Bill Clinton has been named Father of the Year award, and for the honor got a pat on the back from his wife Hillary.
The former president received the honor at a Save the Children benefit held Tuesday by the National Father’s Day Committee. He joins past Father of the Year honorees, including Al Gore, Dick Van Dyke, and Randy Jackson.
For Clinton, the honor itself came with a small but important gesture from his wife.
“I [received] a text message from Hillary [Clinton] saying, ‘Congratulations. I think you deserve this,’ ” Parade magazine quoted him as saying. “In our family, that’s a very big deal.”
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton presented her dad with the honor, who said he “set the bar very high” for her husband, Marc Mezvinski.
“Every day he’s my dad, and I don’t need an award to tell me he’s the best that I ever could have hoped for,” she reportedly said. “But I’m grateful he’s getting the recognition that I, of course, his unapologetically-biased daughter, think he’s always deserved.”
Bill Clinton said from the moment Chelsea was born his life was changed. In fact, his insistence of being in the delivery room for her Cesarean section led the hospital to change its policy, allowing fathers in the room for the surgery.
“And from that day to this, I have believed without the shadow of a doubt that it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” Clinton said of his daughter’s birth.
Even as he embarked on his career in politics, being a father was the most important role for Bill Clinton.“During the sole argument we had when [Chelsea] was in high school, the subject of which I don’t even remember, I looked at her and said, ‘As long as you’re in this house, being president is my second most important job,’ ” he said.
Bill Clinton was humble about his Father of the Year award, saying in his acceptance speech that there are “a million people who are equally or more deserving” of the honor.
[Bill Clinton photo by Roger H. Goun via Flickr and Creative Commons]