Third Party & Independents Archives

Spouse Attack

I don’t have a problem with questioning the character and motives of the person who will be 1st Lady/Man.
They have ‘the ear’ of OUR President.
They have more influence than any of the rest of us.

Why, all of a sudden, is it wrong to do so when it is the wife of Barrack Obama?

Sorry folks.
No article.
Just a discussion.

BTW. Why is it okay to call white voters racist but when 92% of blacks vote for Obama none of them are doing it for race reasons. If they are, it's alright because they never had this chance before??
Any body ask if they hold their nose when they pull the lever like they have about voting for McCain?

Posted by Dawn at May 17, 2008 12:31 AM
Comment #253002


Like it or not there is still a huge chasm when it comes to “race” relations.

Whether it is Hillary talking about “hard working white people” or Michelle Obama speaking out. Each is entitled to their opinion, and I am quite sure we were supposed to understand what each actually meant, as opposed to what they actually said.

Unfortunately, the “outside world” doesn’t conform to watchblog’s posting policy of “critique the message not the messenger”.

Posted by: Rocky at May 17, 2008 12:57 AM
Comment #253004

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. And it turns out, in real life, most of us live in houses that have some glass in them. Most of us have points of vulnerability, regrettable episodes, acts of questionable judgment- not you and me, of course, and when we talk about most people, we’re not referring to “some” people who George Bush refers to whenever he wants to polarize and wreck the country even further- criminy, what a truly horrible president- but what about other people like Michelle Obama, or, say, Cindy McCain.

In the presidential campaign of 1992 between Bush #41 and Bill Clinton, the Bush campaign floated rumors of ‘bimbo’ problems for Clinton. The Clinton campaign immediately floated rumors about the mistress of Bush #41. The issue of bimbos and mistresses mysteriously disappeared from the 1992 election. Neither candidate wanted to go there.

Cindy McCain has done some fine things in her life. She has also done some, uh, not so fine things. Unlike Michelle Obama and Barack Obama, John McCain began his relationship with Cindy by committing adultery, and John eventually dumped his starter wife for the fabulously wealthy trophy wife, Cindy. Shall we delve into Cindy’s drug addiction? Nasty business.

No. Let’s not. Because it’s unfair to hold any person up to a standard of perfection- that’s true of Michelle and Cindy and Barack and John- and it’s unfair and it’s wrong to cast aspersions upon the characters and patriotism of people who are dedicating their lives to running for the highest elected political office in the country.

We’ll see a lot of really awful stuff this election. But let’s always keep in mind, this should be about issues.

Posted by: phx8 at May 17, 2008 2:09 AM
Comment #253006

Dawn, I have to question one of your assumptions, that spouses have greater influence over a person’s job performance and decisions than anyone else.

My wife is an insurance claims trainer. She is very good at it. I was a claims adjuster for 5 years, and know something of the industry. My experience led me to become an critic on many fronts of the insurance industry as currently manifested.

Do I as her spouse have more influence over how my wife performs her job than anyone else? The answer is absolutely not. Her employer has far greater influence than I.

Extrapolate to the office of President. An elected president has their agenda, priorities, and ends which they seek and have professed more or less accurately to the public in order to get elected. The voters are the president’s employer. Who has the greater influence over the president, the people and his advisors, or his/her spouse?

Of course, the answer would vary a bit based on the person in the oval office, BUT, that person serves their Party, the electorate, and their understanding of the nation’s need of them. Compared to these, how influential would a spouse be who happened to hold opinions contrary to those experts in their fields advising the president?

I would suggest that the president’s view of the world and their role in it is more a determinant of who their spouse is, than the spouse’s influence over the president in their White House decisions.

It would be relatively very rare that a president in today’s circumstance, after contemplating all the advice of their expert advisers and think tanks, and their own conscience, would still be setting on the fence and turn to their spouse to push them to one side or the other of that fence.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2008 5:14 AM
Comment #253012

No one has to hold their nose to make a selection on a touch screen. There are often several choices available. The wives are only of interest in the campaign if they are being used to hide assets or deals.

However, s first lady can rearrange the furniture, pick a pet project, drink all day, lobby Congress, sit in cabinet meetings, pull strings behind the scenes, attend to her family, or travel as an ambassador. So it’s probably a good idea if we know something about them before their husbands get elected.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 17, 2008 9:18 AM
Comment #253036

In Bill’s case, it’s fair, since he’s in the unique position of being the first former president to be the spouse of a candidate. I think it’s naive to believe that he wouldn’t have strong influence on his wife in what was once his job. It even, I think, makes it more difficult for her to be Vice President, given that it puts him in the awkwards position of having a former president hanging around constantly around the White House.

