Michelle Obama v. Cindy McCain: Ratings: The Swamp
The Swamp

Michelle Obama gets a daytime television chance at an image boost today.

Posted June 18, 2008 6:15 AM
The Swamp

by Mark Silva

Michelle Obama, wife of the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee, has a higher public profile - though people say they have heard a lot of negative things about her.

Cindy McCain, wife of the Republicans' presumptive nominee, is not as widely known - but fewer say they have heard bad things about her.

Michelle Obama photo small.jpg

These are among the findings of a new Pew Research Center survey, as Michelle Obama, pictured right, prepares to take the daytime television stage as a guest co-host today on ABC's The View. Among the other guest hosts: actor Matthew Broderick.

McCain had that chance in April. "Equal time,'' the network says.

"With the major party nominations now settled, the images of the candidates' wives are coming into sharper focus,'' reports Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Center. "While opinions about Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama are mostly positive, Mrs. Obama has emerged as the more high profile and controversial spouse.

Cindy McCain portrait

"More Americans have heard a lot about Michelle Obama than Cindy McCain, (pictured left) and Mrs. Obama has received much more media coverage than Mrs. McCain,'' Kohut reports.

"However, somewhat more of those who have heard about Mrs. Obama say the coverage of her has been mostly negative rather than mostly positive (by 26 percent to 21 percent).

"By comparison, 31 percent of those who have heard about Mrs. McCain say coverage of her has been mostly positive while just 7 percent say it has been generally negative.''

For the full rundown, see the Pew report.

For more on Michelle Obama, see The View today.

(Obama photo by Brennan Linsley, AP Photo/file.)

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The View? Geez, there's an Obama love fest in the making. Compared to this, the Democratic National Convention would be a tough venue.

I was very disappointed in your choice of photos for the article. Instead of being fair to both women, a basic standard I would expect from the Chicago Tribune, you use a candid for Michelle Obama and a posed studio shot for Cindy McCain? Come now.

Love to see how you characterized the two women by the pictures you chose. Very subtle but telling about the nature of your article!

I noticed how you found a picture of Cindy smiling but just couldnt find a picture of Michelle smiling. Republicans need to quit with all the subliminal messages. Michelle in the red, looking like the devil, and Cindy in the pink looking Angelic. Please! Still not going to help Old Man Mc-CANE. This thing was over the moment Senator Clinton suspended her campaign. Not even the Tribune can hide the truth about Sin-dy. Its coming out.

There is really nothing you guys can do about this. You chose a picture of Mrs. Obama looking like your sterotypical evil Sapphire and the shot of Cindy as though she were sweet and kind. Ok, you probably are fooling all those that have needed to be fooled since 1776. But you can't fool all of us. Cindy is no where near as educated and acomplished as Mrs. Obama. You guys are now in panic mode. Yes, an African-American Man will be president. Get over yourselves. You are not superior and you never were.

Michelle Obama is outraged -- even decades later -- by the fact that she had to take out loans to attend Princeton and Harvard Law School. It took her years to pay them back, something she has bitterly complained about in numerous public appearances.
Imagine that! First she had to borrow money to go to two of the world’s most selective and expensive schools -- schools whose graduates usually do pretty well in the world -- and then they had the audacity to make her pay it back. Despite being the poster child for opportunity and privilege in America, I expect we’ll see Shelly continuing her tirades of dissatisfaction and resentment. She began the presidential race in an angry mood, and, despite her husband’s extraordinary success, it looks like she’ll finish it angry, too. What a wonderful and inspiring first lady she would make. My God.

Nothing like some free PR for the St. Obama campaign. Lets continue the lovefest!

Cindy McCains elusive and quiet demeanor is what makes her so very scary. She is loaded, but unlike Theresa Hines Kerry, she doesn't say much. Michelle on the other hand, has worked her way through and I admire her tenacity and honesty. She holds her own and backs up her words.
Cindy, just sits in the background with her checkbook.

cindy just got busted again stealing "family" recipes from hershey. cindy isn't just a recovering drug addict who stole meds from her own medical relief organization, she is also a kleptomaniac. why won't the liberal media report on cindy's dark side?

Michelle Obama has earned her negative ratings because she is a negative person. She is 44 years old and will not change. She will just start acting as though she is not negative.

This past Sunday, during NBC's tribute to Tim Russert, Tom Brokaw could hardly hold back his tears when he told us what Tim always said, "What a great country this is."

