Bill to get usual spouse's role in White House

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The Independent US

Hillary Clinton yesterday touted her experience as a hands-on first lady alongside her husband, Bill Clinton, as the hours ticked away before the presidential caucuses in Iowa on Thursday. The meeting will begin the state-by-state battle to pick two Democratic candidates who will face each other in national elections in November.

"I think my experience is unique," Mrs Clinton said in an assured interview on ABC television. But just as she spoke of her close involvement in decision-making in her husband's White House she indicated that, as president herself, she would limit his role in national security matters.

In events like the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, she does not envisage Bill Clinton participating in emergency National Security Council meetings, she said, adding that it "would not be appropriate".

"I think he would play the role spouses have always played for presidents," Mrs Clinton said. "He will not have a formal role, but just as presidents rely on wives, husbands, fathers, friends of long years, he will be my close confidant and adviser, as I was with him."

The Iowa caucus is a race between Mrs Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.