In addition to becoming the first-ever Italian-American to serve as First Lady (very important), Jill Biden will also be the first FLOTUS to keep a paid, full-time job while living in the White House.
Biden, who has doctorate in education, currently works as an English professor at community college in Virginia, though she took a leave of absence this year so she could be on the campaign trail alongside her husband.
She most recently announced her intention to stay in the position in an August interview with CBS This Morning. “If we get to the White House, I’m gonna continue to teach,” she said at the time. “It’s important, and I want people to value teachers and know their contributions, and lift up the profession.”
Biden has said before that she wants to redefine the role of the First Lady, which is a fraught and someone impossible role for a modern woman to occupy, as well as one that has been stubbornly resistant to change.
When, for example, Hillary Clinton attempted to assert herself as an independent career woman during Bill Clinton’s first run for office, she met significant backlash. The infamous remarks—about not being the kind of wife and mother who stayed home and “baked cookies and had teas”—also inspired the First Lady cookie bake-off, an outdated tradition that only died earlier this year because the magazine that hosted it shuttered.
And though Michelle Obama has been credited with transforming the office as the first Black FLOTUS, defining a legacy for herself that is distinct from her husband’s, she was still charged with tasks like planning White House Christmas celebrations and decorations.
But Biden sees the position as more flexible and forgiving. “The beauty of it is that you can define it however you want,” she told Vogue last year. “And that’s what I did as Second Lady—I defined that role the way I wanted it to be.”
Jobs suck, but I say let Jill Biden do whatever she wants!