Someone send Edible Arrangements to everyone on Hillary Clinton’s comms team because they are certainly having a weird few months.
Shortly after courting controversy by saying that cisgender women have a “legitimate concern” about trans women before later apologizing, the former Secretary of State appeared on The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday to dispel years-old rumors that she is a lesbian and that her relationship with husband Bill is a sham marriage.
“Contrary to what you may hear, I actually like men,” she said, as NBC News was the first to point out.
Clinton went onto wax nostalgic about an old boyfriend she dated before marrying Bill in 1975. The two met in the library of Yale Law School in 1971 while they were both studying there. However, that origin story is no match for her “really handsome” former beau, whom she described as a “Greek god.” Tell us about it, Janet!
Following her Danielle Steel-esque reminiscence, Stern made Clinton solemnly swear she did not sleep with that woman — or rather, any woman. “Never, never, never!” she said, adding: “Never even been tempted, thank you very much.”
The 2016 presidential candidate, who ultimately lost the election to Donald Trump, has been beset by speculation about her personal life most of her professional career. Former Trump adviser Roger Stone called her an “evil” lesbian in his 2015 book, The Clintons' War on Women. Bryan Fischer, former director of issues analysis for the right-wing American Family Association, famously claimed that she would be the “first lesbian president” if elected to the White House.
But while no living political figure has been the target of more conspiracy theories than Clinton, it’s strange she would feel the need to go out of her way to deny rumors of her love for the ladies, especially so long after the fact. Barack Obama, for instance, was also the subject of gay rumors throughout his presidency — there’s even a whole book about it — but never bothered to feed the trolls.
And at the risk of further editorializing, there’s something a bit distasteful about Clinton’s response. Instead of going on how much she definitely will not be buying a ticket to any forthcoming sequels to Carol, she could have simply said, “I’m not a lesbian, but I love and affirm LGBTQ+ people just the way they are.” It’s short, sweet, and doesn’t read like the “not, not, not, not, n-n-n-not gay” song from Popstar: Never Stop Never Stop Never Stopping.
Clinton is currently promoting The Book of Gutsy Women, which she co-authored with daughter Chelsea. As there appears to be no end to these gaffes in sight, I have just one more humble suggestion: Let Chelsea handle the next interview, please. She seems like she would love Todd Haynes.