All the while FDR was president he had a powerful ally. The first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt , became his link to the people. He stayed in the White House; she went to coal mines, and factories, and workers' meetings. Then she told the president what people were thinking. They became a teamone of the greatest political teams in history. Shy at first, Eleanor turned herself into a successful public speaker, a newspaper columnist, and an author. And she was the first first lady to hold regular press conferences. She invited all kinds of people to White House lunches and dinners: young and old, rich and poor, people of every race and religion. Not only did she care passionately about matters of justice, she could always be counted on to speak the truth.