Monday, October 20, 2008

Cindy McCain vs. Michelle Obama

Posted By on Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 2:26 PM

There is talk of Cindy McCain shedding her shyness to help her husband win the presidency.

She's been talking smack at rallies and putting a little more fire into her Stepford Wife act. Initially, Cindy McCain was the anti-Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama has been active on the campaign trail, speaking out and making solo appearances on behalf of her husband. Who can forget the storm Michelle Obama caused when she said:

“For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is making a comeback.”

Many African Americans understood what Michelle Obama was saying. Being black in America and witnessing and living through Jim Crow, segregation and racism doesn't exactly make you want to wave Old Glory with vigor. White people found her words to be unpatriotic and couldn't understand how or why she'd say something like that. And the McCains use that sound bite every chance they get to at more fuel to Obama hates America yarn.

These two women seem to be the Yin and the Yang of their husbands. Michelle Obama seems to be the fire next to Senator Barack Obama's coolness and Cindy McCain is the ice to Senator John McCain's heat.

But if potential first ladies debated, who do you think would win, Michelle Obama or Cindy McCain?

Let's look at their backgrounds:

click to enlarge Michelle Obama

Michelle attended Chicago public schools, then Princeton. She studied sociology and African American studies, graduated in the class of 1985, and earned admission to Harvard Law School. When she returned to Chicago in 1988, she joined the law firm Sidley & Austin.

After a few years, Michelle realized that corporate law was not her calling. So she left to give back to the city she loves and to help others serve their communities. She worked for City Hall, becoming the assistant commissioner of planning and development. Then she became the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares young people for public service. Today, more than 350 young leaders have graduated from Public Allies Chicago.

Michelle got one great thing out of working for a corporate law firm-that's where she met her husband, Barack. They were married in 1992. Today, they have two girls-Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. Like their mom, both girls were born on the South Side of Chicago.

Since 1996, Michelle has worked for the University of Chicago. As associate dean of student services, she developed the university's first community service program. Later, she became the vice president of community and external affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center. Under Michelle's leadership, volunteering skyrocketed, both in the hospital and the community. Hospital employees serving in the community increased nearly fivefold, while community members volunteering in the hospital nearly quadrupled.

Since Barack began his campaign in early 2007, Michelle has met thousands of Americans, hearing their concerns and hopes for the future. As someone who knows the challenge of balancing work and family, Michelle has held roundtables with working women to hear about their struggle to do it all, particularly in a failing economy. In these discussions, Michelle heard the unique stories of military spouses, who work hard to keep their families together while their loved ones are away.

click to enlarge Cindy McCain

Cindy Hensley McCain has dedicated her life to improving the lives of those less fortunate both in the United States and around the world. A native Arizonan, mother of four, and wife of U.S. Senator John McCain, Cindy McCain is known for lending her time and talent to increase awareness of international charity organizations and the work that they do to make the world a better place.

As an advocate for children's health care needs, Cindy founded and ran the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) from 1988 to 1995. AVMT provided emergency medical and surgical care to impoverished children throughout the world. Cindy led 55 medical missions to third world and war-torn countries during AVMT's seven years of existence. On one of those missions to Mother Teresa's orphanage, Cindy was convinced to take two babies in need of medical attention to the United States. One of those babies is now their adopted daughter, 16-year-old Bridget McCain.

Which woman does the American public resemble the most? But more importantly, does the wife of the president really have much impact on his policies and the way he will run this country? When we vote, why are we so easily distracted from real issues?

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