Cross posted by Findalis of Monkey in the Middle
The First Lady is the unofficial title of the hostess of the White House. 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 who were not Presidents’ wives 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.
To date, no woman has served as President. While a female President could theoretically serve as her own official hostess, it is not known what title would be applied to a President’s husband, who might also serve as the host of the White House. There have been many female governors of U.S. states over the years; their husbands are typically referred to as the First Gentleman.
Like any other spouse of an important man, the First Lady is an offshoot of her husband’s role. She has been many things in history. A promoter of values, a confidant, another set of eyes and ears for the President, or even did nothing (Bess Truman was famous for this one). Her role is as large or as small as she wants it to be. She is considered the head of Washington society and an invitation to an event at the White House was the pinnacle of one’s status in society.
The first lady is not an elected position, 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. There is a strong tradition against the First Lady holding outside employment while occupying the office. The first lady frequently participates in humanitarian and charitable work; over the course of the 20th century it became increasingly common for first ladies to select specific causes to promote, usually ones that are not politically divisive. It is common for the first lady to hire a staff to support these activities. This role is not even mentioned once in the Constitution nor in any Federal law mandating this role.
This role has been an unpaid position until now.
CNN has a segment that they call “CNN Student News” that is supposed to highlight the news of the day for the kiddie set. Pursuant to that, in a December 15 segment, CNN floats a question asking if Michelle Obama (or any First Lady) should get a government salary just for being First Lady?
But, what we really ended up with is a slight to those same students to whom CNN was ostensibly relating the news. No where in the report was there any talk of the Constitution in particular nor the law in general as the CNN anchor cajoled the kids into viewing with awe the “work” of the First Lady and in fostering in them a feeling that First Ladies should be paid for this “work.”
CNN did not stress that a First Lady has no official role and no elected mandate to spend the public’s money on whatever cause she so chooses to expound upon — though a brief quote from Laura Bush that a First Lady “is not an office holder” was included at the end of the segment.
Apparently voting federal officials into office so that they may legally spend money from the public treasury is a concept that CNN doesn’t think kids need to know about.
Naturally we are treated to another claim of Michelle Obama being a “powerhouse in her own right” in emulation of Hillary’s once smartest-woman-in-the-world style of hagiography. The kids are asked why we shouldn’t pay the newest smartest woman in the world just for having said “I do” to her husband?
Why is CNN pushing this now? Why not 8 years ago or even 20 years ago? Can this really be the idea of CNN or is this coming from Camp Obama? I suspect that the Obama administration is trying to push this idea on the American people in a hope that they can scam extra money from the American taxpayer into their coffers. After all she and hubby only make a combined income of $481,000 a year. Yet they can’t afford piano lessons, sports lessons, dance class and summer camp for their daughters. So scamming the American people for a hundred thousand or more dollars would be ok for them. Or they can just cut down their expenses. Instead of a fancy and expensive private school, they can opt for the free public schools in the area (that would be putting money where their mouth is). Instead of the fancy music and dance lessons, they can send their girls to the YMCA. Many parents do. Or the Boys and Girls Club. A local church group would do nicely too. There are many ways that these 2 smart people can afford to give their children a good future. But making the US Taxpayer pay for it is not right. It is just a scam to gain extra money for doing nothing more than saying I Do and sleeping with a man. And that is just plain wrong!