Bill Clinton Honored as 2013 Father of the Year

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About Robert Duffer

Robert Duffer ( is the editor of the Dads & Families section of The Good Men Project. Winner of the Chicago Public Library's writing contest, his work appears in the Chicago Tribune, MAKE Magazine, Chicago Reader, Curbside Splendor, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Public Radio, Annalemma, New City, and other coffee-table favorites like Canadian Builders Quarterly. He teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and lives in the suburbs with his wife, two kids, and their minivan. Follow @DufferRobert, Google+, facebook.


  1. wellokaythen says:

    I was never someone who hated Bill Clinton or called him Slick Willy or anything like that. I don’t think he’s the worst, slimy-est politician ever or the worst father ever. I’m sort of agnostic about the good/evil of the Clinton family. But, seriously, there must be almost 100 million dads in the U.S. and billions of dads in the world, and out of all of those Bill Clinton is the best choice? Sit down with a random week of The New York Times and you’ll find a bunch of clearer, though less well-known, candidates.

    Perhaps the organization is trying to trigger a lot of buzz over the choice?….

    • Clinton will be a big draw for generous crowd–he’s a great land for the National Father’s Day Council. He’ll help them make money for a great cause. So he’s got one child who’s 33. Not the first type of guy you’d think of for father of the year award, but it’ll help the cause.

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    The White House Travel Office issue, when the the Cs were first inaugurated sealed it for me.

    No other fathers? Nobody who’s been faithful? It’s one thing to want a high-profile figure, but it’s another to make a good father hope he’s never nominated.

    • Because an invented non-scandal has everything to do with whether Bill’s a good father, right?

      • Richard Aubrey says:

        Caution. I’m one of the few who watches C-Span. So, as to the travel office issue, if that’s your reference, here’s what happened. The Cs wanted the business for their buddies–Bloodworth-Thomason, iirc–and fired the WH travel office guys. Bad enough. But then, to make it stink, they sicced the FBI on them and did a false prosecution. The jury was out long enough to go to the bathroom–saw through the thing–and exonerated the entire bunch. But they were damn’ near bankrupted by legal fees. This is, the lesson went, what happens when you’re in the way.
        Beware, copy, I watched the hearings. Figured fair warning is fair.

        Some millenia ago, in a far away town called Athens, a public figure was elected municipal sewerage collector, in order to shame him. “If the office does not bring honor on me, I will bring honor upon the office.” Which is how, I imagine, any actual good father would think if nominated for father of the year after Clinton was a top pick. Otherwise, the “honor” is pretty well stunk up.

        • So… you’re all excited about the travel office stuff, yet unable to explain what possible bearing it has on Clinton’s parenting. Sorry, I’m not impressed.

          • RIchard Aubrey says:

            Apparently I can’t explain it to you.
            Now that you know I know about the travel office issue, you switch to being unable to understand why a vile, dishonest, scheming bastard who, as practically his first order of business was to fire long-time employees in favor of a friend, and who, further unnecessarily put them through the difficulties and expenses of a federal prosecution just for grits and shins, and because that’s what power is all about, baby might not be impressive as a father.
            Well, perhaps you don’t understand.

            • I understand just fine–you’re trying to dismiss his parenting skills based on your political hatred of the man. It’s obvious and fairly pathetic.

            • Richard Aubrey says:

              Parenting skills include–maybe this was last century–providing an example of morality and integrity. Yeah, that sure sounds last-century to me.
              The travel office issue wasn’t political. It was simply greed and abuse of power and spite. Nothing to do with politics. So Chelsea can think her dad screwed over half a dozen guys who were employed in an inoffensive role in the government, did it for their well-connected friends, put the guys’ families in an economic bind, then went further and sicced the fibbies on them for fun and, gee, Dad, I love how you show me how to be a woman of honor and integrity.
              So, let me turn this around: You think Clinton’s greed, abuse of power and spite are dandy as a father role model because you iike his politics.
              Got it.

  3. elizabeth says:

    Ditto. I loved him as a politician, but as a family man/father figure? Uh, no. In fact, the choice seems so geared to fundraising (vs mission) it makes me think less of the organization.

    • I hear you, Elizabeth. They’re using the big fish to catch the big fish. It’d be cool if he introduced or handed over the Ashok Sani All-Star Dad award to the “regular guy” dad whose fatherly acts are most remarkable.

  4. Hilary is never happy.

  5. “The council has raised $30 million to date in support of “meaningful philanthropies dealing with issues affecting mothers, fathers and children.”

    I found this line kind of ODD, perhaps it is just me. Notice MOTHERS are first , hell even children are last. This is for “FATHERS DAY” and they still couldn’t see fit to put fathers first.

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