Bill Clinton on White House Role: ‘Whatever I’m Asked to Do’

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WASHINGTON — Bill Clinton says he’d do “whatever I’m asked to do” as first man if Hillary Clinton is elected president, and would defer to his wife and her senior staff.

In an interview with Charlie Rose aired Tuesday night on PBS, the former president said his own wishes should be the “last thing to be considered here” when it comes to how he’s deployed by a Hillary Clinton-led White House.

“First and foremost, I should do whatever I’m asked to do,” Clinton said. “That is, if Hillary wins I’d be both a former president and a spouse. So I think I should make those roles as consistent as possible by saying to the president and the senior advisers, whatever you want me to do, I will do. I should do that.”

He said he’s been lucky to lead the Clinton Foundation since departing the White House himself in 2001. Now, Clinton said, “I should serve. I’ve had a wonderful life for the last 15 years, and this is the longest I’ve ever had a job.”

Clinton said he’d like to be used to solve problems like Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy, Native Americans’ need to diversify their economies and coal countries’ transition to a green economy.

“There are lots of things I could do. I’d like to be sent to all these places that have been left out and left behind,” Bill Clinton said. “I believe this country is so close to being able to really grow again in a way that lifts everybody.”

Clinton also said he’s heard suggestions he should play the traditional role of “first lady” — helping to accomplish a full transformation of gender roles by performing tasks like choosing White House china.

“If they asked me to do it, I’d be happy to do it,” Clinton said. “But I’d recommend we stick with what we’ve got and save the money.”