Even if you have been living under a rock for the past few months, still you would not have been able to escape the incessant campaigning of our friends Donald, Hillary, Bernie, and Ted, one of whom will succeed President Obama as POTUS imminently soon. This is the first time in history that a woman, Hillary Clinton, has come so close to actually being elected as “Leader of the Free World,” but there are many First Ladies, Second Ladies, First Daughters, and others that play roles behind the scenes in our country’s most important house: the White House.
When you think of these women, beside the familiar wives and daughters, you probably imagine that it is stuffy, old prudes who help to run the country from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But that is not the case! All of the following 11 females, no matter their title, have a unique presence within the White House walls. While no two are alike, they are all attractive in their own respective ways, and they do not have to sport a teeny-tiny bikini or pose sexually to show it. Surprisingly so, to be honest, because like most people, I do not think of White House women as appealing – I mean, it is not like “swimsuit model” or “Hollywood star” where your brain automatically defaults to “gorgeous”. But I guess you can have it all- beauty, brains, and a great career.
These ladies walk the halls of power every day and they do it with style and grace. Here’s 11 surprisingly appealing women of the White House who can give us the State of the Union anytime.
11. Michelle Obama
Ok, this one is obvious. She is the First Lady (and a beautiful one, at that- inside and out), so of course she needs a spot on this list. Michelle Obama is many things- mother, wife, fashionista, lawyer, writer, and advocate for healthy eating, fitness, and poverty awareness. Basically, she is a wonderful, positive influence that has not let the spotlight change her, even after nearly eight years as the President’s wife. She attended not one but two Ivy League schools- Harvard and Princeton- and has traveled to every continent several times with the exception of Antarctica. Down to earth, gracious, and kind, Michelle is one classy lady!
10. Malia Obama
Might as well get the other Obama lady out of the way (there are three but youngest daughter Sasha is only fourteen and hopefully not too “appealing” yet). Big sister Malia, on the other hand, is turning 18 on Independence Day of this year. Her birthday is fitting, eh? Before becoming one of two First Daughters, Malia practiced soccer, dance, tennis, and drama in her hometown of Chicago. Now seventeen, she plans to take a “gap year” before attending Harvard in 2017, set to graduate with the class of 2021. Looks like she is right on track to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become one classy lady, herself, though she already seems like one to me!
9. Ferial Govashiri
Iranian-American politician Ferial Govashiri has served as President Obama’s personal aide since 2014. She began working for him during his campaign in 2007, and continued on in the White House after his election. For the first five years there, she planned his foreign trips as well as those of foreign leaders who visited America. She held various titles during those years such as Senior Advisor to Ben Rhodes on the National Security Council, and Deputy National Security Advisor (why do all these job titles have such long names?)
8. Katherine Beirne Fallon
Katie Fallon literally just left the White House after 3 years as Director of Legislative Affairs, so even though she no longer works there, we are going to include her anyway. Before being given this title by President Obama in 2013, she had held several other (long) titles in the White House. She is a 36-year-old Cleveland native and an impressive six feet tall- before the heels she is known for wearing! Last year she gave birth to twin boys, and there is a famous photo circulating, of the President carrying them both in his arms in the Oval Office, and Katie crying tears of joy behind three of the most important boys in her life.
7. Ashley Biden
And now for the Second Daughter… if that is a thing… I don’t think it is. Anyway, super-cute Ashley Biden is not your typical politician’s daughter. She has a past, and it is well known. Her indiscretions include marijuana use, being a “party girl”, and there was even a video rumored to show her snorting cocaine back in the day. Yikes! But the past is in the past, and she is now happily married to Pennsylvania plastic surgeon Howard Krein, who is fifteen years her senior. They were introduced by her brother, Beau Biden, who sadly passed away last year from brain cancer.
6. Jill Biden
Obviously, Jill Biden is the Second Lady of the United States, and mother to Ashley Biden. She is an English teacher, and thought to be the first Second Lady (that is a thing- I checked) to hold a paying job while her husband is Vice President (since 2009 she has been a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College). She also spends a lot of time giving back; she is the founder of Biden Breast Health Initiative, co-founder of the Book Buddies program, participates in Delaware “Boots on the Ground,” and is co-founder of Joining Forces, with her close friend Michelle Obama. Fun fact: she met husband Joe Biden, our Vice President, on a blind date!
5. Anita Decker Breckenridge
Anita Decker Breckenridge was appointed White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in 2014, after having served as President Obama’s personal secretary since 2011 and working with him as far back as 2003 during his first race for the United States Senate. Also from Illinois like her boss, she continued to work for his network of regional offices in southern Illinois once he became Senator. Basically, her job now entails managing the President’s schedule, the physical and IT operations on the 18-acre White House campus, and personnel appointments for the whole administration.
4. Marie Harf
Senior Advisor to Strategic Communications to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the U.S. State Department (whew!) is none other than Marie Harf. The 34-year-old from Ohio leads the Iran nuclear negotiations communications strategy. Her career began as an analyst at the Directorate of Intelligence at the CIA, where she focused on Middle Eastern issues. She helped craft Obama’s national security and communications strategy, among countless other titles she’s held and tasks she’s taken on in the White House. She became controversial after an interview the day after ISIS released a video of twenty-one beheadings, in which she said we need to focus on the long term and root causes of ISIS groups, perhaps things like them not having enough jobs, etc. Her critics started up #jobsforISIS on social media, and it actually gained a following.
3. Micaela Fernandez
As of 2009, Micaela Fernandez served in the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Legislative Affairs and Director of Oval Office Operations. Before that, she spent two years in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office as an advisor to the speaker. She also joined Walmart’s in-house lobbying team as a Director of Federal Government Relations. Wow- how many people can say they have worked at both Walmart and the White House? Impressive.
2. Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Before her current position as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (since 2014), West Virginia native Sylvia Mathews Burwell was White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, President of the Walmart Foundation, and much more. She is the granddaughter of Greek immigrants, and as current Secretary of Health and Human Services, she is 11th in line to become President (you know, should Obama, Biden, and the other 8 all keel over at relatively the same time).
1. Jen Psaki
The last on our list is our token redhead, White House Director of Communications (and the person on this list with the shortest job title!) Jen Psaki. She was press secretary for John Kerry’s 2004 campaign, and Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. She has held several important titles through the years, including but not limited to: White House Deputy Communications Director (which, to me, sounds exactly the same as her current title, but what do I know?) and Spokesperson for the United States Department of State. She is a former sorority girl and swimmer, and interestingly enough, became Russia’s favorite D.C. official to make fun of (including memes!) after a press conference during which she criticized “carousel voting” at a separatist referendum in eastern Ukraine. She later admitted she had no idea what the term even meant.