Barack and Michelle: tall, stylish, confident, brave. Who can do other than rejoice and wish them well?
Yet at the risk of seeming to strike a curmudgeonly note (and that’s not in my nature, as you well know), I have always had a question about the description ‘First Lady’. It does not denote a public office, and nobody can cast any votes for Michelle, or Jackie, or Lady Bird or Laura. The President’s wife (and so far, it has always been a wife) can have enormous influence, but to whom is she accountable?
Another thing: the phrase is eloquent of the fact that people expect the President and his consort to be a symbol of the traditional nuclear family, which is fine as far as it goes. But while we celebrate the progress which has brought a person of mixed parentage to the White House, let’s also look for the day when the President will be one or more of:
or any other category you want to mention.