Michelle Obama Displays Rare Candor For A First Lady

06/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • RACHEL L. SWARNS nytimes.com

First ladies have long wrestled with what to say and how to say it. Grace Coolidge, the first to address the public by radio, kept her remarks brief because of her husband's disapproval. ("Goodbye," she said as she ended her term.)

Lou Henry Hoover felt frustrated as an educated woman unable to pursue a career in her younger years, but as first lady she kept those thoughts to herself. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote a newspaper column while her husband was president, but rarely discussed her marriage or personal life in it.

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