Michelle Obama is another thing altogether. She’s never run for office, she isn’t running for office right now. What they’re trying to do to her is character assassination. We shouldn’t be under the impression that anybody’s reputation can be considered safe here. If they can’t find something substantive to attack her on, they’ll make something up. Let’s not forget, her husbands running against a party that willingly assassinated the character of a twelve year old boy who was in an accident that left him in a coma. If we are under the impression that virtue will exempt people from being attacked by the GOP, we’re fooling ourselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 17, 2008 8:29 PM
Comment #253046

It’s not OK to question Michelle Obama’s motives or character because her husband is the fair haired boy of the Democratic Party. And it aint politically correct to question the motives or character of any Democrat. Specially the fair haired boy and his wife.
Besides it’s being racist to question Obama’s or his wife’s character and motives. And ya don’t want to be a racist do ya?

I personally question the motives and character of not only the candidates but their spouses. Spouses can be, and usually are, a very strong influence on a person. Wives have a way of getting their husbands to do things they might not otherwise do. And husbands can do the same with their wives. The character and motives of the 1st spouse, regardless sex are extremely important. And I don’t trust any of the spouses any more than I trust any of the candidates themselves.

Wounder if the Democrats will still love Obama four years from now.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 18, 2008 12:12 AM
Comment #253057
Shall we delve into Cindy’s drug addiction? Nasty business. No. Let’s not. Because it’s unfair to hold any person up to a standard of perfection Posted by: phx8 at May 17, 2008 02:09 AM

There’s been alot of things said in this post I haven’t heard before. I’m from Starke County so I have to hear them twice before I believe it.
But if it’s true we shouldn’t hold people up to perfect standards then we could empty alot of jail cells to hold real criminals, couldn’t we, phx8?

When I heard Mrs. Obama say she is finally proud of our country I took it to mean she is finally proud that her husband is the one to spearhead his race into the national limelite that he has devoted his entire life to. I’m not an obamite, but I do see why Mrs. Obama used the words she used and I also see why the media picked up on them.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 12:42 PM
Comment #253061

Ron Brown-
You’re trying to defend character assassination by pretending that Democrats are trying to silence criticism. You’re doing this, even as you folks broadly deliver such criticism.

We think you’re wrong. You think we should stop being so politically correct. Right. Why is it that Republicans are insisting, then, on trying to paint Barack and his wife as black radicals? The choice of Reverend Wright is indicative of that, the emphasis on questions of whether he agrees. Despite the fact that when challenged, most politicians and pundits insist they don’t believe he holds those views, the inference is always pushed that something is wrong by association.

Y’all are always questioning motives, questioning loyalties, questioning supporters of things you don’t like. The Right has taken up character assassination as its main method of persuasion.

The problem is, the Republicans and the right have gotten on the wrong side of Americans on many issues. That does two things to their arguments. First, they get to find out what it’s like to get their hair blown back by the foul wind coming off of this slime. It’s not typically an ingratiating experience. Second, these people no longer buy the arguments about how horrible those who are in favor of these policies are, because, to put it plainly, they are the people who are in favor of these policies, and they know quite well what wonderful people they are.

Or to put it another way, character assassination is a poor strategy when you’re on the political defensive, when people are increasingly skeptical of you.

There has to be a real issue at hand. Hiding your spouses finances is a legitimate issue. Being a politician yourself, with a record, makes you a legitimate issue. What instead we see with criticism of Michelle Obama is this notion of jumping on poor, and/or twistable choices of words, and I think that’s scraping the bottom of the barrel. I think it’s self-destructive for the Republicans. This unsympathetic behavior has been a real problem for the right. It was alright when the paradigm was with you, and the Democrats were out in the wilderness, but that’s not the case anymore, and like I’ve said, it’s fairly corrosive to the Party’s ability to persuade others. You’re ticking off the very people you need to bring on board.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 18, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #253067

Ron, The media will love Obama four years from now. That’s all that matters.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 1:30 PM
Comment #253069

Weary Willie,
Cindy McCain’s drug addiction is a matter of public record. Lots of people have dealt with drug addictions. Most people are not wealthy engouh to afford their addiction, so they end up financing it by committing crimes, and end up in jail. Cindy McCain is so wealthy, there was never any problem financing her addiction. She stole drugs from a charity she owned, and publicly admitted it and apologized in 1994. But unlike most poor people, Cindy McCain never went to jail.

” But if it’s true we shouldn’t hold people up to perfect standards then we could empty alot of jail cells to hold real criminals…”

Absolutely. The United States has more people in jail per capita than any other country in the world. What in the world is wrong with us?! A great place to start reform would be to treat most drug convictions as minor misdemeanors, redouble efforts to educate people about the perils of the “pursuit of happiness” through addictive drugs, and provide addicts with rehab.

Posted by: phx8 at May 18, 2008 1:43 PM
Comment #253074

Well said, phx8, but most drug convictions are minor misdemeanors. The accumulative effect of these misdemeanors is what’s filling our jails. How do you get some one who has been hit on the head to see your point of view when you’re hitting them on the head to make them see your point of view?

