Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Michelle Obama: The Tale of Two Very Different Potential First Ladies

As I promised in my last post, here are parts of the October Reader’s Digest article covering Melinda Henneberger’s interview with Michelle Obama, along with my comments which are in blue. Hopefully, after reading both posts, you’ll know a little more about the two women whose husbands are seeking the highest office in our country.

Which one of these women will be our next first lady? We’ll soon know, as the election is less than 30 days away. The information I garnered from these two articles also shed an intimate light on the man who will be our next president. For a few this information may change their vote, but for most, I think our prior choice has only been confirmed. I would be interested to know whether or not any of this information is new to you, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Or, as some folks already do, feel free to send your comments to my email address. Either way, I’d enjoy hearing your opinions, even when they don’t agree with mine. Now, on to Henneberger’s interview with Michelle Obama.

“Before I met Michelle Obama, her brother, Craig Robinson, told me that to really understand her, I’d have to know a little bit about their father. Fraser Robinson worked swing shifts for the city of Chicago, tending the boilers at a water-filtration plant. ‘My father was not college-educated,’ said Craig, head basketball coach for Oregon State University, but was ‘full of integrity,’ the ‘gold standard’ of husbands and ‘a hardworking man who raised two kids when he had multiple sclerosis.’

When I sit down with the potential first lady at her husband’s Chicago campaign headquarters, I see what her brother is getting at. In nearly an hour with Michelle and her 70-year-old mother, Marian Robinson, nothing comes across more clearly than the extent to which 44-year-old Michelle was molded by the years she spent watching her father, whose determination defined strength for Michelle. She came to see complaining as a moral failing and a show of self-indulgence. ‘Seeing a parent with a disability moving through the world and living life as if that disability didn’t matter,’ Michelle says, ‘always made us think, What do we have to complain about? We wake up, we bound out of bed, we are healthy, we’re happy, and our father is struggling to get out of bed. But he never missed a day of work, never talked about being sick. So it made it hard to wake up and say, “I don’t want to go to school.”’”
So far, it sounds like Michelle comes from a regular, working-class family who taught her to do what you have to do to face a day without complaining. Not much else can be garnered from the above paragraphs except that Michelle wasn’t from a rich, elitist family. In other words, she’s from a family much like many of ours.

“But victimhood is not her style. On the contrary, she’s disinclined to take political jabs personally and so disinterested in dissecting or answering them that when I invite her to take umbrage, she practically yawns. She’s a big girl, she says, and sees that those attacks are not about her, not at all.”
It would seem that Michelle is not thin-skinned and refuses to throw back the mud pies that are thrown at her. How refreshing!

“Here in the Midwest, the highest compliment that can be paid someone who has done well in life is that he or she is ‘still so normal.’ Michelle Obama easily qualifies for the participant ribbon in that event, turning up at Obama headquarters on time to the minute, in a simple black-and-white cotton skirt and sleeveless blouse, with one arm around her mom. (Marian, who is on her way to pick up her grandkids at camp and agreed to come only because her daughter promised that she wouldn’t have to have her picture taken, has never given an interview with her daughter before.) Because campaign spouses tend to keep a wary eye on the political mercenaries who run these operations, it’s a bit startling that even the volunteers call her Michelle and shout a casual greeting as she arrives. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a presidential candidate’s wife inspire less fear in the troops.”
From this we can see some of Michelle’s personal qualities. She has a good relationship with her mother, who is apparently willing to help out like many ‘normal’ grandmothers do every day. I love it that the grandmother is picking the children up from camp instead of having them fetched home in a limo. The fact that the campaign helpers are at ease around Michelle is very telling, as is Henneberger’s comment about Michelle not instilling fear in the troops. It would seem that Michelle does not have a Queen Me complex.

“For a while, she’d hoped to become a pediatrician. ‘I like kids, and I thought being a doctor was a noble profession.’ But? ‘Then I got to high school and started taking science. And math.’ Today she works in a medical center, but as an administrator for the University of Chicago Hospitals. (Besides heading up and quadrupling the number of volunteers who come in to lend a hand, and rejuvenating a volunteer program to give time to the community), “she’s also led a push to get patients who use the ER for routine care connected to neighborhood clinics instead, both to cut costs and to improve preventive care for low-income families.”
She has a career that allows her to give back to her community and has apparently used her position to help others while at the same time, managing to cut costs. Very admirable; I wonder if her hubby will be able to do likewise on a national level?

