Oh boy! It's election year again!
After wading through all the political rhetoric and scrutinizing the issues, most of us are able to put together a pretty good idea of what qualities we would like to see in a president. He is, after all, the one person occupying the White House that we are allowed to elect.
But what about the First Lady?
In the nineteenth century the First Lady's job seemed to be one of supporting her husband and organizing the social events of the White House. They seemed to choose a 'pet project' that they devoted themselves to while their husbands handled the 'important' political decisions. In retrospect, however, we find that several first ladies may have actually been 'the great woman behind the great man'. Sarah Polk for example would carefully scan the issues for her husband, summarize them and then write a speech for him verbalizing his views on these issues.
In the twentieth century, the role of the First Lady became more visibly political. We had women like Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton who spoke with the press and took action when they felt action needed taken. With apologies to Hillary, however, they all seemed to maintain a "stand by your man" demeanor even in the face of adversity. Laura Bush never admitted that her political views differed from those of her husband until his time in office was complete.
I realize she is not the one you cast your vote for, but what would you like to see in a First Lady (or a First Man)?
Since he or she is not an elected official, is not given any particular responsibilities, nor takes any oath of office, my first and only priority is that they provide love, support, and succor for their spouse. Being President is a difficult and stressful job, and the last thing that the President needs is any worries or distractions on the home front.
Anything else is just gravy.
I'm with Sofia.
What do I like to see in a First Lady ?
The same things I like to see in her husband - Honesty, Dependability and Putting The Nation's Needs Ahead Of Politics.
What Snagg said.
I gather this means that Hillary did the right thing by standing by Bill after he committed adultery and that Laura Bush was good to hold her tongue until President Bush was out of office. Would the same apply if there was a First Man in the same position?
That's not what I meant. Ms's Clinton and Bush did what they did for their own reasons, which had more to do with their personal relationships with their husbands than they did national issues. (After all, it wasn't Hillary and Laura, who leapt to make political hay out of their spouse's failures.)
I would expect a First Gentleman to be as circumspect and discreet with a Madam President's screw-ups as I would when the roles were reversed. America already has enough low-brow reality television diverting it from important issues without having a trashy soap opera being beamed out of the White House on a daily basis.
I'm not certain that reality T.V. is as trashy as the political scene right now, but I do believe there is a certain sanctity to the office of the President. I wonder which spouse has the more difficult job.
I just learned that Rachel Robards Jackson was already married (not divorced) when she married Andrew Jackson. I'll bet Rush Limbaugh would have something to say about that!!
I'm pretty sure that if you said the words "Rachel Robards Donelson" to Rush Limbaugh, the only answer you'd get would be a blank stare.
I have to admit, that's what you would've gotten from me too, before I posted this.