“What is not debatable is that Betty Ford’s tenure as First Lady was the last time in American politics that someone in that role could inspire bi-partisan admiration—even while expressing her own political views. American politics has become so polarized, and the culture wars so fierce, that First Ladies can only be broadly liked if they suppress their own views on controversial matters. Betty Ford’s passing reminds us of what has been lost in our political culture.”
While I agree with Carol Joffe “…that [today] First Ladies can only be broadly liked if they suppress their own views on controversial matters,” I’m perplexed at the suggestion that being “broadly liked” is a sufficient standard of review, as well as by Joffe’s apparent assertion that this need for First Ladies to be bland is something new. It isn’t.
Remember Eleanor Roosevelt, please.