“If Michelle is vain about anything, it’s not her fancy degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law, or even her husband’s presidential aspirations, but the family she was born into. Her parents lavished her with ‘structure and consistency and chores,’ made their kids budget their allowance and their time, and played board games with them every Saturday night.

The family’s one-bedroom apartment – the upper floor of a bungalow in the South Shore neighborhood – was so snug that Michelle and Craig slept in the living room, which they divided with partitions, up until they packed for college. Marian still lives there; she occupies the whole house now, in the same part of town where both she and her husband were born.”
This is a picture of a woman who is still proud of her roots, even though they were rather humble. She doesn’t try to be someone other than who she really is. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if she could bring that normal family atmosphere to the formal White House, showing the whole world that most of America is made up of everyday people? The fact is, the percentage of rich, elite families in our country is very small, with most of us having to work real jobs for a living. Since Michelle and Barack are NOT from rich families, would that translate to them being able to understand the plight of the rest of us who sometimes have to struggle to pay the bills? Personally, I'm fond of the fact that Michelle is not beauty queen material. It tells me she's probably not a high maintenance woman.

“When Michelle first started dating Barack, his mother-in-law says, ‘I didn’t know his mother was white for a long time. It didn’t come up. Not that it made any difference, because that wasn’t an issue in our family.’”
Michelle was not raised in a racist family, and that is to her parents’ credit. Regardless of the hateful emails I’ve received from 'Christian' people who are racist, I do not believe Barack Obama’s staff will be made up of only black people wearing turbans and robes. Neither do I believe that Al Sharpton and/or Jesse Jackson will be running the country. Some of the ridiculous allegations I’ve read remind me of when Jack Kennedy was running for president and my poor grandfather, a staunch Democrat, was in such a worried state he almost became physically ill. For the first time in his life he would have to vote Republican, because the belief was that if Jack Kennedy became president, the Pope would run the country. Sadly, many of us haven’t come very far in our thinking in the last almost fifty years!

“Paradoxically, perhaps, their father’s illness taught both his children that if he could get up and go to work and enjoy his life, then they didn’t have to feel constrained, either, in any way. With one exception: How would Michelle ever find a man who could live up to her father’s example? ‘That was the kind of guy my sister was looking for,’ her brother said. ‘We used to joke as a family, “She’ll never find a guy like that, because they don’t exist anymore.”’ What she sought most of all in a mate was Fraser’s glass-half-full fortitude – and there’s a pretty straight line between that worldview and Obama’s ‘Yes, we can!’”
In my opinion, Michelle’s positive attitude added to her husband’s can do spirit would be an asset to our nation in general and to our governing body in particular.

“Michelle met her future husband in 1988, when he took a summer job at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she specialized in intellectual property law. She was assigned to mentor Obama, who had just finished his first year at Harvard Law. As he recalled their first meeting in The Audacity of Hope, ‘I remember that she was tall – almost my height in heels – and lovely, with a friendly, professional manner that matched her tailored suit and blouse.’ He was smitten from the get-go, but she worried that it wasn’t a good idea to date someone from the office. Even when she brought him home to meet the family, they at first assumed that ‘he was just another one who wasn’t going to make it,’ her brother said. ‘It was hard to pass muster with my sister.’ Michelle asked Craig to check out Barack by playing basketball with him – she’d always heard their dad say that you could tell a lot about a man’s character on the court. And? ‘No personality flaws with respect to the basketball evaluation,’ Craig said. So Michelle and Barack started dating.”
What could I possibly add to that??? Straight forward, honest and includes a sweet ah factor. I especially liked the idea that Michelle’s family was totally involved in her decision-making in regards to a future mate.

“Her husband has written that what he wanted more than anything was to be the kind of father he’d never had. In a speech he gave on Father’s Day, Obama said, ‘I resolved many years ago that it was my obligation to break the cycle – that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father to my girls.’ Obama wanted a partner who would expect nothing less and a woman who saw parenthood that same way. In a recent interview with Reader’s Digest, he credits Michelle with creating a ‘zone of normalcy’ for his daughters. The girls still go to the same school. Michelle dropped them off and picked them up each day until recently, when her mother took over. They still don’t have a nanny. ‘Their lives haven’t changed or been disrupted, and that’s been Michelle’s greatest gift to me,’ says her husband.”
Both Michelle and her husband are trying to make as normal a life as possible for their daughters, although I’m sure they could now afford a nanny and a chauffer. The only downside I can see to them moving into the White House is the fact that the girls’ lives would change drastically. But from what I’ve read so far, I’m betting Michelle will help keep them grounded. I also like the fact that Barack seems to have the utmost respect for his wife and isn’t shy about proclaiming that fact.