I’ve heard it twice now, about this drug abuse. I guess I should believe it, being I’m from Starke County.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 2:16 PM
Comment #253078

No I’m not defending character assassination. But if some comes off a racist, as Obama does, it needs to be pointed out. Specially if that person wants to be President. There just aint no room for a racist of any race in the White House.
What I don’t understand is why the left, that by the way claims it aint racist, defends a person that is as obviously racist as Obama. If McCain spent 23 years under a preacher that claimed the whole time that Whites were the only true race and superior to all others and blasted the United States y’all would be crucifying him over coals. But here y’alls fair haired boy has sat under the likes of Jeremiah Wright, who has done just that, for 23 years and y’all defend him.
But that’s not the subject.
Ya have to ask the Republicans why they resort to character assassination. And while your at it ask the Democrats the same thing. Both parties are just as guilty of it. And neither party wants to admit to it while accusing the other party of it.
As far as criticism of Michelle jumping all over the poor goes, I’ve heard it and have like most taken it with a grain of salt. But if there is any truth to it wouldn’t ya want to know about it before she has the ear of the President of the United States? And wouldn’t ya want to know of other objectionable characteristics before hand?
I know I want to. I also want to know the same about Cindy McCain.
We already know about Bill’s character and motives. He just want to be able to get next to the interns again.:)

Weary Willie said: The media will love Obama four years from now. That’s all that matters.

You have a point there. Then again they might not. And that matters too. The media can make or break a President as we’ve seen in the past.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 18, 2008 2:59 PM
Comment #253082

Ron, If you look at the list of presidential candidates running for office they will number above 300 persons.

How many of those 300 people have been portrayed in the media?

The media is shoving it’s own candidates down our throats. A wasted vote is a vote for a candidate the media shoves down our throat.

There’s still time before the 08 election, but we won’t grasp it.

Woe is our choice.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 3:19 PM
Comment #253086

I hope you all realize, that you are speaking more from personal experience than any sociological study on the influence of politician’s spouses upon the office duties of the elected official.

Projection can be very revealing. This is one topic in which folks are safer talking about the best anecdotes of their own marriage, rather than projecting the worst upon others, which has only one’s own anecdotal experience to draw from.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2008 5:37 PM
Comment #253100

Even this discussion turns into blue vs. red.

I don’t see Cindy McCain being as involved as Michelle Obama or Bill Clinton would be in the national issues.
How much influence did Michelle have in their belonging to that church for as long as they did, and how did they get there to begin with?
I cannot see Barack joining such a church. He does not have the family history that would have drawn him there on his own. Something drew him there … was it simply for political purposes or was he following his wife? … or both.
Neither one of them had a problem with their girls listening to the hate speech .. or did they go home and say .. ‘We know it was church girls but you don’t have to believe everything the preacher says. We just go there because it helps Daddy in his work.’
Romney being a Mormon helped him lose. I never heard anything about hate speech towards all who are not white.

How many people are looking past things they normally wouldn’t because when their candidate wins it will make history? All 3 fall into this category.
How did the Clintons go from… the majority would love to see them back in the WH to .. most people can’t stomach the idea of 8 more years of the Clintons? and … people would love Bill to be the 1st husband to … he will be a problem.

Weary Willie said what I said a long time ago. The media picks our candidates - we don’t.

Posted by: Dawn at May 18, 2008 9:51 PM
Comment #253101

I haven’t seen a list of everyone running for President. But I can safely say that the major reason the media doesn’t cover them is because they aren’t from either major party. And about the only way the media will cover them is if they say or do something that causes some sort of stir among the voters.

I know there aint any studies done on the influence of Presidential spouses on their husbands. However every married man I know that’s gonna be honest about it will tell ya that his wife has a major influence on how he does things. Why wouldn’t a President’s wife have the same kind of influence?
I can see in Hillary’s case Bill not having much of an influence. I get the impression she won’t listen to any man. And not very many women.
I’d like to tell ya that my wife has never influenced the way I do things. But then I’d be lying. But then I’m glad she has at times. She sure had some pretty damn good ideas. As well as a few not so good ones.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 18, 2008 10:00 PM
Comment #253113

If you’re tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to and push them to support Clinton
If you haven’t done so yet, please write a message to each of your state’s superdelegates at

Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it’s appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It’s that easy…

Posted by: Kathy at May 19, 2008 6:49 AM
Comment #253139

David Remer said:

“Dawn, I have to question one of your assumptions, that spouses have greater influence over a person’s job performance and decisions than anyone else.”

You must not have been listening to Hilalry’s speeches then.

According to Hillary, she not only was THE most influential person in Bill’s presidency, but also THE most influential person in all of government.

