Do Presidents Clinton and Obama have PhDs

Doctor Jill, Mrs. Biden and the role of First Ladies

Main pictureJill Biden wants to continue working as a teacher. Even when Joe Biden was Vice President under Barack Obama, she remained true to her profession - and was not just a second lady.APA / AFP / GETTY IMAGES / Drew Angere

Jill Biden, wife of future President Joe Biden, wants to continue working as a teacher - white house or not. And carries her PhD with pride. How first ladies from Eleanor Roosevelt to Hillary Clinton to Michelle Obama have laid out their position.

"Madame First Lady - Mrs. Biden - Jill - kiddo": The American author Joseph Epstein opened his commentary on Jill Biden in the "Wall Street Journal" with these very different forms of address. His concern: The future First Lady of the USA should stop insisting on her doctorate. ", Dr. Jill Biden ‘sounds deceptive, if not to say bizarre, and feels like it,” wrote Epstein. Biden was only a doctor of education, so his argument, Ph.D. degrees are not worth much outside of the natural sciences anyway because university standards have become so lax. Biden should better dedicate himself to the new title: First Lady.

In Austria, the country where titles still rule, Epstein's wish may seem strange; in the USA, the 83-year-old essayist interpreted the comment as an insult to Biden and as a sexist undercut. Biden has had her PhD since she was 55; the English teacher received her PhD from the University of Delaware in 2007. Even then, she was able to look back on decades of teaching. And Biden is clearly proud of her job. When her husband, Joe Biden, first ran as a candidate for the US presidential election in 1988, she let it be known that, as first lady, she was planning to continue working as a teacher.