In the article, Michelle deals with the questions that had been raised in regards to their then-pastor, Jeremiah Wright. She said, ‘Obviously, if we had heard anything like that, we wouldn’t have been part of it.’

“But there’s no question that Wright’s words were even more damaging when coupled with Michelle’s own statement – played on cable television almost as often as Wright’s – that ‘for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.’ In the same speech, at a rally in Wisconsin last February, she went on to say that ‘I feel privileged to even be witnessing this, traveling around states all over this country being reminded that there’s more that unites us than divides us, that the struggles of a farmer in Iowa are no different than on the South Side of Chicago, that people are feeling the same pain and wanting the same things for their families.’

Only the ‘proud’ comment is recalled now, despite her insistence that she didn’t mean to say anything more incendiary than that she’s never felt prouder. Because Barack Obama is not as well-known as his Republican rival, voters look to his wife for clues about what kind of a person her husband is in a way that they may not look to Cindy McCain. So ‘changing that first impression will be critical to the public’s perception of her,’ said the University of Notre Dame’s Robert Schmuhl, ‘and possibly to whether her husband wins the White House.’”
Considering the fact that, in my opinion, the Republicans know they have such a slim chance of regaining another four years in the White House right after the debacle of the last eight years, no matter what she would have said, they were waiting like vultures for an opportunity to discredit both Michelle and Barack. While I do think they should have been more careful in their choice of pastors, I don’t hold it against them.

Here’s why: My father was a white, Pentecostal minister and he used the pulpit to whip people around on an almost weekly basis, holding them to rules that weren’t even scriptural. Yet, most of the congregation stood behind him. Whether or not they lived the way he said they should once they got home, I have no way of knowing. But as an older adult, I’ve talked to former members of my father’s churches, and most of them don’t even remember how he distorted the scriptures. In other words, for personal reasons, I have to give the Obamas a pass on Jeremiah Wright. We should ALL be more careful in our choice of pastors!

As far as Michelle’s proud statement goes, I think someone “strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel.” (Matthew 23:24) A person couldn’t have done all the work she’s done for her community and neighborhood if she was ashamed of her country. Think, People; THINK!!!

“She’s no longer ambivalent about whether that (Barack winning the White House) would be such a good idea: ‘Eventually I thought, This is a smart man with a good heart, and if the only reason I wouldn’t want him to be president is that I’m married to him, no, I can’t be that selfish.’ If Barack is elected, Michelle insists, she has no interest in a role beyond that of help-mate and mother. As November approaches, she is impatient with questions about attacks on her: ‘I could care less – no, I don’t want to say that – but I don’t worry about me.’ (She is learning to self-edit.) ‘I worry about the issues, so the focus should be on moving the ball forward, on the greater good of our kids, the environment, and who cares what they say about me.’”
How refreshing – a first lady who doesn’t want to attend cabinet meetings and briefings and is interested in being only a help-mate and mother. With her brains, experience and can-do attitude, I’m sure she’ll find a cause to champion, but I don’t think it will consume her. She knows how to live with little materially and yet is comfortable with success. Her husband’s respect and admiration for her shows and I think they make a great team.

My bottom line on Michelle Obama is this; I have great respect for her. She seems to have the thick skin that would certainly be required of a president’s wife, yet the ability to be warm and put those around her at ease. She doesn’t seem to have a big head and remembers her roots. Since she is as intelligent as her husband, yet doesn’t demand an important role in which to prove that intelligence, and since she seems to be comfortable in her own skin, I hope Washington is ready for her. Like Bess Truman, she may shake it up a bit and I think she would be an asset to our country in every way. She has used her role as a woman, wife and mother to set a good example for other women. In spite of her ability to put her husband and family first, she doesn’t seem to put herself last. That’s a rare quality anywhere!
Can YOU see her in the White House? What do you think she has to offer other women and young girls? Do you think she can handle all the social occasions that would be demanded of her as first lady? Do you think she would present our country well to all the visiting foreign heads of states and their mates whom she would have to accommodate? How do you think she would be perceived abroad, as she visits other countries? Since material things don’t seem to be important to her, what do you think would be her first order of business once she’s moved into the White House?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cindy McCain: The Tale of Two Very Different Potential First Ladies

From the beginning of this presidential campaign, (many, many moons ago), I’ve been interested in the mates of all those running for our nation’s highest office. Now that we’re down to the final two, I find the differences astounding. The polish and, dare I say, the ‘beauty queen’ appeal of Cindy McCain can hardly be missed, while the intelligent but ‘real people’ appeal of Michelle Obama is almost too good to be true.

