THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?
President Wilson was facing re-election the following year and many of his advisors feared that his remarriage, coming only one year after the death of his first wife, would jeopardize his chances. Fortunately it did not, and Edith Wilson continued her role as First Lady. Woodrow conducted most of his work from the private office in the family quarters of the White House. Edith was almost constantly by his side. He gave her access to his private files and shared confidential information with Edith. Even when the President was receiving political leaders in the Oval Office, Edith would be present, listening quietly.
After the conclusion of the war, President Wilson helped to propose the League of Nations. U.S. participation required ratification by the Congress and the President had reached a stalemate with them. He went on a cross country campaign, taking his case directly to the people. While travelling Wilson began to suffer symptoms of exhaustion, asthma attacks, and severe headaches. He had to return to Washington.
“I studied every paper sent from different (people) and tried to digest and present in tabloid form the things that had to go to the President. I never made a single decision regarding the disposition of public affairs. The only decision that was mine was what was important and what was not.” In spite of her claims of innocence, she really did assume at least partial control over the Executive branch of the government.
Edith Wilson termed her actions as “stewardship” but others called her the first woman President.