“When I fell in love with Barack more than 20 years ago … I knew he shared my determination to make a difference in other people’s lives. But I never dreamed that he’d one day be president,” Michelle Obama writes in an open letter in the November issue of Elle magazine.
The First Lady goes on to outline five reasons why those reading (presumably mostly women) should vote for her husband, Barack Obama, in the upcoming presidential election. Among her reasons, many of which we’ve heard both Michelle and Barack touch upon during previous speeches and the debates, are:
1. “He’s is fighting for equal pay for women” by passing legislation like the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
2. “He’ll fight for [women's] rights to make [their] own health-care decisions.” (Shout out to Obamacare here.)
3. “He’s putting affordable education within reach” by decreasing student loan interest and increasing funding for Pell grants.
To read the First Lady’s other reasons, click over to Elle.com.
Michelle Obama’s open letter is just one of many appearances that she and Ann Romney, the spouse of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, have made in various women’s magazines over the past few months. The New York Times even declared that the presidential candidates’ wives “are waging their own campaigns in women’s and celebrity magazines to show voters their spouses’ softer sides.” And though Michelle’s letter in Elle focuses largely on policy, she also mentions Obama being a “devoted father” and “loving husband,” alluding to his more relatable, human qualities.
In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Ann Romney took roughly the same approach. She discussed falling in love with Mitt (“He was just so engaging, fun-loving and goofy … I couldn’t imagine living without him”) and shared that she believes that her husband is a bit misunderstood in the press (“He is so warm and approachable, very spontaneous and funny in his private life — which is not what you see in his public life”). Michelle Obama also tried to lighten the public image of her husband In her Good Housekeeping interview: “There’s Barack Obama the President, who’s out in the Rose Garden at a press conference, and then there’s my guy.”
In addition to Good Housekeeping, both women have appeared in Woman’s Day, O, People and Parade (the latter two alongside their spouses). Michelle Obama also was featured in Redbook, Latina magazine, People en Español, Women’s Health and Us Weekly, reported the New York Times.
Both Michelle Obama and Ann Romney have gone to bat for their husbands, trying to make women see these candidates not just as politicians, but as human beings. Come election day, we’ll see what impact, if any, this sort of press has on female voters.