Monday, January 12, 2009

First Family

While the nation elects a President, he or she brings with them family to live in the White House. The significance of the First Lady should not be underestimated. Publicly, her role evolved from hostess and manager of the White House kitchen and d├ęcor, to ambassador of the President’s policies and leader for charitable causes. Quietly, the first lady might have influence over Presidential decisions and work to preserve a positive image for the President. If a President did not have a living wife, he might bring his mother, daughter, and even sister in-law to help with the “womanly” duties in managing the White House parties and other social occasions. Many of these women were well-educated leaders in their own right. Some truly stand out for their contributions to society and the world. President Bill Clinton even appointed his wife, Hillary, as head of a task force to improve healthcare. Time will tell what Michelle Obama’s interests and leadership roles will be.

The President’s children did not draw much attention in the public in the early days, but today Obama’s children and topics like where they are going to go to private school are apparently news. For more extensive research on the first families visit Doug Wead’s site or purchase his book All the President’s Children where he documents 17 years of research. Obama's daughters are pretty young to make notorious news but as you will find that was not uncommon for other Presidential children.

We look forward to the inauguration of a new President, but the nation gets more than just the man.

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