I wonder what Tim thought when he read the column in The New Yorker about Michelle Obama's comments when she spoke in South Carolina at an A.M.E. Baptist church in Georgetown:

Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we’re a divided country, we’re a country that is “just downright mean,” we are “guided by fear,” we’re a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. “We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day,” she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. “Folks are just jammed up, and it’s gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I’m young. Forty-four!”

Mrs. McCain looks and acts like a first lady should look and act. Obama's need a great deal of coaching on speaking, talking, and much more, they do not act like a president and first lady as do Cindy and John McCain.Again, obama has no experience, especially foreign policy.

Your article says that more people have a negative view of Mrs. Obama than Mrs. McCain. But look at the pictures you chose: Michelle is in the middle of a speech, her face contorted as if she's angry. Cindy's picture looks like she posed for her yearbook. It's no wonder people think negatively of Michelle Obama.

If you want a robot, Cindy is your woman. If you want an intelligent woman, Michelle should be your choice.
There is no comparison.

Michelle Obama going on The View is like Barack Obama going on Jay Leno. Offer the softest questions with set-up, funny answers. Don't touch about any negativity. If the Obama's want to really show their worth, take a chance and stop by David Letterman's show. He's the only one who took Paris Hilton to task. And she's got nothing.

Shame on you for using a photo of Michelle Obama scowling and one of Cindy McCain smiling. Michelle Obama will be a great First Lady. It's unfortunate that the press is making her out to be a monster. She is an accomplished and good woman and will be an asset to our nation.

i love cindy mccain, she's really pretty.

Why is it that Cindy McCain's history as a drug addict and thief are not being brought to the forefront of conversations about the candidate's wives? If not for her connection to John McCain, she could have been a felon. All you need to do is search google on Mrs. McCain and the details regarding her drug addition and stealing from the AVMT charity she founded are readily available.

The fact is, the Republican Party only knows how to wage war with personal low blows, whereas Democrats choose to pursue a campaign on the issues facing America.

Obama's need a great deal of coaching on speaking, talking, and much more,
Posted by: m l | June 18, 2008 10:09 AM

Unlike the McBushs. Why coach speaking when you don't have any thoughts and aren't allowed to speak anyway. The republicans love the stepford wives. Look cute..have a rich daddy...and politicians will leave their disabled wives for you.

yeah...not to harp, but the photo thing is ridiculous. if it didn't occur to someone that using those pictures was a horrible idea, then i don't know if that is worse or better than someone deliberately using these two very-polar portrayals.

Especially considering Cindy McCain has had pill popping troubles in her recent past (and John McCain fidelity troubles?).

The Chicago Tribune writers/editors: Tsk, tsk, tsk!
You found an emotionally charged Michelle and a posed Cindy to show your Republican roots. This tactic will not work and you should forsake it for the good of the country. Cindy has not revealed all of her tax income from previous years. There's a lot to learn about her and it won't be pretty! So, leadership at the Tribune, stop trying to bash Michelle because the American people are watching!

It really doesn't matter what picture you use of M. Obama. She has made it clear numerous times since this election process began that she is an angry,racist, elitist person that has not been able to come to grips with her heritage....She appears a lot more concerned about race and racism than any of us typical white folks....She does not compliment B.Obama's chances to get elected...Sorry, a quick makeover will not erase 44 years of bitterness fed on by Rev. Wright and blaming all the white folks for indescretions that happened years ago...we all have scars but unfortunately she carries them on her sleeve for all the world to see....The View is a happy up program and what we see there is not what we will get as First Lady...They talk change but no one ses it in her. Sorry!!!..

this women is not only attractive, but brilliant. remember she is new to this big political arena, but she is her husbands oak tree in this crazy landscape.

Would the mythical liberal media in this country cover Michelle Obama differently if she were an heiress who stole meds from her own organization and twice stole recipes and played them off as her own?
Why is Cindy's McCain's troubled past off limits?

Shame on you for printing these obviously biased photos. Is this fair and balanced reporting? Why don't you also inform the public of Cindy McCain's past addiction to Percocet and Vicodin, and the fact that she stole drugs from her medical organization to feed her habit. The public needs to know this information.

kaye c.......I see that now Hillary has lost her bid...that "I support the democrats" line has gone out the window. Is it you are just a sore loser? or were you one of those oh so tricky republicans who liked to stir the pot? Oh...and coming to grips with her heritage? I see you haven't come to grips with your either.

