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  • Following Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, some were

  • moved to tears, others pushed her to run for President, and even Republicans were bowled

  • over by its quality.

  • As the First Lady, Michelle Obama has been called an inspiration for her work fighting

  • obesity, and supporting education opportunities for disadvantaged girls.

  • But what ARE the First Lady’s actual duties, and just how powerful and important is the

  • position?

  • Well, despite the level of reverence given to the First Lady of the United States, it’s

  • actually not a “real thing”.

  • There’s no official position in government for the spouse of a President, no official

  • duties, and obviously, no salary.

  • The closest thing to actual duties is that the First Lady is expected to act as a host

  • to the White House, and organize events and ceremonies.

  • Of course, most of the time, this role actually falls on the Office of the First Lady of the

  • United States, which is made up of official and paid positions.

  • More realistically, the role of First Lady has significantly changed over time, becoming

  • more and more important to the President’s administration.

  • Early on, during the time of Martha Washington and Abigail Adams, First Ladies were

  • elite public figures at the side of their husbands.

  • Although they had little to no political influence, their presence did embolden other women.

  • Even still, the fourth First Lady, Dolley Madison, pioneered the practice of championing

  • social causes, a role which continues today.

  • She helped orphan children, supported women’s rights, and held her own political opinions,

  • which she publicly voiced.

  • Around the 1930s, with the arrival of Eleanor Roosevelt, the role of First Lady was dramatically

  • expanded.

  • Like Madison, Roosevelt was outspoken, and contributed to a newspaper column, sometimes

  • openly disagreeing with her husband.

  • She promoted more women in the workplace, civil rights, and also helped displaced World

  • War Two refugees.

  • But Roosevelt was also among the first of First Ladies to stay involved in politics

  • after her husband’s time in office.

  • She even headed the UN Commission on Human Rights.

  • Incredibly, although a former First Lady may soon be running the country, in the early

  • 1900s, an active First Lady already assumed that role!

  • When President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke in 1919, his wife, Edith Wilson, took over

  • a number of important duties that the President would have been in charge of, and for roughly

  • a year and a half she effectively ran the executive branch herself.

  • And outside of politics, the role of First Lady has grown as a social position.

  • Ever since Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat swept the nation, the First Lady has become

  • a cultural icon for women everywhere.

  • Some of the more prominent First Ladies since Kennedy, including Michelle Obama, are looked

  • to not just as role models, but also as fashion plates.

  • Many have described the importance of looking elegant but fashionable, and the First Lady’s

  • threads are endlessly ripe for criticism and compliments alike.

  • One of the two current presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton, served as First Lady, after

  • which time she entered the Senate, became Secretary of State, and now could be the first

  • female President ever.

  • If that happens, former President Bill Clinton will then be the first ever First Gentleman of

  • the United States, so ultimately hell be the one tasked with throwing White House parties.

  • The female vote has been a big topic of conversation this election season especially with Hillary

  • Clinton leading the Democratic Party.

  • We sat down with a group of women to find out if having a female candidate impacts their

  • view of this year’s race.

Following Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, some were

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How Powerful Is The First Lady?

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    Sh, Gang (Aaron) posted on 2016/07/31
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