25 September 2007

Behind every man is his wife

President Clinton once made a visit to the Boeing Company. It was a big event. The news channels covered his visit and the company went all out for the visit the short time he was actually there. Metal detectors were installed inside the factory for those who got the chance to hear the President speak. I was one of the lucky ones that received a golden ticket for the event. The group I worked in was all men and all considerably older than myself. They selected me to be the one person in the group allowed to go hear the President, partly because several men in the group wouldn't have cared to hear President Clinton speak even if we all had been given tickets.

The Clinton administration started off a bit rocky, with Bill Clinton remarking that the country would get "two for the price of one." Hillary would create a "new kind of first lady" and take a prominent role in the White House. Bill and Hillary were two peas in a pod and both championed liberal politics.

With the presidential election starting to heat up, it reminded me of my bible study from last year where we learned about Solomon. I started wondering what impact wives had on the decisions their husbands made, even as president.

Solomon was greatly influenced by his wife, Pharoah's daughter, and subsequently all of his wives. They led him away from the worship of God to the worship of idols.

1 Kings 11:1-10
“Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, besides the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which The Lord said unto the children of Israel: 'Ye shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods'; Solomon did cleave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not whole with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the detestation of the Ammonites. And Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of The Lord, and went not fully after The Lord, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the detestation of Moab, in the mount that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestation of the children of Ammon. And so did he for all his foreign wives, who offered and sacrificed unto their gods. And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he kept not that which the Lord commanded.”

The roles of some First Ladies

Rosalynn Carter

Quoted as being personally opposed to abortion, but not in a position to decided for others, she supported abortion rights. Her husband, Jimmy Carter, also echoed this fence-sitting sentiment, citing the separation of church and state, and supports the Supreme Court decision. She frequently sat in on cabinet meetings and took the role as advisor. Rosalynn is currently a "global human rights activist," supports mental health issues, and works with her husband on Habitat for Humanity and at the Carter Center.

Nancy Reagan
By all accounts, she had a close relationship with her husband. Was against abortion, but after the death of President Reagan has urged President George W. Bush to support embryonic stem-cell research hoping it would lead to a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Also supported the Foster Grandparent Program, veterans causes, and Just Say No to drugs. Although Ronald Reagan was against abortion, he appointed two quasi-conservatives to the bench, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy.

Barbara Bush
With Barbara an abortion supporter, George H.W. Bush has supported abortion (prior to hitching his horse to the Reagan presidency) and then came out as anti-abortion while in the White House, even vetoing several abortion bills. Appointed a mixed bag to the bench, David Souter and Clarence Thomas. Barbara called for the Republican party to drop its pro-life position during the 2000 elections.

Laura Bush
While her husband, George W. Bush, has stated that he opposes abortion except in the cases of rape or incest, or if the life of the mother is at risk, Laura Bush is a supporter of abortion rights. However, this presidency saw abortion restrictions as well as full funding for abstinence-only education and blocked distribution for the morning-after pill, along with appointing two Catholics to the bench, Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

Looking ahead to 2008
I have never understood politicians. They want to be the leader of our country, but at the same time, they are not leaders in the strict sense of the word. They are political animals. Opportunists. Tilting to whichever way the wind blows instead of having a position and sticking to it. Listening to the advice and counsel of others has its place, but so few politicians have a plan of action and seek to carry it out. How many candidates have flip-flopped on issues for politically expedient reasons? How many sit on the fence and don't answer questions directly?

I hope our next president has a spouse who champions life and is able to get the ear of the president.


Sanctus Belle said...

Very interesting post! I've not often thought of the role of president's wives but I would think it is limited to the relationship of wife to husband. How much does he allow her to advise or sway him? I'm imagining my husband as president (not possible since he's Canadian) but I'm quite sure I'd be right in there, talking all the time about to go with this or that issue. I would not, and do not now presume to tell my husband what to do as he is my authority and leader, but as the "heart" of the family I do have a say in everything.

A president needs a wife, the country needs a president who is supported by a wife, but a wife who will think of our nation and not herself.

swissmiss said...

If only these folks did think of our nation and not just say whatever is going to get them elected! I, too, would be "right in there" with my husband, but at this level, I wonder how much influence a wife has...or even a mother :) Good thing W didn't listen to his mom about dropping the pro-life position.

Terry Nelson said...

Great post!

I think recent First Ladies have had incredible influence over their husbands - with the exception of Laura - Bush listens to no one.

News in the past few days indicates Hillary was extremely influencial in the pro-abortion politics of Bill.

And from many accounts, "Mommy" ran Reagan's White House.

swissmiss said...

I think Bill and Hillary were of one mind. Clearly, not a great marriage, but they are political animals and hopped on whatever side of the issue, or whatever issue, would get them elected. That post you had about Hillary's God being abortion was eerie.

You also posted about Solomon today. I guess (great?) minds think alike!

Entropy said...

Very interesting!

gemoftheocean said...

Terry: It's a liberal myth that "mommy ran the White House." He may have occasionally humored his wife in minor things, but she was no where near a controller as hitlery was.

Hillary is a danger to the republic and so was Bill. If I had known Clinnochio was going to show up at my workplace, there is no way in hell I would have gone in that day. I think he should be in jail for high treason, with the stunt he pulled with the chicoms. That little **** Monica was the least of his problems.

"W" has appointed two terrific supreme court justices to the bench.

I am voting for Duncan Hunter in the primary. A protestant, but a prolife voter where abortion issues are concerned.

Ma Beck said...

Having a first lady who is pro-life would be great.
Having a president who's pro-life would be infinitely better.

I do think that wives - wives in good, happy, solid marriages, that is - have tremendous influence over their husbands. And that's not a bad thing. I've never seen stats, but in my personal experience, excluding clergy, the nicest, most sensitive, most sympathetic men I know are in very happy marriages with great wives. Obviously, the good aspects of the feminine are rubbing off on these guys, without making them sissies, which NO woman in her right mind would want for a husband.

swissmiss said...

Bill and Hill are indeed dangers. I feel like the Israelites who are repeatedly chastised by God in the OT for their lack of faith and fidelity. If Hillary becomes president, what does this say about our country and what will God do?

I like your comment about happily married men. My husband is a great guy, so I must be doing something right ;}

Reagan was pro-life but didn't help much with his appointments to the bench. Surprisingly, George H.W. Bush got Clarence Thomas in and W did even better. Aside from the war, I think this will be part of W's legacy.

swissmiss said...

Forgot to mention, one of the guys I worked with was a decorated Warrant Officer (chopper pilot) who served two tours in Vietnam. When Clinton was elected, he surrendered his commission (along with his brother, also a highly decorated Warrant Officer) instead of serving one minute under Clinton.

When Clinton was elected president the first time, the place was practically in mourning. WA and OR are liberal states, but many of the people who work in defense, as you know, are conservatives, so coming to work the day after the election was like going to a funeral. Were you working at General Dynamics then? How was it where you worked?

Anonymous said...

Funny I did not realize that so many of the president's wives were pro-abortion? And Laura Bush pro-abortion--shudder--I thought she mirrored her husband's view? Good post.

Terry Nelson said...

I liked Mommy anyway.