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Michelle Obama, Cindy McCain are study in contrast

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    By Caren Bohan
    Tue Jun 10, 2:25 AM ET

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain share a dislike of rough-edged U.S. politics. Each tried to talk her spouse out of running for the White House.


    Obama, wife of Democratic candidate Barack Obama, and McCain, who is married to Republican John McCain, are both known for an elegant sense of style, lending glamour to their husbands' campaigns.

    McCain posed in size zero jeans for the latest issue of Vogue. Obama, who has also appeared in the fashion magazine, was praised by style writers for the violet sheath dress she wore to her husband's Democratic nomination victory rally and has been compared to former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

    But the aspiring first ladies have plenty of differences.

    Obama, 44, is a Princeton- and Harvard-educated lawyer raised by blue-collar parents on the working-class South Side of Chicago. She would be the first African American U.S. first lady.

    Obama talks often on the campaign trail about being a working mother. Until recently, she juggled a job as a hospital executive with raising two young daughters and lending support to her 46-year-old husband's political aspirations.

    The strong-minded Obama exudes confidence and is an accomplished public speaker. But her penchant for outspokenness has also drawn some criticism.

    McCain, 54, the Arizona senator's second wife, is reserved and seems far less comfortable in the limelight when she campaigns with her husband, who is 18 years her senior.


    The blond, blue-eyed McCain is a former rodeo queen and cheerleader who holds a master's degree in special education from the University of Southern California. She grew up in a wealthy family in Phoenix and is heiress to Hensley & Co, one of the largest U.S. distributors for brewing giant Anheuser-Busch.

    Last month, she released a tax return showing she made about $6 million in 2006.

    McCain has raised four children, including a daughter Bridget, 16, whom she adopted from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh. McCain has traveled the globe as part of her charitable work.

    McCain's deferential manner puts her in the company of more traditional first ladies such as Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush.

    "She is more in the classic mold of the candidate's wife on the campaign trail," said Calvin Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

    He said McCain has her own version of the "Nancy Reagan stare," the adoring gaze that the former first lady perfected.

    "If you look at Michelle Obama, it appears that throughout their married life, she and her husband have been very much equals," Jillson said. Her image as an equal partner was on display with the celebratory fist-bump the Obamas shared on the night he clinched the nomination last week.

    America has had nontraditional first ladies before. They included Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter who sat in on Cabinet meetings, and Hillary Clinton, who was named by her husband to lead a health-care task force.

    Obama met her husband through her work as a corporate lawyer and is his closest adviser, although associates have described her role as less of a policy-oriented one than that of a confidante who provides a reality check.

    She has acquired an image as a tough-minded task-master.

    In a favorite line on the campaign trail, the Illinois senator says his wife often reminds him that he's "not a perfect man."

    When asked about his flaws during one campaign stop, Obama advised the questioner to "talk to my wife."

    "She will have a pretty long list," he said, starting with his failure to hang up his clothes properly.


    But some pundits have put some of Obama's criticism of her husband -- that he snores and leaves socks on the floor -- in the category of "too much information."

    In one comment seized upon by conservative Internet bloggers, Michelle Obama remarked, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."

    That led critics to accuse her of being unpatriotic, saying that her comment made it appear she had not been proud of her country before her husband ran for president.

    A day later, Cindy McCain told a campaign rally, "I am proud of my country. I don't know about you, if you heard those words earlier -- I am very proud of my country."

    But she too has drawn criticism. When she refused to release her tax returns critics said her lack of transparency was at odds with her husband's message of openness in government. McCain eventually relented.

    She has also talked openly about her addiction in the early 1990s to painkillers, originally prescribed for back pain, which she at first kept secret from her husband and family.

    McCain has also made a full recovery from a stroke that nearly killed her four years ago.

    Both women serve a crucial role of giving emotional support to their spouses amid the grueling slog of the campaign. Barack Obama's mood brightens visibly when his wife joins him on the campaign trail. McCain has a similar effect on her husband.

    (Additional reporting by Tim Gaynor; editing by Patricia Zengerle)

  2. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    61% Say Obama, McCain Wives Influence Vote

    Tue Jun 10, 12:56 PM ET

    Three out of five American voters (61%) say their perception of a presidential candidate's wife is at least somewhat important to how they vote.


