Like Clinton, Wallace could not run again because of term limits. Early in Lurleen Wallace’s term, it was reported that when people called the governor’s office and asked to speak to “the governor,” the receptionists would cheerfully ask, “Gov. George or Gov. Lurleen?”
But Hillary Rodham Clinton is no Lurleen Burns Wallace. For much of her life and most of her governorship, Wallace stayed home and baked cookies.
Lurleen took care of the family; George took care of the politics. And that remained largely true during her short term in the governor’s office, which was cut short by her death from cancer.
Early in her term, Lurleen Wallace stepped into a room in the state Capitol and asked, “Where’s the governor?”
“You are the governor,” she was reminded.
One Alabama journalist described it as “something of a Queen‐Prime Minister relationship: Mrs. Wallace handles the ceremonial and formal duties of state. Mr. Wallace draws the grand outlines of state policy and sees that it is carried out.”
That doesn’t sound like what we would expect of a Clinton Restoration. A better analogy might be the co‐governorship of Ma and Pa Ferguson of Texas, beginning in 1924. Ma’s campaign, like Hillary’s, was not just about restoration but about vindication.
“Farmer Jim” Ferguson dominated Texas politics for a quarter century. He served as governor from 1915 to 1917 but was impeached, convicted and removed from office early in his second two‐year term for misapplication of public funds. Under the terms of the conviction, he was not allowed to hold state office again. After trying to fight the ban in court, he came up with the idea of running his wife, Miriam, for governor.
Running as the anti‐Ku Klux Klan candidate and offering voters “Two governors for the price of one,” Miriam A. “Ma” Ferguson won a big victory. When the Fergusons once more drove up to the Governor’s Mansion, Ma said: “We departed in disgrace; we now return in glory.” Time magazine called her “the Governess.”