- Jill Biden wants to be the only first lady to keep a full-time job as a teacher while serving in the role.
- In doing so, Biden would make history, becoming the only first lady in the role’s 231-year history to do so.
- Biden has made clear in the past how important education and her profession are to her.
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Jill Biden will be the only first lady in the role’s 231-year history to keep a full-time job while serving in office, USA Today reported.
Biden is a university professor with a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate of education. In the capacity of second lady under the Obama administration, Biden still taught at Northern Virginia Community College during all eight years.
Her new role will be no different. She intends to keep her job while serving as the first lady, USA Today reported.
“She will really be bringing the role of first lady into the 21st century,” first-lady historian Katherine Jellison told USA Today.
“Americans have historically wanted their first ladies to be in the White House and at the president’s side whenever possible,” Jellison said. “Maybe the time has come when Americans will be more accepting of the idea that a president’s wife can simultaneously be a first lady and a working professional.”
Biden has signaled her passion for and commitment to teaching in various interviews and tweets over the years.
“Teaching is not what I do. It’s who I am,” Biden said in an August tweet ahead of a convention speech.
—Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) August 18, 2020
Ahead of her husband Joe’s victory, Biden expressed her commitment to continue teaching while serving as the first lady.
“If we get to the White House, I’m going to continue to teach,” she said in a CBS interview in August. “I want people to value teachers and know their contributions and to lift up the profession.”
Biden had not been teaching while campaigning for her husband and Kamala Harris. She said she wanted to support her husband’s presidential bid.
“He’s always supported my career,” she said on CNN early this year. “And this is a critical time for me to support him because, you know, I want change.”
The role of the first and second ladies is more fluid than that of the president or vice president. In recent presidencies, the first and second ladies have worked on initiatives to strengthen or add to the president’s agenda. Michelle Obama, for example, was the face of Let’s Move, a campaign she designed to promote healthy eating and lifestyles for children. Melania Trump is running the Be Best campaign, an initiative focusing on emotional and social health of young children.
“The beauty of (being FLOTUS) is that you can define it however you want,” Biden told Vogue last year. “And that’s what I did as second lady – I defined that role the way I wanted it to be. I would still work on all the same issues. Education would be right up there, and military families. I’d travel all over this country trying to get free community college.”