'First lady' foists unfair burden on president's spouse
Andrew Greeley, Chicago Sun-Times
The Constitution of our republic does not know the so-called first lady. She was invented, I suspect, by American envy of the English royal family, though it is hard to understand why we would want to imitate that long-since obsolete institution and slightly subnormal men and women who people it.
We are a republic; we do not need a royal family -- not even a temporary one. A president presumably will have a wife and maybe children (and in days to come perhaps a husband). So call her or him the president's spouse. The children are not ''first daughters,'' as an idiot journalist (woman) suggested to Alexandra Kerry the other day.
In a feminist era, a president's wife should be free to do anything she wants, even as Bess Truman did not live in the White House (or Blair House across the street while they're repairing the White House) or as Eleanor Roosevelt did to travel around the world on her own or as Jacqueline Kennedy did to redecorate (brilliantly) the White House or as Hillary Clinton did to become actively involved in political matters. There should be no job description for the presidential spouse. She should not be an issue in an election campaign, nor should she be an inkblot for the envy of press and people.
The role of presidential spouse should be, in other words, demythologized.