Welcome to the National First Ladies' Library

"From Front Porch to Webcast: The History and Impact
of Spouses in Presidential Campaigns"


Eleanor Clift is a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine.   She reports on the White House, presidential politics, and a variety of national issues.  Her column, “ Capitol Letter ” is posted each week on Newsweek.com and MSNBC.com. Clift is a regular panelist on the nationally syndicated show, The McLaughlin Group, and a political analyst for the Fox News Network.

Dianne Bystrom , director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, frequent media commentator on the 2008 election, author of “Gender and Communication Along the Campaign Trail” in Gender and Elections (Cambridge University Press: 2005)

Evan Cornog , Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Columbia Journalism School, publisher, Columbia Journalism Review –author of Hats in the Ring: An Illustrated History of American Presidential Campaigns

Annette Dunlap , has been a freelance writer for nearly thirty years specializing in business management and been an opinion columnist for North Carolina newspapers, most recently a community columnist for the Charlotte Observer. Her forthcoming biography of Frances Cleveland is her first full-length work, will be published SUNY Press

Mary Finch Hoyt, journalist, novelist, former press secretary to Rosalynn Carter, and press secretary to Jane Muskie and Eleanor McGovern during their spouses presidential campaigns, author of East Wing: Politics, The Press and a First Lady (Xlibris Corporation (December 2001)

Connie Schultz, Pulitzer prize winning columnist and journalist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Connie is a native Ohioan and author of And His Lovely Wife: A Memoir From the Woman Beside the Man , a book detailing her life on the campaign trail with her husband Senator Sherrod Brown, and Life Happens and Other Unavoidable Truths

Karen Tumulty , Time Magazine National Political Correspondent since 2001, has extensively covered Hillary Clinton among her many stories; before joining Time in 1994, she covered Congress among other beats, for the Los Angeles Times


  • To provide a historical context of important past presidential elections in which the lives, opinions, perceptions and influences of spouses played a central role in the election of their spouses (1828, 1940, 1964, 1976)
  • To provide a fuller sense of the various roles carried out by the 2008 spouses of presidential candidates, whether that is by: a) directly assuming the role of spokesperson, substitute-candidate, advisor, caretaker on their own, by dependence of their spouses, or by calculation of advisors  b) being assigned a symbolic gender, or political role; by media coverage, public commentary in print, broadcast, or online