Former President Bill Clinton will receive 2012’s “Father of the Year” award from the National Father’s Day Council in June, confirmed the Council on Wednesday.
Chairman Dan Orwig said that Clinton will receive the award for his “profound generosity, leadership and tireless dedication to both his public office and many philanthropic organizations.” Their press release notes that under his presidency, the United States gained over 22 million jobs, and that he subsequently pioneered such initiatives as the Clinton Foundation to improve global health. All of these are indeed profound accomplishments – but Father of the Year?
I wonder how they’re going to fit any guests into the ceremony with that 500-ton elephant in the room.
It is not the first time that the Council has nominated a philanderer for the award. In 2007, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards won the award … exactly 8 months and 20 days before he became a father with Rielle Hunter (not his wife).
Anyhow, there are more deserving targets for this award. Here are just six of them.
1. President Barack Obama
He's never plunged the country into scandal over an extramarital affair, and looks absolutely adorable reading Where the Wild Things Are to kids. (Counterpoint: Sometimes ‘aww’ photos are not a good indicator of whether or not someone is a bad dad.) The president regretted not spending enough time with his daughters during campaign season, so joined daughter Sasha's basketball team as an assistant coach.
2. Jeremiah Gorman of Bangor, Maine
This loving dad built a replica spaceship for his son’s fifth birthday, and jokingly compared it to the Death Star, joking "What father doesn't dream of his son causing millions of voiced to cry out in terror and then be suddenly silenced?"
3. Todd Schweikert of Brooklyn, New York
This courageous dad formed a Scout troop that accepts girls and gay members and said that “discrimination, no matter how small, is never ok and not something I can endorse and wish to teach to my children.”
4. Ben Affleck
Affleck a deeply committed dad, and manages his schedule so that either he or Jennifer Garner is available to spend time with their three children at all times. He recently said that being a dad has made him a “richer person."
The actor founded the Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010 to fight conscription of children, support the health and well-being of Congolese women and children, and promote the development of a Congolese civil society. Affleck helps fundraise for research into ataxia-telangiectasia, a degenerative condition that afflicts children, after meeting 9-year-old Joe Kindregan in 1999, and later was the keynote speaker at his high school graduation ceremony.
5. Dave Engledow
Engledow is a Maryland-based photographer who satirizes distracted parents by taking awesome photos of himself and his daughter. He doesn’t “want to be one of those fathers who pushes my kid to do something she doesn’t want to … except for eating vegetables.”
He braved public embarrassment and delighted his son by taking him to a trampoline park in matching Spider-man suits.
7. BONUS: My dad.
(Or your dad!)