Friday, August 31, 2012

The Woman Behind The President

It's election season and everyone is getting carried away campaigning for their candidate or choice, or more often and much to my dismay wasting their time and talent trying to convince me that the 'other guy' is a demonic monster set to lead America straight to hell.  I think both Barak Obama and Mitt Romney, the two contending candidates, are decent men with a vision for our country.  And I believe they each sincerely believe in the ideas they present.  That's one reason I'm really struggling to make a choice between them.  And often getting distracted by other things like why, with rare exception, I like the President's wife better than the President.

Ann Romney is the hopeful First Lady for the Presidential term beginning in 2013.  Much is said about her looks, style and aura of glamour but I like her sense of family values most.  I like that she took the path of stay-at-home wife and mother and shows girls today that making the home their main priority can be a desirable choice for intelligent, educated, capable women.

Michelle Obama is the current Mrs. in residence at the White House and wants to live there for another 4 years.  I think the health initiatives she's brought to the forefront are impressive with the commitment to exercise and planting a garden to supply her family with fresh vegetables.  I like how approachable she seems and that she shops at The Gap like us regular people.  I also like that she's obviously in love with her husband and not afraid to show it.

Laura Bush brought a refreshing sense of class and elegance back to the White House.  Trained as a teacher, her focus was on education and literacy.  I love her cookie recipes that still circulate the internet from time to time and I remember that she  used department store makeup during her tenure as First Lady.  She's the best example I can think of for growing older with dignity and grace and relevance.

Hilary Clinton just confounded and confused me.  She had an agenda all her own that was clouded with scandal and greed. I admire her ambition and drive to achieve prominence on her own despite the negative publicity from gifts that appeared inappropriate and the much talked about promiscuities of her husband while he was President.

Barbara Bush always impressed me as fiercely loyal and very pragmatic.  While not beautiful in the same sense as most of our recent First Ladies, she exudes a confidence, friendliness and comfort in her own skin that makes me like her.

Nancy Reagan was just so glamorous and pretty even past retirement age!  The Reagan's came at a time when we needed that shot of Hollywood. I appreciated her devotion to her husband, even to protecting his privacy and image in later years as he suffered through the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease.  Her "Just Say No" campaign against teen drinking and drugs was important and influential to me.

Roslyn Carter was, to me personally, the epitome of a real woman.  She is a humble, soft-spoken and submissive believer - all traits I seek to find within myself.  She's the first First Lady I really remember myself.  I've come to appreciate her dedication to making mental health research and care possible and the amount and scope of charity work the Carter's did following their time in the White House.  I wish I could have met her.

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