What You Should Know About The New Ladies at the White House

Kamala and Jill BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of thelist.com

In just a matter of days, a new administration will be inaugurated into the White House, and the fresh start this country so desperately needs will be underway. 

With that new administration and new leadership come two incredible women to lead this country and to set the stage for future generations of young girls and women: Dr. Jill Biden is about to become the next First Lady, and Kamala Harris will become the first-ever woman of color to serve as Vice President of the United States of America. In case it needs to be said, this is a huge deal.  

Biden and Harris are worthy of all sorts of praise and acknowledgment, both for their personal experiences as well as their professional accomplishments. They are the types of women we want our daughters to see and look up to, the types of female leaders we want future generations of granddaughters and great-granddaughters to learn about in their history books. 

These women are the future, and forgive us, but thank freaking goodness.

Our nation will have powerful, inspirational, intelligent, motivated, strong, and badass women in the White House, and the historical significance of this incoming administration is not lost on us. Pardon us while we fangirl a little bit over the White House ladies because Dr. Biden and VP Harris are undoubtedly worthy of all our admiration and respect. 

They Are Insanely Accomplished

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has had her share of success and accomplishments to date. She was a US Senator for California, and she was the second African American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. Before that role, she was the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. Then she was elected as the first African American and the first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General.

She was the first in so many ways, most recently and perhaps most notably as the first female Vice President in American history. But she’s not letting that go to her head. “I always say this: I may be the first to do many things—make sure I’m not the last,” she said in a recent Vogue interview. “I was thinking of my baby nieces, who will only know one world where a woman is vice president of the United States, a woman of color, a Black woman, a woman with parents who were born outside of the United States.” 

Dr. Jill Biden, the future First Lady, has had her own share of success. First of all, she’s a doctor. Yes, earning a doctorate in education gives her the right to be called “Dr.,” and yes, she absolutely deserves every ounce of that title, despite what one journalist recently suggested in the Wall Street Journal

Dr. Biden earned her doctorate in 2007 from the University of Delaware, and she also obtained master’s degrees from West Chester University and Villanova University. 

“One of the things I’m most proud of is my doctorate,” Biden said on an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “I’ve worked so hard for it.” 

Biden also intends to continue teaching during her time as First Lady, making history as the first president’s wife to hold a day job and continue her professional career while serving as First Lady. (She was also the first second lady to do so.)

They Work Hard for the People

Harris spent her entire professional and political career working hard to stand up for the people, fight injustice, and serve the people. She was always determined to advocate for those who could not defend themselves. She did so first as a lawyer, then as the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco, and later as California’s Attorney General. 

She worked hard to hold corporations accountable and protect California’s most vulnerable people. She defended the Affordable Care Act and helped win marriage equality for all Californians. 

In the Senate, Harris co-sponsored legislation to raise wages for working people, worked to reform the criminal justice system, and fought to make healthcare a right for all Americans. She has always been working hard for the people she represented. As Vice President, she is determined to do the same for the country as Americans deal with unprecedented tragedy and suffering.  

Biden also dedicated her life to helping others and serving her community. 

As a teacher, an educator, a military mom, the Second Lady, and now the First Lady, Biden has put her effort, time, and heart into others’ well-being. As Second Lady, she was dedicated to supporting military families, highlighting community colleges’ value in America, and raising awareness around women’s health issues, particularly breast cancer research and early detection. 

As First Lady, she will continue to prioritize those causes she will continue to focus on two years of tuition-free community college and advocate for public education. She will continue to support military families and fight cancer. 

And keep in mind, she’ll do all of that while also making history as the first person to hold the title of “First Lady” while maintaining a paid position outside the White House.

If you ask former First Lady Michelle Obama, Biden is the perfect person for the job. “She will be a terrific role model not just for young girls but for all of us, wearing her accomplishments with grace, good humor, and yes, pride…I’m thrilled that the world will see what I have come to know — a brilliant woman who has distinguished herself in her profession and with the life she lives every day, always seeking to lift others, rather than tearing them,” she said in an Instagram caption. 

They Speak Up for Themselves

We cannot overlook the moment when women everywhere collectively gasped, then cheered, then bought endless merchandise with the words “I’m speaking” proudly displayed. 

During the Vice-Presidential debate, when Vice President Mike Pence interrupted Kamala Harris during her allotted time, she calmly interjected with, “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking. I’m speaking. If you don’t mind letting me finish, then we can have a conversation.” 

It was the very words women have been wanting to say after being rudely interrupted by others (particularly men) our entire lives. Slow. Clap. For. Kamala. 

And when a journalist called Dr. Jill Biden “kiddo” and suggested that “‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic…” Biden took the high road and responded coolly that she was surprised by that article because the “doctorate was “one of the things I’m most proud of.” 

No angry response in the aftermath of the op-ed, no hot temper or name-calling. Just Dr. Biden doing what she does best as an educator, a leader, a mom, and future First Lady. She defended her title and moved on. 

And let’s not forget that time that Jill Biden physically fought off protestors at a campaign rally in Los Angeles in March 2020. When two protestors rushed on stage, Biden got in between the women and the former Vice President, pushing them away until they could be escorted off stage, at which point she calmly said, “We’re okay,” and clapped for her husband. Nobody messes with Jill Biden. 

They Are Accessible, and They Are Ready to Get to Work

Perhaps one of the reasons we love Kamala and Jill so much is that it feels right to call them by their first names. They are real, and they are accessible. It feels like we know them personally, and that’s because they are genuine. 

Kamala Harris’s stepchildren reportedly call her “Mamala.” (Her husband, entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff has two children from a previous marriage.) 

When Harris first found out that she and Joe Biden officially won the election, she was out for a walk with her husband. In workout clothes and sunglasses, she called up Joe emotionally, saying, “We did it! We did it, Joe!” It felt so real, so normal. 

First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, is a mother and grandmother. She is a military mom. She has lost a son. She and Joe Biden love dogs and even have a rescue dog, the very first rescue dog to live in the White House. She is a teacher, a working mom, and loves to run. She juggles multiple jobs, and while teaching, she dodges questions about her husband.

In a 2013 NPR interview, she admitted that sometimes, she vaguely referred to Joe Biden as a relative, and her classes would be listed as being taught by “staff,” rather than “Dr. Biden,” to keep some separation between her role as professor and her role as (then) Second Lady. 

The fact that they are relatable is certainly part of why we love the Vice President and First Lady. But we also admire their work ethic and determination to work towards a better country. 

They are ready to get sh*t done. 

In her acceptance speech, Kamala Harris stated that she will strive to be a vice president who is “prepared, waking up every day thinking of you and your family, because now is when the real work begins, the hard work, the necessary work, the good work, the essential work to save lives and beat this epidemic.” 

She continued to say that she was more than up to the task. “To rebuild our economy, so it works for working people, to root out systemic racism in our justice system and society. To combat the climate crisis, unite our country, and heal the soul of our nation. And the road ahead will not be easy. But America is ready. And so are Joe and I.”