Race and Attitudes toward First Ladies from Hillary Clinton to Michelle Obama
Andra Gillespie (Emory University)
First ladies are understudied political actors in American politics. Though their role is informal, citizens develop trong attitudes toward them. In the case of Michelle Obama, the first black First Lady, there is strong evidence to suggest that racial attitudes informed citizen perceptions of Mrs. Obama in ways that would not have been applicable to other first ladies. This presentation will explore this question using an original dataset which asked detailed approval questions of first ladies Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama (as well as prospective questions about Melania Trump).
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