There is widespread agreement that the position of first lady is both an anachronism and not something that can be done away with, because of the politics of the post and Americans’ affection for it.
The reasons it’s an anachronism are legion: As the current president has noted, the first lady has paid staff but is not paid herself, even when she devotes herself full-time to the most substantive sort of first ladying. She defaults into the post when her husband is elected, no matter who she is, but also has no real option to opt out of the role. The nation looks to her often to be a kind of national mater familias, if you will, focused on home-and-hearth issues—even if that’s never been her real area of professional focus. Meanwhile, the conflict-of-interest and security issues involved in her continuing to work outside the White House can make maintaining her own independent career impossible.
There’s also no question that Michelle Obama, who like her husband is an Ivy League-trained attorney, has performed the role with aplomb. She remains ridiculously popular, even as the president’s approval has sunk in tandem with that of the Republicans in Congress he’s been battling.
Read more. [Image: Yuri Gripas/Reuters]
Check out some of the many, many images created by those whose love for the feathery Sesame Workshop character is as fierce as a three-year-old’s attachment to a security blanket.
Sesame Street kicked off its 43rd season yesterday. We’re big fans of the Street, and to prove it, here are some of our favorite Sesame facts.
- Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. Jim Henson decided to make him green before season two.
- In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit “Rubber Duckie.”
- During a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster said that before he started eating cookies, his name was Sid.
- Mr. Snuffleupagus has a first name—Aloysius.
- How big is Big Bird? 8’2″.
Read the other 38 ‘Sesame Street’ facts. [via mental_floss]