complex, controversial policy issue with many stakeholders. Ultimately, that effort failed.

The Clintons have already indicated that Bill Clinton will relinquish his role at the Clinton Foundation to avoid any appearance of conflicts of interests.

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So, what role might he take on should he become America’s first-ever first gentleman? Will he host teas or choose the White House decor?

“He’s going to have to learn,” Lichtman said. “And I think he can at the age of 70. He’s certainly smart enough to figure all of that out.”

FILE - Then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton are shown in Washington in 1994. Image source: VOA
FILE – Then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton are shown in Washington in 1994. Image source: VOA

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton arrive at Temple University in Philadelphia on July 29, 2016. (AP)

But Clinton is a known “loose cannon,” Litchman points out. And if he overshadows his wife, the president (if she is elected president), Litchman says that could cause problems.

“Whether he can keep himself under control is the bigger and much more interesting question,” he said. (VOA)

 

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Donald Trump Negotiates Trade Deal With Japan

Trump to negotiate the trade deal with Japan

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Donald Trump is the President of U.S.
FILE IMAGE- Donald Trump

The US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday he is negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and that his country would only re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if its member countries offered him a deal he could not refuse.

“I don’t want to go back into TPP. But if they offered us a deal I can’t refuse on behalf of the US, I would do it. In the meantime, we are negotiating, and what I really would prefer is negotiating a one-on-one deal with Japan,” Donald Trump said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

However, Abe stressed his country’s position towards the TPP, saying that it “is the best for both countries,” although he acknowledged the US’s interest in a bilateral trade deal, Efe reported.

Trump said that should his country reach a trade agreement with Japan, there will be talks about the possibility of ending tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that Washington introduced in March to a number of countries, including Japan.

Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump added that his primary concern at the moment is the “massive” trade deficit with Japan, which amounted to “from $69 billion to $100 billion a year.”

In fact, the trade deficit with Japan last year stood at $69 billion, far from the $100 billion that the US President claimed, according to the official figures by the US Department of Commerce.

The two leaders made these announcements in a joint press conference at the tycoon’s private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where Abe arrived on Tuesday to have meeting with Trump on his four-day visit to the US.

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Last week, the White House announced that Trump had asked the US foreign trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the economic adviser Larry Kudlow to “take another look at whether or not a better deal (with the TPP) could be negotiated.”

However, Trump has shown little interest in negotiations that would further complicate the matter, since the other 11 countries that negotiated the original TPP, with the then Barack Obama administration, have already signed their own multilateral deal, the so-called Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), or TPP-11.

Shinzo Abe
FILE IMAGE- Shinzo Abe.

On the other hand, during this four-day visit Abe has a special interest in getting an exemption for Japan from the 10 per cent and 25 per cent tariffs that the Trump administration imposes on aluminum and steel imports, respectively.

Trump has granted a temporary exemption until May 1 to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the European Union.

Also Read: White House Denies Any Direct Talks Yet Between Trump And Kim

Japan has been left out of the exempted countries despite being one of the US’s major allies, and for that reason Abe is trying to make use of his visit to secure a place on that list, although Japan barely produces aluminum and the amount of steel exported to the US stands at only around 5 percent of its total steel exports.  IANS