- Kate Andersen Brower: Every first lady found own way to navigate gender and power
- Even boldest of them would be surprised by Melania Trump, Brower says
Kate Andersen Brower is the author of the best-sellers "First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies" and "The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House." Unless otherwise noted, facts in this piece reflect research from those works. The opinions expressed here are hers.
(CNN)If America's most celebrated first ladies were alive today -- Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy -- I think they would be amazed at the prospect of a first Lady who was a former model and who had once posed nude, but I also think that Melania Trump would be far easier for them to understand than a first first gentleman such as Bill Clinton would have been. That is because these women, like Melania Trump, wielded their power discreetly and lived during a time when it would have been unthinkable for a former first lady to run for office (Hillary Clinton is the only one to do so), much less become president.