The country does, in fact, need someone to play the hostess-in-chief role but that’s simply not compatible with the range of career options open to today’s women.The hostess-in-chief role developed at a time when there simply wasn't much of an executive staff devoted to the social aspects of White House life. When Dolly Madison hosted a party, she actually hosted the party. Today, White House social functions are run by a large, experienced, and highly efficient organization. Here's Wikipedia's description of the office of White House Social Secretary:
The Social Secretary is head of the White House Social Office, located in the East Wing of the White House Complex. The Social Secretary plans events ranging from those as simple as a tea for the First Lady and a single official guest, to dinners for more than 200 guests. The Social Secretary works with the White House Chief Usher to coordinate domestic staff and with the Chief of Protocol of the United States, an official within the United States Department of State, to plan state visits and accompanying state dinners. The Social Secretary works with the White House Graphics and Calligraphy Office in the production of invitations to social events.The simple truth is that we don't need the president's wife to be the First Lady any more than we need the president to pardon a turkey or issue a proclamation for National Clown Week. But no president wants to be the first to point this out.