“I think people have this weird fantasy that somehow he is going to be marginalized or sidelined in a way that sort of renders him silent and less important and less influential than the people around her,” this adviser says. “He’s never going to be marginalized that way, because he is the closest person to her on this stuff. The two of them are like a massive mind-meld and a life-meld, and now, they know more about what this is going to be like than any two people in the world.”
In Clinton world, the notion of what would be the best portfolio for the first-ever first gentleman has become a running parlor game. One veteran staffer suggests the presidency of the World Bank. Another floats the notion of making him a special economic adviser with offices in the Treasury Department, or a special diplomatic envoy, operating out of the State Department. Yet another says he should establish his beachhead in the East Wing, where first ladies have long had an established suite overseeing the White House Social Office. Or he could take space in what’s now known as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where some of the aides overseeing Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity efforts have worked.