Leave it to the Daily Mail to ask the really important Election 2016 questions. At a recent campaign event, the tabloid asked unwed Sen. Lindsey Graham who would serve as his first lady, should he become president. "Well, I've got a sister, she could play that role if necessary," he said while "chuckling." He continued: "I've got a lot of friends. We'll have a rotating first lady." At New York, Jaime Fuller notes that the answer "sounds oddly like it was cribbed from The Bachelor." And it should be noted that it's not clear whether Graham's sister, who lives in South Carolina with a husband and two daughters, has actually agreed to this plan, though the Hill notes that she has vowed to play a public role in his campaign. Graham's campaign later clarified the senator was joking, the State reports.
As Politico notes, sisters—as well as daughters and other female relatives—have in fact filled the role of first lady when necessary. For example, James Buchanan (one of two presidents who had never been married when they became president, the other being Grover Cleveland) didn't wed while in office, and his niece effectively served as FLOTUS. Cleveland did eventually marry while in office. Thomas Jefferson was also unwed while president, as his wife had died almost two decades prior; C-SPAN notes that their daughter served as "hostess" while he was president. The last unmarried president was Woodrow Wilson, whose wife died while he was in office, though he did marry again the following year. (Read more Graham 2016 stories.)