When I received my October Reader’s Digest, it was interesting to note there were articles on interviews with both women included in this month’s publication. Further, I was excited to find that the interviews were given by the same reporter, Melinda Henneberger, and was sure I’d be able to detect Henneberger’s favorite by reading both interviews. As I devoured each article, I kept my radar on, trying to read between the lines. Henneberger is good! After reading both interviews, I don’t have a clue which lady she favors. But thanks to her, the differences came into very clear focus for me.

When I think of some of our past first ladies, I view some with admiration, a few with pity and at least a couple with something bordering on contempt. One thing is for sure; the first lady of our country can’t be ignored, and if you study them at all, you’re quite certain to learn more about their mates. So for those of you who haven’t read this month’s Reader’s Digest, I will cover some of the highlights of each interview, which will be in quotes, and then insert some of my opinions, which will be in blue. We’ll start with Cindy McCain, and in a couple days, Lord willing, we’ll learn about Michelle Obama.

Cindy McCain: “The way Cindy McCain tells it, when her husband finally got around to asking his wife whether he should run for president in ’08--‘Of course, he asked me last’—she was ready for him with a considered response: Uh-uh. No. Having been through it before, she wasn’t sure she could stand any more good times like the South Carolina primary of 2000, when a flood of ‘McCain has a black love child’ phone calls and flyers proved there’s no biographical fact that can’t be turned into a political liability. (The smear referred to their then-eight-year-old daughter, Bridget, whom Cindy brought home as a baby from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh.)”
So, here we have a man running for the highest office in the country, one that will put his wife and family smack dab in the limelight and his spouse is the last one he discusses his decision with. Personally, I find this unforgiveable and cold as it shows a complete lack of respect for his wife’s input about how this decision will affect her and their family’s future. This paragraph also ‘outs’ Cindy McCain’s thin skin as a politician’s wife, but we’ll have a chance to deal with that later.

“In the two years before her husband decided to run again, Cindy had suffered a stroke that left her unable to speak clearly for several months and had also made the difficult decision to allow her younger son to enlist in the Marines – at 17, he still needed her permission. And, she adds, ‘I had just lost my mother, too.’”
I found it interesting that the reporter referred to their son as her son; this depicts a family that is fatherless, which I believe it usually is.

“But Cindy McCain, retiring by nature, has never been fully at ease on the public stage. Little wonder, given that her formative experience in politics was arriving in Washington at age 28 with her new congressman husband only to find herself shut out by friends of the first Mrs. John McCain. Carol McCain had been taken under the wing of Nancy Reagan, who gave her a job in Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign and, later, in his White House. After one frosty year in Reagan’s (and Carol’s) Washington, Cindy moved back to Phoenix, in 1984, and ever since has been doing what she calls ‘this bicoastal thing,’ adding that John is ‘home only on weekends.’”
Well ..., what did she expect??? John McCain was married to Carol when he met Cindy; they married about a month after John’s divorce from Carol. And if Cindy thought Washington was frosty in the 80’s, what makes her think they’ll treat her any better today? There are some things people just do NOT forget!

“She has often said that though John left the service long ago, she still thinks of herself as a Navy wife, raising four kids mostly on her own while her husband was deployed to Washington. When I run this view…past her husband’s best friend, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, he says, ‘You got it. This wouldn’t be her first choice.’ (He also suggests that Cindy saw something of her father in John: ‘Her father got shot down during World War II. Cindy must be attracted to guys who get shot down.’)”
Yes, she is raising their family a-l-o-n-e. I also thought Graham’s comment ‘Cindy must be attracted to guys who get shot down’ was very belittling and demeaning.

“Now that she’s signed on for another tour, she’s marching through the campaign well defended, with her silk-lined armor and flawless hair and makeup a kind of protective shield. …..Graham says…’She has a good heart and has gotten a thicker hide, but this doesn’t come easy to her.’”
Not much I can add to that; it speaks for itself, I think.

