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How Deeply Does a Wife Influence Her Husband's Worldview?

Here's an excerpt from Ethical Ambition; note how the first thing Bell chooses to talk about in discussing his new wife is her career in activism:

Where might we find the influence of Michelle Obama over the past four years?

Recall the frequent statement of Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman Obama picked to nominate to the Supreme Court:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.

I wonder how the "thinking" of "the real America" influences Obama on issues like the legality of gender-based abortion and Obamacare's mandates that religious institutions pay for contraception.

Spengler analyzed this phenomenon back in February of 2008:

The desperation, frustration and disappointment visible on Michelle Obama's face are not new to the candidate's wife; as Steve Sailer, Rod Dreher and other commentators have noted, they were the theme of her undergraduate thesis, on the subject of "blackness" at Princeton University. No matter what the good intentions of Princeton, which founded her fortunes as a well-paid corporate lawyer, she wrote, "My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'Blackness' than ever before. I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong."

Never underestimate the influence of a wife who bitch-slaps her husband in public. Early in Obama's campaign, Michelle Obama could not restrain herself from belittling the senator. "I have some difficulty reconciling the two images I have of Barack Obama. There's Barack Obama the phenomenon. He's an amazing orator, Harvard Law Review, or whatever it was, law professor, best-selling author, Grammy winner. Pretty amazing, right? And then there's the Barack Obama that lives with me in my house, and that guy's a little less impressive," she told a fundraiser in February 2007.

"For some reason this guy still can't manage to put the butter up when he makes toast, secure the bread so that it doesn't get stale, and his five-year-old is still better at making the bed than he is." New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported at the time, "She added that the TV version of Barack Obama sounded really interesting and that she'd like to meet him sometime." Her handlers have convinced her to be more tactful since then.