The office of the "first lady" is undergoing immense changes that reflect the tremendous change in Americans' perception of roles for men and women.
When a woman came within a whisper of winning the presidency, the term "first lady" seemed antiquated.
The office of first lady contains controversial elements, partly because of conflicts over the role of women in politics, but also because the intimate relationship between husband and wife gives the presidential spouse, an unelected position, unique insight into and access to the president's mind and decision-making processes.
There is no way to check the influence of the first spouse in the American system.
Our first ladies have tried to play a political role before.
As John was preparing to help with the writing of the Constitution, future first lady Abigail Adams admonished him to remember the ladies, although there is no evidence that he actually did.
In 1919, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson took over the White House after her husband's illness, controlling who had access to him and even issuing presidential decisions in his name.
Eleanor Roosevelt kept up an active public role despite her husband's death.
The role of the first lady has been seen by the public as more of a commentary on how women in general should behave since the 1960s.
As a surrogate for our cultural confusion on what role women should play, the office of the first lady came under uncommon scrutiny, especially when she took on a more political role, as didRosalynn Carter, who attended cabinet meetings at her husband's request.
The first lady's role was redefined by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton, a successful lawyer who earned the family income while her husband, Bill, served four low-paid terms as governor of Arkansas, was the target of both public praise and hatred.
In 2000 she became the junior senator from New York, capping her tenure as first lady.
She earned the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and became the first female major-party candidate for the office.
The first lady and Clinton laugh at an event.
Clintondefined the role of first lady and served in a number of political capacities before becoming the first female major-partypresidential candidate.
She has said she has no political ambitions of her own and chose a more traditional path.
Hillary Clinton has not taken on a political role for most first spouses.
The politically safest strategy for a first spouse is to stick with a non controversial moral issue.
Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, and Laura Bush all advocated for us to reject drugs.
"I don't intend to take on an active policymaking role," said the first lady.
She said she couldn't do everything.
While living in the White House, a committed and active mother wanted to keep her two children's lives as normal as possible.
She took on a public role as an advocate for working parents, particularly those in the military, who juggle career loads with the demands of raising families, and as a strong supporter of a healthy diet.
Most first ladies are not as mysterious as Mrs. Trump.
She didn't move into the White House immediately because she didn't want her son to go to school in New York.
She stayed out of the public eye after moving to Washington because of the scandals surrounding Donald Trump.
She launched an initiative called "Be Best" focused on well-being, positive social media use, and the effects of opiate abuse.
The purpose of the executive bureaucracy is to help presidents do their job by giving them information, expertise, and advice.
Although presidents' closest advisers are usually focused on the president's interests, various cabinet officers, staff members, and agency heads may develop agendas of their own that may be at odds with those of the president.
The job of the Executive Office of the President's members is more clear than that of the president.
The president's agenda is more likely to be found by the vice president and first spouse.
One feature of a successful presidency is effective management of the executive branch.
Historians and presidential observers rate presidential success and failure on a scale of 1 to 10, and political scientists rate presidential success and failure on a scale of 1 to 10.
The personal resources of a president are looked at in this section.
What kinds of people are driven to become president in the first place?
The fact that most presidents share some personality characteristics does not mean that they are carbon copies of one another.
They are clearly different in fundamental ways.
A number of scholars have developed classification schemes.
Knowing key dimensions of individual presidential personality will help explain, or even predict, how presidents will behave in certain circumstances.
The most famous of these schemes was developed by James David Barber, who classified presidents on two dimensions: their energy level (passive or active) and their orientation toward life.