    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 22% of voters say it is very important. Only 11% say it is not at all important.

    First Ladies are often in the media spotlight, but seldom, with the notable exception of Hillary Rodham Clinton, have their activities been viewed through a political lens. So it is unclear how these findings will play out in November.

    The current First Lady, Laura Bush, is regarded favorably by 75% of the nation's voters, with only 21% rating her unfavorably.

    By contrast, Michelle Obama, whose husband cinched the Democratic presidential nomination last week, is rated favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 42% of voters. That latter figure includes a startling 25% who have Very Unfavorable opinion of the potential First Lady. A statistically comparable 24% view her Very Favorably. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.

    Cindy McCain, the wife of the Republican hopeful, earns favorable reviews from 49% while 29% offer an unfavorable assessment. She is viewed Very Unfavorably by only 10% of voters while 17% have a Very Favorable opinion of Mrs. McCain. In her case, 22% remain undecided.

    Just yesterday Mrs. Bush defended Mrs. Obama whose comments on the stump have prompted criticism in some quarters. She has been especially criticized for saying in February of her husband's candidacy, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."

    Mrs. McCain, who is independently wealthy, has prompted recent criticism of her own for her refusal to fully disclose her tax returns, saying she will not do so even as First Lady.

    Women in particular rate their perception of a candidate's wife as important--71% of women say it's important as opposed to only 48% of men. Fifty percent of men (50%) say it is not important versus 27% of women.

    But 53% of all voters – and an equal percentage of male and female voters – believe that if they are campaigning for their husbands, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. McCain should receive the same amount of media scrutiny as other senior advisors. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree, with 15% undecided.

    While 86% of black voters have a favorable opinion of Mrs. Obama, who would become the first African-American first lady, only 42% of white respondents agree. Forty-eight percent (48%) of white voters register an unfavorable opinion of Mrs. Obama, as opposed to a 5% of black voters.

    Fifty-three percent (53%) of white voters have a favorable opinion of Mrs. McCain, a view shared by 27% of African-Americans. Forty-eight percent (48%) of African-Americans and 25% of whites give Mrs. McCain unfavorable marks.

    Among women voters, Mrs. Obama is rated favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 40%. Mrs. McCain is viewed favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 29%.

    Mr. McCain has been actively courting supporters of Mrs. Clinton's unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination which she ended Saturday. Feminist groups in particular were strong backers of Mrs. Clinton, so Mrs. Obama's favorability ratings among women voters may be key to her husband's holding on to Clinton Democrats.

    Male voters have a 45% favorable view of Mrs. Obama and give Mrs. McCain a 50% favorability rating. Mrs. Obama is viewed unfavorably by 44% of men, with Mrs. McCain at 28%.

    Rasmussen Reports will periodically measure ongoing perceptions of both potential First Ladies.

    This national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 9, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

    Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.
  3. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Oh no! There goes those numbers showing bias again...and once again one group is coming off (at least in this election) as FAR more racially biased than another. I'll step aside and wait for the normal replies from the same crew. :p:

    I coudn't help it...just bored I guess.
  4. CanadianCowboysFan

    CanadianCowboysFan Lightning Rod

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    I wonder what wives who were left by their husbands because they were banging other women think of McCain's wife
  5. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    They probably voted for Bill twice ..... so what does that tell ya?
  6. CanadianCowboysFan

    CanadianCowboysFan Lightning Rod

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    different issue.

    Deep down, women expect men to step out, it's that 4 million years of evolution. Women tend to hate the other woman more than the husband. She was the vile temptress who seduced her man etc

    Boys will be boys but women should stick together.
  7. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Of course it is .....

    But hey, Obama is gonna have them both beat ......

  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Daddy Likes...Daddy Likes a lot. :p:
  9. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    I don't know, ask Hillary.
  10. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    We have that smoking hot pic of SJ and just as I am really soaking it in you pop off with the Name Hillary.

    Geez man I should sue you for giving me ED.

  11. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    That is a very disturbing thought. My bad. :eek:
  12. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    To save you from Hillary...


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