Inaugurations are times of optimism and new beginnings. In addition to attending ceremonies and balls, incoming first ladies announce the agendas and special projects they intend to pursue. Some projects are ambitious. Some are traditional. Some may be controversial. They allow the first lady to influence national opinion on a subject that is meaningful to her.
Once in the White House, first ladies find that international, national, and political events offer unexpected opportunities to expand their original plans or take on new challenges.