Candidate’s Wives Should Support the Man -- Not the Politician

santorum wifeHelen Taft wanted to be the First Lady so badly that she guided her husband William’s career from the time she met him when he was in law school until she moved into the White House. It made her husband so unhappy to be president that he ballooned to over 300 pounds and had to have a specially made bathtub installed to accommodate his girth.

After serving as president, William Taft went on to become the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, which was the job he had wanted in the first place. Happier out of the White House than in, he lost over 80 pounds, ended his obesity-induced sleep apnea, and probably added years to his life.

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A potential First Lady must not be supportive of her husband’s bid for the presidency at the expense of being supportive of her husband. That, I believe, is the most important thing a candidate’s wife may do: Support her man. She’s his teammate, his biggest cheerleader, and most likely the only one who will tell him anything without spinning it first. 

While we’re trying to figure out which of the candidates will make the best president, the potential First Ladies should not be ignored. The First Lady is the hostess of the White House, and the President’s closest confidant and most trusted advisor.

Have you ever tried tackling a tough job without your spouse’s dedicated support? It makes accomplishing it seem much harder than if they’d even simply said, “Go for it, Honey, I know you can do it!” Now take the toughest job on the planet -- the presidency -- and imagine tackling that without your other half believing in you.

Things like how long a candidate has been married, or how they met their third wife might make for good cocktail party anecdotes, but they are not as important to me as seeing how a couple functions as a team on the campaign trail. 

I love that Karen Santorum packed up her kids and joined Rick on the road in Iowa. I admire Newt Gingrich’s class in dealing with his ex-wife’s attacks on his current marriage. Ann Romney might be the best part of Mitt’s campaign, her softness and sweetness showing a side of her husband that the public might never see without her presence.

My feelings for a candidate’s wife will not make or break my vote for them, but it is worthy of taking into consideration. No matter what he plans to do in the Oval Office, having a loyal, supportive, loving wife by his side will only increase his chances of success.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. Read the original question and find links to all their responses here: In a Presidential Election, Do Spouses Matter?


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