Jacqueline Kennedy was a private person, known for canceling invitations to attend public events at the last minute. Dolley Madison was the opposite, acting as the social hostess of Washington for over 50 years. Hillary Clinton? Well, we all know where she is today.

So, what is the one thing almost every first lady would tell you about her time Washington?

“That they’re not prepared for it,” said Anita McBride, former chief of staff to Laura Bush. “The one thing that they try to do initially is hold onto what they enjoy doing and start making their way in Washington.”

PostTV’s On Background spoke with McBride about how Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and other first ladies shaped not only their public images but their lives while in the District. Watch the segment and read this piece by Krissah Thompson on how Michelle Obama has developed her own Washington style.