Dr Jill Biden, the first ‘second lady’ to draw a paycheck

Dr Jill Biden is married to Joe Biden, the vice-president of the US. That makes her, apparently, “second lady”.

According to the LA Times, she’s the first “second lady” to hold down a paying job while her husband is in office, as an instructor in education at a community college.

There’s a nice quote about this buried at the very end of the post:

McClellan declined to say exactly how much Biden would earn, but said she was teaching 10 hours a week and that the range of pay for her adjunct position was $900 to $1,227 per credit hour. (That means each semester her pay could be from $9,000 to $12,270.)

“It’s not that much,” McClellan said. “She could have done anything with her time and make a difference, but she chose to teach, and teach at a community college. That says to our students that they are important and that community colleges are an important piece of the American educational system.”

But most of the LAT piece is about how Dr Biden might be being a bit pretentious to go by the title “Dr”. The newspaper even notes that Lynne Cheney, the previous “second lady”, also holds a doctorate, in English. But she didn’t have the temerity to insist on being recognised as a professional in her own right, and “goes by Mrs Cheney”.


Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, explained that his wife’s desire for the highest degree was in response to what she perceived as her second-class status on their mail.

“She said, ‘I was so sick of the mail coming to Sen. and Mrs. Biden. I wanted to get mail addressed to Dr. and Sen. Biden.’ That’s the real reason she got her doctorate,” he said.

Via Echidne

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