Jill Biden a Key White House Figure as President Touts His Agenda President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a student demonstrate her project, during a visit to Yorktown Elementary School, Monday, May 3, 2021, in Yorktown, Va. (Evan Vucci/AP)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 04 May 2021 12:13 PM
First lady Jill Biden has emerged as a key figure in President Joe Biden's push to gain support for his infrastructure, child care, and education plans.
The Hill noted that Jill Biden accompanied the president on a trip to a Virginia elementary school and community college on Monday. And she is set to go with him later this week to Utah, Colorado, and Nevada.
According to CNN, the Monday trip to Virginia was aimed at promoting the president's economic proposals and how they would benefit schools.
And Biden quoted his wife, who is a community college professor, as he stressed the importance of investing in public education.
"I've heard it from Jill a thousand times, 'Joe, any country that out-educates us will out-compete us.' And it's a fact," Biden said. He said the first lady would be "deeply involved in leading this effort."
"It really is how to start to transform the life and family and community in our economy by investing; investing in people. Every child has the capacity to learn," Biden said
The Hill noted that while first ladies have often traveled to pitch for their husband's political agenda, Jill Biden is well-positioned to build support for her husband's proposals because of her experience as a political spouse and her years spent teaching.
"When we have seen first ladies who have professional backgrounds, who have areas of expertise that can be tapped into, then I think the White House is very smart to deploy them as a surrogate," said Lara Brown, director of George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.
"Not just because they are an expert in that area, but also because they are seen as the person who knows the president the best and knows sort of the president's priorities and can actively convey the commitment and the passion that a president has for certain issues," she added.
The first lady and president visited Tidewater Community College in Virginia on Monday. She recalled how one student of hers was unable to turn in a term paper because she was going into labor.
And she also said: "And when we give all Americans a chance to learn, from preschool to community college, it will create a ripple effect that is felt by every single one of us. There is no greater investment we can make than in education."
The president, who often introduces himself to crowds as "Jill's husband," said Monday the first lady has pushed for prioritizing investments in education.