“I met a girl”

Bill Clinton’s First Gentleman speech was all about love & marriage, not politics

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only one making history at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night. While she became the first woman to receive a major political party nomination for president of the United States, Bill Clinton became the first man to give the traditional spousal speech at the Democratic National Convention, a speech that followed tradition in its goal of giving a warm, loving portrait of the candidate. In his speech, Bill Clinton put his own political career aside and instead told the love story of how the couple first met at Yale Law School and how he repeatedly proposed to her before she accepted.

“In the spring of 1971, I met a girl,” he said smiling.

According to New York Magazine, by telling the story of their romance and his infatuation with Hillary, Bill reminded the world that although he is famous for his womanizing ways, he once fell deeply in love with Hillary. And by telling the story of their marriage and Hillary’s years of hard work behind the scenes, raising their daughter Chelsea and doing the grinding work of advocacy and making change, the subtext of Bill Clinton’s speech was clear, too, according to Vox. While he was basking in the glory of politics, she was working, all for less credit than Bill was receiving.

“Speeches like this are fun,” he said. “Actually doing the work is hard.”

Hillary, he said, “had done more positive change-making before she was 30 than many public officials do in a lifetime.”

Read the full stories at New York Magazine and Vox.

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