When I was little, I wanted to be the first lady when I grew up. The role of the president seemed like kind of a buzzkill. Plus, you know, people are actually and actively trying to kill you. Wasn’t really my scene, so, in all of my 5-year-old wisdom, I knew POTUS was a bigger role than I ever really cared to take on. Sure, I loved my country (as all good Kindergardeners do) but I preferred to pursue another role: I wanted to be the ultimate housewife, the partner extraordinaire, the cocktail party hostess in chief, the HBIC of the fucking country, the first lady of the United States of America.
I saw myself tending home on Pennsylvania Avenue, shopping in Georgetown, planning picnics on the National Mall, hobnobbing with foreign dignitaries on Embassy Row, campaigning for money on K Street, and getting drunk off of gin and tonics at the Capitol Hill Club. What can I say? I had wonderful insight into the world of D.C. politics even as an elementary schooler. Thank you, “West Wing.” As I got older, however, I realized that the role of the first lady is not all Chanel skirt suits, thousand dollar pearls, and chic, blonde bobs. No, sir–or ma’am, as the case may be–the life of the first lady is actually pretty shitty. Media scrutiny? Check. Ugly children? Check. An adulterous, cheating bastard for a husband? Check. Let’s be frank, all the fame in the world is not worth having to claim Chelsea Clinton as your own flesh and blood. Because I’m a shallow human who doesn’t want to deal with my children’s awkward years being plastered on the cover of The Washington Post or “comment” on my husband’s latest slut of a secretary, I’ve moved past this childhood dream of mine. These days I pursue mediocre Internet fame and reality TV stardom, but, on this holiest of American holidays (#presidentsday), I thought it would be fun to look back on the strattiest bitches to ever grace the White House. I owe these women a lot–I really, really do. Thanks to their public shame and tabloid disgraces, I’m now saved from the same sad fate. Props to you, girlfriends. Today, we drink in your honor.
Okay, so she never lived in the White House, and yes, she was kind of old and matronly looking, but she was the original. Every other woman after homegirl is a first lady, but Martha? Martha is the First Lady. Give credit where credit is due: she’s the ultimate HBIC. Or, at least, she was, because, you know, she’s dead now. #technicalities
Fun fact: she worked with Benjamin Henry Latrobe, famed White House architect, and picked out the original furnishings. SAF. Unfortunately, all of her hard work went up in flames (literally) when the Brits decided to pick yet another fight with us. When the White House was set ablaze by English troops in 1814, the staff and all officials ran for safety, but our girl Dolley made sure to grab famous paintings so they were not lost forever. Because of her, we still have one of the most iconic portraits of George Washington. Way to go, Dolley. Way to go.
Mary Todd Lincoln
The craziest bitch there ever was and ever will be. She actually held seances at the White House and reportedly chased after ghosts. After poor Abe met his Maker, Mrs. Lincoln was committed by her oldest son. If the White House wasn’t haunted before, it sure as shit is now. Hell hath no fury like a scorned woman–am I right, ladies?
Word on the street–and by “the street,” I mean history textbooks–is that Edith ran the whole fucking show. After her husband, Woodrow, suffered a stroke while in office, Mrs. Wilson took on his role as president. No one was allowed to see him or speak to him without going through Edith first, and if she wasn’t on board, it didn’t happen. Essentially, girlfriend was a badass puppet master and her husband was her marionette of choice. In other words, she is an inspiration to us all.
A ball buster like no other, Mrs. Roosevelt was her husband’s right hand (wo)man. She may as well have served in his cabinet, because it was her way or the highway. Eleanor was influential on such issues as women’s rights and civil rights. Additionally, she is largely responsible for the New Deal and the formation of the United Nations. What I’m getting at is that Eleanor Roosevelt was our nation’s only female president–you know, until Hillary came along.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis
Serious question: how does one monogram something with four names? Another serious question: how does one not murder her husband after he publicly cheats on her with the poet laureate slut of the Baby Boomer era. Our girl Jackie was a class fucking act. Also, that hair. Girl knew what was up.
What do you do when your husband makes a public mockery our of your marriage? Well, Hill became a US senator, the Secretary of State, and then put together an incredibly powerful campaign for president. That’s what you do.
Laura was a librarian who snagged the son of a powerful politician after meeting him at a barbecue. She’s not only the daughter-in-law of a former president, she’s the wife of one as well. Laura, tell us: what’s your secret?
Two words: Those. Arms. #goodbye
Image via ABC News