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When history looks back on our current first lady, Jill Biden, what will people talk about most?

Will they remember that she was the first presidential wife to hold down an outside job while she lived in the White House? (Biden teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College.) Her work on issues like cancer prevention? Her long and apparently happy marriage to the president?

Well, the Bidens' 46 years still has a way to go to match Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's 77.

Or will we remember her loyal appearances in court while Hunter Biden's trial was underway? She's certainly trying to fulfill both maternal and political duties — last week she was commuting back and forth between the courthouse in Delaware and diplomatic appearances in France.

"She's his mother and he's on trial, so of course she wants to be there as much as humanly possible," said a spokesperson for her office.

Jill Biden is Hunter's stepmother — Joe Biden's first wife, Neilia, was killed in a car crash that also took the life of their daughter, Naomi, and injured Hunter and his brother, Beau. But it's a tribute to her performance in the role that the public doesn't generally make a distinction.

First lady history tends to not dip back very far in the popular memory. Everybody knows Martha Washington was first and remembers successors such as Jackie Kennedy. A lot of people know that Eleanor Roosevelt became an international activist whose career soared long after her husband died. But someone like Ida McKinley doesn't maintain much name recognition. (Ida has lived on in my memory ever since I read the story of her insistence on attending White House dinners even when she was suffering from epileptic seizures. William McKinley made it a point to sit next to his wife, so he could cover her face with his handkerchief whenever the need arose.)

The last half-dozen or so presidential wives have run the gamut. Hillary Clinton created a rather stupendous career of her own after Bill Clinton's term ended; Melania Trump, um, kept a low profile.

Jill Biden has been a strong presence in the White House, when it comes to both matters of policy and politics. If I had to give her a bad mark, it'd be in what was probably a strong role in persuading Joe to run for another term at 81.

But boy, she's been good at combining the roles of loyal wife-mother, first lady and dedicated educator. I hope history pictures her both in front of a classroom and sitting behind her boy in court. Meanwhile, kudos, Jill.

Gail Collins, a New York Times Opinion columnist and former Times editorial page editor, writes about American politics and culture.