To: Bill R. Hello again...First off Obama will never get elected without HRC on his ticket...There are too many different sects of people he cannot reach..Trust me my Democratic values are still here and going strong...My point is what we need to do to make sure we DO have a Democrat for President...Micheel Obama is bitter and it comes thru loud and clear...As a professional person I do appreciate her accomplishments in the work place. The point is as First Lady she has to be able to relate to all people...not just blacks and their strife..I live in Texas and I hear more and more than voters are afraid we will be voting for reversed racism. I have black friends and co-workers and I also hear it from them..Some even say they will not vote for Obama due to his wife..That is sad.. This perception must change before the election . Otherwise our vote for Obama will end up being a vote for McCain....

Posted by: kaye c. | June 18, 2008 11:40 AM

Please inform me as to what it is she has said that leads you to believe she is a racist. This smells of racism alright, but not reverse racism as you call it. Please be specific because most just generalize what they hear from talking points.

I think the pictures are quite telling, look how beautiful Michelle looks without a drop of makeup, if Cindy was to not have on makeup she would look more like McSame.

swamp...I won't tell anyone you changed the photo. But you have to wonder....you didn't notice this before?

Nobody knew who michelle obama was until about a year ago or less after she made her 'proud' remark whereas Cindy Mccain has been out there for a longer period because of her husband who has been in the public eye for decades. Same can be said for mr obama who was a virtual unknown before his bid.

PLEASE get past the pictures and scratch the surface of what these women are really made of!

Cindy is a true American mother who is dedicated to her family, and who, like Mrs. Obama, has been "proud to be an American" for all of her life, not only just recently, as Mrs. Obama has stated. Her own son is in the military, and she is the perfect example of what a true First Lady should be. She would be an asset to this country in every way in that role.

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, Mother Teresa convinced Cindy 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.

In recent years, three organizations in particular have been the subject of her international focus: HALO, Operation Smile, and CARE.

As a member of the Board of Trustees for the HALO Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to landmine removal and weapons destruction in war-torn countries, Cindy has traveled to numerous countries to see firsthand the impact HALO has had by removing landmines. She recently returned from her second visit to Cambodia. She has also traveled to Sri Lanka, Mozambique, and Angola.

Cindy also serves on the Board of Directors for Operation Smile, a non-profit organization whose mission is to repair cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities for children around the world. Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided free reconstructive surgery to more than 100,000 children and young adults in 25 countries. Cindy has assisted on volunteer missions to Morocco, India, and Vietnam. She is scheduled to return to Vietnam on another mission during the summer of 2008.

Cindy is currently on a leave of absence from the Board of Directors of CARE, USA, which works to fight global poverty, particularly among women. She traveled to Tanzania in February 2007 with CARE.

While she typically leaves politics to her husband, Cindy was an instrumental part in her husband's run for the presidency in 2000. That year, she was chosen to represent the state of Arizona at the Republican National Convention as the Chairwoman of the Arizona Delegation. During the campaign, she traveled extensively, speaking to groups across America about Senator McCain and her passion for volunteering to help the less fortunate.

In addition to her humanitarian work, Cindy is the chairman of her family's business, Hensley & Company, which is one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the nation.

Her formal education includes an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master's in Special Education from the University of Southern California. As a student, Cindy participated in pilot programs testing Movement Therapy, which is now a widely accepted standard for working with severely disabled children. After receiving her degrees from USC, she began her teaching career at Agua Fria High School in Arizona where she continued her work with disabled children.

Cindy is a true former drug addict. See the wikipedia.com entry on her. She was stealing drugs from the hospital that she did charity work for.

It amazes me that conservatives will try to bash Michelle Obama when most know the grimy details of Cindy and John McCain's beginnings. She was one of many John was seeing (while still married) after learning his 'once-model' 1st wife had been disfigured. Cindy happened to be the one with the most money and political connections. Anyone wondered what FOX would do with this if the story belonged to the Obama's?

Andita, you got it wrong. It was the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT), the charity she founded that she stole the painkillers from.


Ok Cindy McCain is a rich lady who was born rich. She has no clue what America is all about. None! I was raised by a single mother earning less than $30,000.00. Sometimes I felt frustrated with this nation, but always proud and I love it. To the extent that I am now a veteran of Iraq and continue serving in the militar. Therefore, Michelle is the woman whom I identify with.

Its great how we are all smart enought to notice when subliminal messages being made by the republicans but it doesnt matter how much we notice and point it out, its going to continue to happen because thats the only McCain can get any media shine. If you want to talk about negative then how about you find me an interview with Mr McCain where he doesnt speak about Barack negatively and bash his policies. McCain has shot at Obama more than an AK-47 in southcentral L.A. But no matter how many times they bring up Rev. Wright or disrespect Barack's wife, he always takes it in stride and keeps it moving. Imagine what he would be doing if there wasn't any institutionalized racism.

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