NEW YORK (Reuters) - He’s been commander in chief, Time magazine’s 1993 man of the year, had hopes of becoming “First Laddie” of the United States and now former U.S. President Bill Clinton is in line for a new title - Father of the Year.
The non-profit National Father’s Day Council plans to award him that honor at a New York fundraiser for Save the Children on Tuesday.
Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, was just 12 years old when the family moved into the White House and Bill Clinton and wife former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton worked to keep her out of the limelight.
One of the most iconic images of the family to come out of that period was when the three were photographed, walking hand in hand across the White House lawn to a waiting helicopter shortly after the news broke of Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. That scandal lead to Clinton’s impeachment for perjury.
Chelsea Clinton, now 33 and a special correspondent for NBC News, said on Twitter “I completely agree!!!” when the award was first made public in January.
The National Father’s Day Council cited Clinton’s philanthropy work through the William J. Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, both started after he left the White House in 2001.
In addition to his charity work, Bill Clinton appeared on the campaign trail in 2008 when Hillary Clinton ran for president, joking that if she was elected his honorific title could be “First Laddie.”
Clinton, 66, as well as Macy’s Inc Chief Executive Terry Lundgren, will be honored for “their success in balancing accomplished careers and the demands of fatherhood,” the council said in a statement.
Since the Father of the Year award was first bestowed in 1941, the citation has gone to Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Generals Douglas MacArthur, Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, and sports notables Shaquille O’Neal and George Foreman.
Years after leaving the White House, as he prepared for his daughter’s 2010 wedding to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, Bill Clinton said he was preparing for what he called the most important job he would ever do: “walking Chelsea down the aisle.”
Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Andre Grenon