If Malia Obama sneaks a boy into the White House, it won’t be an action without precedent. The generations of girls who occupied what Margaret Truman billed “the Great White Jail” form a sort of underground society, Lauren Collins writes in the New Yorker. The Johnson sisters, for example, planted notes to welcome the Nixon ladies to the home where they surreptitiously entertained dates.
Michelle Obama’s mom, also moving to Washington, belongs to a historic sisterhood of her own—one of nagging mothers-in-law. President Eisenhower’s would habitually call her daughter from bed. President Truman’s famously called him a “dirt farmer.” No word on Barack Obama’s relationship with the soon-to-be First Granny, but the president-elect would do well to remember his own words: “We're all in this together.”