Government and International Relations Faculty Publications

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Initially published in Women & Politics, 2002, volume 24, number 1, p.25-45.

© 2002 Taylor & Francis; posted with permission

DOI: 10.1300/J014v24n01_02


Drawing on archival research, this article examines how the position of the first lady has been formally defined, and how that definition has affected presidential advising by first ladies. Three first ladies-Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosalynn Carter, and Hillary Rodham Clinton-have served in a formal capacity within the executive branch. In each instance, the first lady's appointment, and subsequent exercise of formal and informal power, carried significant implications for our understanding of this position, the presidency, and the political system.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.