We Need to Talk About First Ladies . . .

Revolutionary War.jpg

Or, Who's going to worry about the China Collection?

It’s less than a month until Tuesday, November 8, 2016-Election Day! (I’ll be voting—I hope you will too.)

Even if you are sick, sad, tired, disgusted by this presidential campaign thus far—VOTE!

Even if you don’t want to vote for either of the presidential candidates—Please, go to the Polls & VOTE! Presidents aside, there are many other issues on the ballots: Propositions, inc. TAX proposals; elected officials . . . i.e. local & state issues that should concern & will affect you. Remember the Revolution? Taxation Without Representation? (If you don’t VOTE that’s what you’ll be getting.)

Assuming we are all voting, we need to talk about First Ladies. Every other election I can recall, the First Lady has played a huge part in the campaign. Copious hours of media attention has been paid to candidates for First Lady, too.

In the last election, Ann Romney, headlined at well over 40 fundraisers. Contrast that to this campaign. As noted it this Sept 16th CNN report, Melania Trump’s been AWOL pretty much since that July 18th National Convention speech… you know, the one she sort of copied from our current—extremely visible and popular first lady, Michelle Obama. 

Likewise, I haven’t noticed much campaigning from Past Pres. Bill Clinton either. So few that the fundraisers Bill subbed at when Hillary had pneumonia stand out.  I’m sure, as former President, Bill has been campaigning and fundraising—as a recent Washington Post article “Two Clintons. 41 Years. $3 Billion.” noted, the Clinton’s are pros at fundraising. 

To me, the absence of media attention on First Ladies (will that be “First Partners” going forward? Or something else?) is disconcerting. I missed seeing either of the First Lady/Partner? standing behind her/his Man/Woman when their spouses accepted their party’s nominations. And where are the fashion features we’d come to expect? You know the round ups of Jackie’s Hats? Nancy’s penchant for red jackets that led to all of us buying at least one red “Power Blazer.” Or, more recently, Hillary’s First Lady candidate hairdos & cankles? Michelle’s weight and wardrobe updates—and hair, of course. Why isn’t the media chatting about Melania’s hair and clothing—or lack of it? We sure rear plenty about Donald’s hair…why not Bills? Or his wardrobe update? There were heaps of articles about Presidential Candidates ties in past elections. One, “The Psychology of Tie Color,”  comparing Mitt’s ties to Barack’s concluded that Republicans prefer blue ties while Democrats go for red.  But what about Bill’s ties? If the color of Nancy’s blazer mattered, shouldn’t the color of Bill’s tie?

Fashion aside, let’s focus on what should matter:

According to Wikipedia (the source of all “free”—as in writers are not compensated for their research, verbiage, or time—encyclopedic knowledge) “The First Lady of the United States is the hostess of the White House. . . The First Lady is not an elected position; it carries no official duties and receives no salary. Nonetheless, she attends many official ceremonies and functions of state either along with or in place of the president. Traditionally, the First Lady does not hold outside employment while occupying the office.[1] She has her own staff, including the White House Social Secretary, the Chief of Staff, the Press Secretary, the Chief Floral Designer, and the Executive Chef. The Office of the First Lady is also in charge of all social and ceremonial events of the White House, and is a branch of the Executive Office of the President.”

What do the First Partner candidates plan to accomplish in office? Have any of you heard what issue Bill or Melania plan to battle when he/she is First Partner? Along with serving as hostess, and traditionally selecting the “State China, recent first ladies choose a cause to champion. BTW: Michelle Obama’s choice was “Kailua Blue."

I wonder, is Bill thinking about whether to choose his own china pattern or add to the pale yellow and gold “Clinton China” commemorating the bicentennial of the White House, Hillary selected. And what about Melania? Is she mulling over causes to champion? Or doesn’t it matter anymore? Did it every, really? Were all those article, all the media attention paid to past First Ladies, just filler?

As an American female, I have always paid close attention to First Ladies. It seemed that they, and the causes they championed were important. I googled “Causes First Ladies Championed,” and they were! And they did make a difference. If you doubt it, rewatch the episode of Mad Men where the Draper family went on a picnic. Imagine how high the litter on our highways, roadsides & parks would look like now if Lady Bird Johnson hadn't campaigned for highway beautification?

Here are some causes First Ladies are remembered for championing today.* What mark will the next First Partner make on America & the World? 

*First Ladies not listed may well have championed causes. Frankly, I didn’t want to take the time to research more. If you know other’s causes, send word and I will add them.