Hey! That’s where all her vast experience comes from.

Posted by: Jim T at May 19, 2008 4:12 PM
Comment #253153

I think a great point was made tonight…

If you don’t want your wife attacked, perhaps you shouldn’t be sending her out attacking others…

IMO, once they do that they are fair game, just as anyone attacking another politically is fair game.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 19, 2008 9:40 PM
Comment #253154

A good reason why the spouse, of one running for President, should be vetted is because they have a ‘job’ when their spouse gets the position.

It isn’t the same as other political offices.

I don’t normally watch Greta. I flipped her on to see what she was talking about.

Not surprised that she has a poll tonight about this subject. Specifically the Obamas.

Check it out.

Posted by: Dawn at May 19, 2008 10:23 PM
Comment #253156

Oh… David.

Why do you assume that they don’t?
I have influence over my husband’s job. It may be because he is self-employed and runs his own business.
It makes no sense to me why the spouse of a politician would not be asked their opinion.
We know the spouses help decide whether or not they will go ahead with a run for office.
Why would’t they be working together toward the same goals and discuss issues?

Posted by: Dawn at May 19, 2008 10:33 PM
Comment #253158

The First Lady and the President also live at their place of business, over the store, as Reagan used to say. Remember, Nancy whispering to him: “We’re doing everything we can.”

Posted by: ohrealy at May 19, 2008 10:52 PM
Comment #253170

“The First Lady and the President also live at their place of business, over the store, as Reagan used to say.”

So if a convicted drug offender can live in the white house why cant they be eligible for college grant money and able to join the military? Or for that matter why cannot they be eligible for all other federal positions that currently exclude drug offenders? Seems to me that should Senator McCain win the presidency he will need to make some changes to accomodate his wife without looking hypocritical about the issue.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 20, 2008 1:02 AM
Comment #253215

j2t2, I agree with you on the drug offender thing. I think GWBush should pardon everyone in prison for offenses such as his family has committed. Supposedly, even Laura sold weed at SMU, in the day, and there is the LeBlond family connection that is pretty disturbing. I agree with Rev Wright on the war on drugs, which has been another Bush disaster. Also, JMcC is probably on some serious painkillers, due to injuries from his POW days.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 20, 2008 1:48 PM
Comment #253268

Dawn, I ask my wife’s opinion on most decisions important decisions I make. I take her advice on them on occasion, choosing the better counsel available, whether that be my own, a friends, a professionals, or my wifes.

What makes you think Obama would not follow this more intellectual approach to counsel given his education and background?

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 20, 2008 10:48 PM
Comment #253274
which has been another Bush disaster

Well, to be fair, he’s not the only president to suck in this area… in fact, I don’t think they have all been disasters in this area since the ‘war on drugs’ first started…

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 21, 2008 12:46 AM
Comment #253302

wow — i thought this was a blog for independents —- why don’t you committed haters and partisan democrats and partisan republicans go to your own blogs?

Posted by: michael at May 21, 2008 12:12 PM
Comment #253322

WatchBlog is that blog Michael.
I’m free to drive Stephen and Ray nuts on the blue side, they are free to get after Jack on the Red side and we are free to give Remer hell here in the Green column.

You learn nothing by only hanging out with like minded souls.

So kick back, participate, have fun and learn something new.

Posted by: kctim at May 21, 2008 3:13 PM
Comment #253348

On the drug war, my understanding is that heroin consumption actually increased tenfold in Baltimore. It’s a little strange that this would happen so close to DC.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 21, 2008 8:53 PM
Comment #253350

‘What makes you think Obama would not follow this more intellectual approach to counsel given his education and background?’

I never said he wouldn’t.
The argument is about questioning who, exactly, the future first spouse is and where he/she stands.
Everyone ‘knows’ Bill would be involved. Most people believe Cindy would be happy fixing dinner tables. What about Michelle?
You did include your spouse in your group of people who help in your decision making.
Why wouldn’t he?

It’s not that I am saying she should not ever be asked by her husband what she thinks about any given situation. If this is that ‘rare’ occasion you speak of, wouldn’t you like to know how she thinks before she is in that position?

‘today’s circumstance’

Is that of the world or how marriages of today are supposed to be? 50/50

Posted by: Dawn at May 21, 2008 9:44 PM
Comment #253694

Dawn asked: “If this is that ‘rare’ occasion you speak of, wouldn’t you like to know how she thinks before she is in that position?”

Sorry, that is not even possible without sitting down with her on numerous occasions for many hours and discussing all the potential areas in which she might be asked her counsel by her husband. Its a red herring question. There is no way any voters have ever known what the first spouse would advise on any range of topics in the voting booth. We all have this tendency to hold general beliefs and principles and decide current situations with relevant information and reconsideration, making predictability of counsel a very iffy prospect at best if you know the person personally.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2008 9:58 PM
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