The Pressing Political Issue of Presidential Spouses

Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during the Democratic president
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just when I thought that one day, as a person with a vagina, I may (hypothetically-speaking), be able to become president... there was Saturday night's Democratic debate on ABC.

Instead of asking Hillary what she would do as president on the issue of reproductive rights or climate change, moderators asked her who would buy the flowers and china, given that there would be no First Lady. And whether "it was time" to change the role of a president's spouse, given that, you know, this particular presidential spouse would be a man. And then to cover themselves, they asked everyone else why their spouses would be great for the White House. And all I could think was:

So, not only do I need to historically be a dude to be president, I also need to have a spouse.

Honestly. It looks hard enough running the world on a 24-hour news cycle, having an amazing blowout and the perfect pantsuit -- and now on top of all that -- if I want to be president, I also need to have my soulmate locked down too?

Who has time for that?! Nobody has time for that. It's really fucking hard to find a spouse. That's why a majority of the U.S. population is single. And keeping a spouse is even harder -- or so I've heard (from the National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends).

How does Hillary do it? I certainly haven't had time to work out the whole spouse thing yet -- and I don't have nearly as many emails to respond to as she does.

And how do Bernie and Martin do all those fundraising dinners and town hall meetings and rallies and door to door visits -- and still find time to nurture meaningful marital relationships? I don't even have time to clip my toenails. Is there some time management app I haven't heard of? Did Silicon Valley develop one especially for them?

Honestly. Why did the moderators have to go and ruin a perfectly humdrum debate by asking the presidential candidates to tell us how they feel about their spouses? What kind of a vapid 1950s question is that?

It got me thinking: what would happen if a single (un-spoused!) woman ran for president? A woman who didn't have a former president as a spouse? I know, I know... but for the sake of the argument, just imagine: a female candidate who was hands-down, full-blown spouseless. What kind of questions would the moderators ask her?

  • Do you have any good potential spouses in the pipeline, and if so, what is the timeline on this?
  • What do you think are the main barriers blocking your ability to secure a spouse?
  • If you ever got a spouse, would it be okay if they shared the Presidential duties with you - so you still had time to choose the china and flowers and stuff like that?
  • Have you ever tried Tinder before? Or Hinge? It's like Tinder but without the poor people.
  • Do you think the imminent expiration of your biological clock would distract you from tackling the tough issues, like say, fantasy football?