New York Post reporter Carl Campanile today poses a thorny question that Donald Trump might be tempted to rudely ask the next time liberals call him sexist: “If elected, will Hillary let Bill have female interns again?”
Campanile notes that more than 100 interns “staff the various White House offices at any given time, including the Office of the First Lady as well as the president’s.”
That means first gentleman Bill Clinton could have starry-eyed young women working for him free of charge again — very eager to help out however needed, just like almost all Washington interns.
Maile Wilson, a former intern for first lady Laura Bush, said, “With President Clinton, you’re going to have this question. It’s uncharted territory.”
Now mayor of Cedar City, Utah, Wilson suggested some sort of Clintonesque triangulation. “It might come down to how you structure the program to prevent any type of situation that would be a problem for the administration.”
But New York State Democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who has worked to prevent sexual harassment of her own legislature’s interns, seems to think the only way to avoid more blue dress incidents is to give Clinton absolutely no young unpaid help.
“If there are any risks I say he shouldn’t have interns,” she told Campanile. “It’s probably wise that he [Bill Clinton] doesn’t have young interns in his office.”
Wow. When was the last time any Democrat spoke unequivocally about Clinton’s predatory predilections with women behind closed doors?
Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who handled advertising for the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign, was a bit more diplomatic but still candid. “Twenty years after Lewinsky, there are some people who won’t want him around interns. If Hillary becomes president, there will have to be guidelines for the internship program to make people feel comfortable.”
Natalie Plain, one of Monica Lewinksy’s fellow unpaid worker bees, suggested the ex-prez has mellowed with time but the big dog, as he is known, might still sniff around his new White House quarters.
She favored allowing him interns but with close monitoring.
“Bill Clinton has changed — both physically and personally as a man,” said Plan, who has since founded the acclaimed cosmetics company Billion Dollar Brows. “He’s a grandfather now.”
Of course, any attempt to keep doe-eyed interns from Bill Clinton could be legally problematic. Noted employment lawyer Morris Fischer tells the Washington Gadfly that, “The EEOC makes clear that discrimination occurring in internship programs that commonly lead to regular employment constitutes discrimination and is prohibited because it has the effect of discriminatorily denying someone an employment opportunity.”
Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, says trying to finesse the issue by not assigning any White House pool interns to the first gentleman could still be ruled illegal sex discrimination. “A gender-neutral rule motivated by a desire to have no women hired is not really gender-neutral.”
Clegg said the “better approach would be to take extra steps to ensure non-harassment rather than punishing the prospective victims by refusing to hire them.”
Translation from legalese: keep the big dog on a short leash.