First Lady Perks!

See what privileges and responsibilities await Michelle Obama and her clan when they move into the White House. By Oliver Jones and Aaron Parsley


One of the first lady's traditional responsibilities is picking out the state china – and it's a serious one. Hillary Clinton spent two years fine-tuning her design (bottom right). But a note to Michelle Obama: Don't go overboard. Nancy Reagan was blasted in the press for spending almost $1 million on the project. Mary Todd Lincoln was also excessive when she picked out two sets of china (top right) during a trip to New York. "Mary was a bit of a shop-oholic," says Robert P. Watson, author of The Presidents' Wives. "Lincoln had to cut her off and say, 'No more.'"