“Her press aide makes that clear enough by offering some unusual guidance before we sit down for an interview: ‘Feel free to ask Mrs. McClain about her past addiction to pain pills …, but please don’t upset her by mentioning a New York Times story linking her husband to a female lobbyist.’ (The story was deemed so unfair that it wound up helping the campaign, but five months later, it remains a sore spot with the candidate’s wife.”
You’ll read more, later in this article, that makes one wonder about John McCain’s morals, or lack thereof. I think this shows that Cindy McCain is most certainly NOT ready for Washington. Regardless of what Graham says about her having gotten a thicker hide, I’m thinking …, not so much!

“She’s … much more skittish than I remember her being on the campaign bus during her husband’s previous run, and she is extraordinarily guarded when we do talk, facing each other in two straight-backed chairs in the middle of an other wise empty room in her husband’s campaign office in Coronado, California: ‘There is no McCain temper; I’ve never seen it … He’s as healthy as a horse and as young as one too …We never argue.’ Ever? ‘No, we do not argue.’”
To all that I say BUNK! Most of America has seen his temper, yet he wife hasn’t? Gimme a break! And they never argue? If they never argue, it’s probably because they don’t have much of a personal relationship.

“Her best friend, Phoenix real estate CEO Sharon Harper, explains that Cindy’s ‘personality if really two fold; she’s reserved and gentle but also strong and independent.’ On one hand she’s a cowgirl – literally, a former rodeo queen – who sleeps in tents on humanitarian missions, took up car racing after her stroke, and overcame her fear of flying by getting her pilot’s license. But she’s the rare cowgirl who stands in perfect fourth position after years of ballet and reflexively crosses her legs at the ankle.”
After reading that paragraph and in light of John’s VP pick, it makes one wonder about John's weakness for certain personalities. Maybe beauty doesn't challenge him as much as brains do?

“… she met John McCain at a reception in Honolulu. The McCains love telling the story of how they both fibbed about their ages that night; Cindy made herself four years older and John, four years younger. In a recent late-night TV appearance, Cindy told Jay Leno that ‘he kind of chased me around an hors d’oeuvres table’ that evening. ‘I was trying to get something to eat and I thought, You know, this guy’s kind of weird.’

McCain was married at the time but has freely admitted that long before meeting Cindy, he’d ‘started carousing and running around with women,’ as his friend and fellow Vietnam vet Robert Timberg wrote in John McCain: An American Odyssey. Carol McCain had been through a lot, waiting five and a half years for him to be released from captivity in Hanoi and barely surviving a car crash on the third Christmas Eve he was a prisoner. A former swimsuit model, she was much altered by the accident and has had trouble walking ever since.”
Somehow all this makes John McCain seem more like a dirty old man instead of the hero people try to depict him being. Since Cindy comes off as being a rather shell-shocked woman who will ‘stand by her man’ no matter how badly he treats her because the show must go on, one has to contemplate her real feelings for him these many years later. Of course, these beauty queen types never get real enough to allow others to gauge their humanness. John’s first wife, Carol, is the real hero; not once has she talked trash about her carousing husband or how he left her for a younger, more perfect woman. She got on with her life and now…..Cindy McCain has the gall to be thin-skinned? And John and his ‘Republican followers’ had the gall to throw dirt at Bill Clinton??? Please…..pass me another break!

“Just over a month after the divorce was final (and after signing a prenup), John married Cindy, in May 1980, and went to work for her father, who helped him launch his political career. Speaking about their emotional division of labor as a couple, his wife of 28 years is modest: ‘My husband does his thing, and I make sure we all stay together as a family.’ (Apparently, she’s also in charge of the candlelight; when a reporter recently asked McCain to name the last romantic thing he’d done for his wife, his answer was, ‘Let’s see … Over the weekend, we ordered out, which was nice. Chinese. Didn’t have to entertain anybody. Didn’t have to have a political conversation. Didn’t have to ask anybody for money.’)”
Whatta guy! Just about gives a gal goose bumps, doesn’t it? Now let’s get this straight: John comes home from being a POW, finds his wife has also survived some physical horrors of her own, chases skirts, dumps his wife for a gal almost half her age, marries said gal, let’s new wife’s Daddy launch his political career, does his own ‘thing’ while his wife keeps the family together, considers Chinese take out a romantic gesture …, what am I missing? Why don’t I see the HERO others keep talking about … (well, at least HE keeps talking about)? And as for Cindy; I want to walk right up to her, slap her perfectly made-up face, and ask, ‘What are you thinking???’

