The National Father's Day Committee has named the first of its 2013 Father of the Year recipients. Former President Bill Clinton is the first of the award recipients to be named this year. The press release indicates that the former president is being recognized primarily for his philanthropic work as well as for his "leadership and dedication to his public office."
As might be imagined, this announcement has been met with a wide variety of responses. Many feel that the recognition is a slap in the face of fathers who have raised children while still being faithful to their mother. Others think the award should be reserved for men who are less "notable" but who still set a good example for dads everywhere. And some feel that the award is deserved; after all, Chelsea Clinton is pretty accomplished in her own right.
The National Father's Day Committee has honored many outstanding fathers over the years with their National Father of the Year Awards, while some have proven a little less than outstanding as dads (think John Edwards). We can certainly debate the propriety of giving this award to President Clinton, but given that the recognition is focused on his professional and philanthropic work, the Committee is sending at least one message - that being a father is not just about "fathering" but also about supporting fathering efforts in others. That may not be the right message, but the Committee that sponsors the award certainly has a right to recognize whom they will.
But many others have the right to disagree.
Former Father of the Year Recipients:
- 2009 included George Stephanopolus, David Petraeus and Coach K at Duke, among others
- 2010 included David Gregory, Jorge Posada and Captain Scott Smiley, among others
- 2011 included Jim Boeheim and Amar'e Stoudamire, among others
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