Apparently, if there’s one thing to shake Bill and Hillary Clinton out of their doldrums, it’s the promise of media attention.
New York Magazine reported Tuesday that, after much consideration, the former first couple — 50 percent of which lost to Donald Trump in ignominious fashion recently — has decided to attend Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20.
“Two well-placed sources tell New York that over the past few weeks Hillary Clinton discussed with trusted advisers and friends whether or not she should attend the inaugural,” the magazine reported. “She and President Clinton, the sources said, decided to do so out of a sense of duty and respect for the American democratic process.”
One wonders whether these two well-placed sources were able to smile when Hillary or Bill Clinton told them they were doing it out of “respect for the American democratic process.” Presumably, whichever one gave that explication went in the next room to grumble to their reporter friends about how this was all the fault of Russian hackers. Presumably, as well, they did not get the irony.
While defeated presidential aspirants are usually not expected to show up at the inauguration of the president, for obvious reasons (one can imagine Hillary trying to treat the inauguration like a church and her role like Dustin Hoffman’s in “The Graduate”), former presidents generally are supposed to show up for the inauguration. And since I’m assuming Gennifer Flowers was busy, Hillary is going to have to be Bill’s plus-one.
Politico reported in December that while living presidents have missed inaugurations before, it generally wasn’t for reasons of spite. The Georges Bush, both W. and H.W. variants, missed Obama’s second inaugural in 2013 because of the elder Bush’s health. However, both had attended the 2009 event.
As of December, Jimmy Carter was the only living former president to confirm his plan to attend the inauguration; both of the Bushes had yet to weigh in, giving the primary season sturm-und-drang over the president-elect’s rivalry with Jeb(!) Bush, and the Clintons for reasons that needn’t be elaborated.
However, the BBC reported that George W. Bush also planned to attend to the event to “witness the peaceful transfer of power.” The 92-year-old George H.W. Bush declined to attend, citing his health.
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