America’s first lady, who is traditionally the Hostess of the White House, is typically expected to be a model of decorum and grace.
(Pictured left, are former First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, and Nancy Reagan, as well as the current First Lady at that time, Barbara Bush, attend the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California in 1991.)
Of course, it is debatable whether or not they’ve all lived up to that expectation. But atleast, they’ve all managed to look the part.
(Picture right, are former First Ladies Nancy Reagan, Lady Bird Johnson, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rosalyn Carter, Betty Ford, and Barbara Bush sit together at the National Garden Gala, A Tribute to America’s First Ladies, May 11, 1994)
Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is sometimes taken to apply only to the wife of a sitting president. However, several women other than wives of presidents have served as First Lady, as when the president was a bachelor or widower, or when the wife of the president was unable to fulfill the duties of the First Lady herself. In these cases, the position has been filled by a female relative or friend of the president.
Call it “prudish” or “old fashioned”, but safe to say, Americans still expect the same of a modern first lady. It’s been many years since the wife of a U.S. president hasn’t filled the role herself, so naturally Americans carefully consider how the wife of a candidate for president would do in her role, not only as hostess of the white house, but increasingly as a role model for young women and strong advocate for some charitable work or social policy.
All of this being said, perhaps we ought to stop and take a look at not only who it is we might be supporting for our Republican nominee for president, but in so doing, also choosing our first lady.
Who’s everybody looking at?