Isa Amaro Varas ’23 awarded distinguished Watson Fellowship
First ladies have discretion when it comes to their public engagement and how they run the East Wing, and the next first lady could make quite an impact, Professor MaryAnne Borrelli told CBS News.
“People have some expectations, but a lot of it can be created by the woman who is in that office.”
President-elect Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, is a dedicated educator and professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College. She continued teaching throughout her husband’s tenure as vice president during the Obama administration, and she has suggested she will continue to do so as a first lady, as well.
Borrelli, the Susan Eckert Lynch ’62 Professor of Government at Connecticut College and author of The Politics of the President’s Wife, told CBS that she expects Biden will pursue education initiatives and military outreach, two causes she also championed as second lady.
“This is a very intelligent, dynamic, dedicated woman who has a deep profession, a vocation to teaching,” Borrelli said.
“The first lady is going to be a primary surrogate for the president,” she added, “and her surrogacy is going to take the form of humanizing the president in a way that deepens and strengthens his political alliances.”