“While raising them, (their children), Cindy also became deeply involved in international relief work that until recently had received relatively little attention. Accompanying her on a recent trip to Rwanda, former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson noted admiringly that ‘Cindy McCain has had decades of personal contact with the suffering of the developing world. And in some future crisis or genocide, it might matter greatly to have a first lady who knows the smell of death.’”
WOW! Who would have thought Cindy’s relief work would suddenly receive attention when her husband is running for national office? NOW, he apparently considers her an asset? And that remark of Gerson’s about how it may matter to have a first lady who knows the smell of death …; that almost seems like a scary omen to me. What does he know that we don’t?

“At 54, Cindy sticks close to her husband on social occasions, even when the party is in her own home. In Phoenix, where she spent most of her adult life living across the street from her parents, she’s known for being hard to know.”
This does not sound like first lady material to me. When one considers all the functions she would have to preside over at the White House, not including the trips to foreign countries to visit other dignitaries, Cindy McCain seems a little fragile for this job.

“Few women attain the financial independence that Cindy has had from the start, and she does not rely on her husband to help her make even the most important decisions. She surprised him at the airport with their daughter Bridget: ‘I found her at the orphanage with a serious cleft palate, and I realized at the airport that I couldn’t give her up. I knew I didn’t need to ask my husband. I got off the plane and I had her in my arms, and he was there and he said, ‘Where’s she going to go?’ and I said, ‘She’s going to come to our house,’ and he just looked at me and said, ‘I knew that.’”
This couple does not work together as a team. What kind of a relationship could they possibly have for Cindy not to even talk to John about this before she arrived at the airport??? Not that she needed his permission, but she WAS adding a new member to their family, for crying out loud! But the first sentence may say it all; she is financially independent and what Cindy wants, Cindy gets. OR, more likely, John may be cold and distant, and with her other children growing up, Cindy needed another child to lavish her affections on.

“Years later, when she became addicted to painkillers after spinal surgery for two ruptured disks, she kept that from her husband too. It was her parents who noticed. She didn’t tell John about her addiction until right before a story about a DEA investigation into her theft of pills from her medical charity hit the front pages. But the most striking thing isn’t that Cindy kept the addiction from her husband …, but that she’d never let her husband see that she was in pain in the first place. ‘I didn’t want to tell him, because he had so much on his plate,’ she says. Following her stroke in April 2004, Cindy went away for a few months by herself, to a condo on the beach here in Coronado, to recover. Just after the stroke, McCain’s office issued a statement, quoting her doctor that the damage was minor: ‘Her speech is mildly affected, but she is otherwise intact.’ But she says now that there was nothing minor about it: ‘Right after I had the stroke, I was just lying there and I couldn’t communicate, I couldn’t talk, and I hadn’t been able to say goodbye to my family. I was sure I was going to die.’”
God love him, you gotta hand it to John McCain! To supposedly share your life with a person who is in so much pain she becomes addicted to pain pills, yet you don’t notice??? Then when she has a major stroke you allow your office to say she had a minor incident??? COLD! Calculatedly cold! Right here I want to tell you readers something; I have a condition that causes chronic to constant pain requiring narcotic medications. My husband may not have an important position, but he does work long, hard hours, and if he didn’t notice the times when my condition worsens, I wouldn’t be sharing my life with him.

My bottom line on Cindy McCain is this: Even though I don’t respect her, I feel sorry for her. She may be worth an estimated $100 million, (she refused to release her complete tax returns), and, as the RD article states, she has charged as much as $500,000 on her credit card in one month, but she’s a lonely woman. John McCain would most likely be nothing without Cindy and her father, yet it appears to me that he neglects her in every important way. She’s handy to drag out as a trophy wife, and her bank account has possibly saved John’s bacon more than once. AND, it was Cindy who went in and personally helped reorganize his campaign’s finances when they were a mess. Can YOU see her in the White House? If she can’t stand up and fight for her place in her own marriage, if she allows her husband to keep her on a shelf like a good book he once read and only gets down to read once-in-awhile when a whim strikes him, if she thinks women have to be martyrs in a marriage, what in the world does she have to offer other women??? If she has to stick close to her husband at social gatherings, even if held in her own home, how could she handle all the social occasions that would be demanded of her as first lady??? Here I especially think of all the foreign heads of states and their mates whom Cindy would have to accommodate, and if those who have known her for years say she’s hard to get to know, how would she be perceived by these dignitaries from other countries? What do you think?

BTW: Two interesting sites you might want to review to learn more about the real John and Cindy McCain are The Wife John McCain Callously Left Behind and Free Cindy McCain. These two articles are must reads if you are considering voting for John McCain.