The First Lady Jill Biden spoke out this week to talk about what it is like for her to visit Republican states, admitting that oftentimes she is met with “anger or hurt.”
While speaking at the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s National Summit for Adult Literacy in Washington, D.C., Biden said that she still goes to Republican states despite political differences because “I’m their first lady too.”
“People have asked me why. Why go to Mississippi or Alabama or Alaska—why talk to people who will never agree with you? And the answer is that I’m their First Lady too,” Biden said, according to The Hill.
Biden went on to confess that while she is often “met with anger or hurt” in these states, she has found “common values that unite us are deeper than our divisions.”
“I’ve seen how a kind word or gesture can relax someone’s shoulders just a bit—can open their heart to what you have to say, even if we’ll never agree,” the wife of Joe Biden said. “I’ve seen how, despite our differences, families across the country want the same things: the chance to work hard and build a good life for our families.”
Biden then said that sometimes the job of First Lady “pushes you to show up, even when it’s uncomfortable—when it calls you to rise to the needs of a moment.”
“There’s nothing that can prepare you to be First Lady,” she continued. “We aren’t elected. We have to define this role for ourselves. And we are thrust into the national spotlight in a way I know none of us could have anticipated.”
Biden also recalled an incident back in headlines when a fashion choice she made became a headline.
“A few months ago, I went to a bakery to buy Valentine’s Day cupcakes and the fact that I wore my hair up in a scrunchie made national news,” she said. “Can you believe that? I was so surprised. As First Lady, everything you say or do carries more weight. And while that can be intimidating at times, it’s also what makes this role special.”
In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Biden talked about her push for free community college.
“I would say we’re not giving up. We are not giving up,” she said. “This is round one. This is year one. I’m going to keep going.”
It remains to be seen how Biden will be viewed as a First Lady as time goes on.
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