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Affairs of State


In Affairs of State, Gil Troy attempts to make sense of the role of the first couple in the executive office of the White House. Troy focuses on the position of the first lady since the beloved Eleanor Roosevelt established herself as the quintessential wife, role model and first lady for the president of the United States and up to the time of the disastrous efforts of Hillary Clinton to “co-couple” the presidency.  Affairs of StateGil Troy asserts that the role of the first lady has changed dramatically in the post-war era and America is not comfortable with the evolution of the most visible woman in politics.  Following the rise of the first couple, he examines the role of each and the positions that the first lady has taken, and the public, political and personal toll it took on the presidency. How do you start a Affairs of State research paper? Our expert writers suggest like this.

Affairs of State and the First Lady

Troy is quick to point out several factors that have established the role of the first lady over the past 50 years. 

  1. The rise of mass media has thrown the first couple into the "game" of "building a political image". 
  2. The increasing expense of government has thrust the interest of the public on the presidency with scrutiny directed at questioning his personal life while he is spending the trillion-dollar budget. 
  3. An equation of how a president can handle his personal life effects the public's perception on how well he handles the affairs of state. 

Affairs of State demonstrates that the role of the first lady is not a litmus test for the countries view on women nor is it a commentary on the treatment of women in power in society.  However, it is the explanation of the "rise and rejection of the First Couple".

Affairs of State and the Roosevelts

The Roosevelts changed the role of the first couple out of necessity and established a precedent that no couple could live up to since them.  Due to their tumultuous personal relationship, each used the other to achieve political and personal goals.  Their marriage was a marriage of convenience and the President thought of his wife as a "'spur', not his partner; [to the President] she often felt like 'a hair shirt', an abrasive garment worn as penance"

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