(5) Hillary Clinton
She’s smart, tough, and almost ran for president, securing a high-power job in the administration when that didn’t work out.
Besides, she behaved classily when humiliated by her husband’s trouser antics, not letting us see her pain and using it to build character as she rose above and triumphed.
(4) Abigail Adams
Our second first lady, Abigail was a spunky, forward-thinking individual who fought for women’s rights and thought slavery was evil.
Besides, she was apparently an amazing hostess.
(3) Michelle Obama
Face it, she’s fierce — strong, poised, and articulate, and she advocates healthful eating habits.
And like her husband, she’s evolving!
(2) Jackie Kennedy
A debutante who landed in the White House, Jackie was a fashion icon and a class act who could light up a room just by RSVPing.
Her persona was as finely chiseled as her facial features — and what she went through!
The woman had ovaries of steel!
And number one …
(1) Eleanor Roosevelt
No, Eleanor didn’t have the glamour of some of these other babes, but her dazzle was in being a civil rights advocate, a supporter of the U.N., a backer of her hubby’s New Deal, and an all-around great person.
The woman radiated such personal integrity it’s a shame she wasn’t in office herself.
She’ll always be the best first lady to me.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 7, 2011