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Jill Biden, not your typical First Lady?

Posted August. 05, 2020 07:47,   

Updated August. 05, 2020 07:48


Jill Biden, often introduced as “Dr. Biden” in the media, is not your typical wife of a politician. She became the first second lady of the United States who had a paid job when her husband became the vice president in 2009. She continued her career as an educator and maintained financial independence although her husband was a renowned politician who spent 36 years in the Senate and served as a vice president for eight years.

Given her husband’s reputation and influence and considering she studied, worked and raised three children all at the same time, she probably received help in one way or another. However, she would not have been able to continue her career if she had not had determination. Speaking to the NPR, she said she is a teacher and her life is separate from her husband’s. Her husband has also spoken highly of her independence, saying that she was always marking tests even in Air Force Two full of journalists.

Though Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden might or might not win the November presidential election, my hope is that Dr. Biden would contribute to providing more equal educational opportunities. Betsy DeVos, the current U.S. Secretary of Education, has 5.3 billion dollars’ worth wealth and caused controversy even before she took office by emphasizing the need to privatize education. She is also pushing to reopen schools in September despite the risk of a second wave of COVID-19, upholding her president’s decision.

It would be a lie if election has never crossed her mind while she was teaching children in the field at public schools for dozens of years. However, she would not have been able to teach for that long just to help her husband win more votes. This is why I believe she could exert positive influence on American education as First Lady if her husband wins the election. At least, there will not be controversy over her expertise as was the case with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was First Lady.

Jung-Min Ha dew@donga.com