#HashOut goes on location: What role should First Spouses play in the White House?

Baratunde Thurston

While the heart of the action at the Republican National Convention is in downtown Tampa, Fla., I rest my head every night at the western edge of the region in Clearwater. The downside is that it's at the western edge of the region, adding a significant commute to the heart of hot gavel-on-gavel convention action. The upside is that I get to look out my window at the beach every morning. and I'm in the hotel with the New York GOP delegation.

At the hotel bar Monday night I met Marilyn Miller, a Republican from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She invited me and #TeamHashOut to Tuesday morning's delegation breakfast at the hotel's ballroom featuring former NY Sen. Al D'Amato.

Basically what I'm saying is, with the team meeting me at my Clearwater hotel, I got to sleep in.

We chatted with several delegates and guests including Rep. Steve King (R-NY), delegates from Long Island, and a man, Charles Wang, who has attended six political conventions in his life: three each for Democrats and Republicans.

Unlike Monday's #HashOut question, which asked for five words people wanted to hear in Romney's acceptance speech, Tuesday's was simpler and less open-ended. We asked whether a president's spouse should have a formal policymaking role or keep his or her influence behind the scenes. Most people leaned toward the less formal role, including Rep. King, who suggested he wanted to limit his own responsibilities should he ever become a first spouse.

Finally, today's best #HashOut response goes to Loren Spivak. He didn't have as much to say about the role of the first lady as he did about his parody book, The Cat and The Mitt.

He's remade President Obama as the cat and Mitt Romney as the fish, and there's a Solyndra reference and I found it all a bit confusing but intriguing enough to give him $20 for a copy. See, I support small business owners!