By Abbey Williams, features staff writer
When arguing over politics people often forget to mention one very important and yet understated position of power: the first lady.
C-SPAN, in collaboration with the White House Historical Association, introduced its new series “First Ladies: Influence & Image” this President’s Day, Monday, Feb. 18. The 35 allotted episodes will run over the next two years, recounting the lives and legacies of the presidents’ wives in chronological order, starting with Martha Washington and ending with an episode about Michelle Obama, set to air Feb. 10, 2014.
Each new episode premieres on Mondays at 9 p.m. and includes a panel of historians discussing the biography of each chosen first lady. The first show did not specifically examine the life of one president’s wife, as the following episodes will do, but instead served as an overview that consisted of a question and answer session with the panel.
In the 44 administrations of the U.S presidency, the first lady position has often been associated with a subtle and quiet air of power. Since she is not paid by the federal government or constricted by the desires of voters, it has become common practice for the president’s wife to bring attention to an issue that reflects her own interest. As the first lady works to raise awareness about childhood obesity, one should also remember Abigail Adams who took similar strides in 1776 with her focus on gaining women’s rights.
Will this new show increase ratings for C-SPAN? We’ll see on Feb. 25 when they air the story of first lady Washington.