Breaking news! A parallel universe does indeed exist, and either John Harwood or I inhabit it. The irrefutable evidence came this evening, as Harwood of CNBC/NYT claimed that Michelle Obama will be—albeit slightly–more of an asset to her husband's campaign than will Cindy McCain to that of her spouse.
Here was Harwood's response on this evening's Race for the White House to a question from host David Gregory about the respective roles the two spouses will play in the coming campaign.
JOHN HARWOOD: Yes, look, I don't know how you match up spouses, and obviously people generally speaking aren't going to vote on that. Cindy McCain looks a little bit more exotic, she's a little richer than Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama has a little bit more of the average, middle-class housewife look about her, she's got young kids. So, I'm not sure there's a big advantage for either side, if I had to give any I'd say slight advantage to Michelle Obama.
View video here.
Surely it would be impossible to assess Michelle Obama's impact on the campaign without discussing:
- her "first time I'm proud of this country" remark?
- her claim that this country is "downright mean"?
- the way she griped to women of modest income about the way she and Barack have to get by?
- the curious way in which her hospital administrator's salary more than doubled when her husband became a senator?
Actually, it would be possible, since Harwood didn't touch on any of those issues in awarding that "slight advantage" to Michelle. I imagine Cindy McCain might be flattered by Harwood's depiction of her as "exotic," but go ahead and beam me up if more Americans will relate to Mrs. Obama than to Mrs. McCain.