THEY are not elected, but don’t let that fool you.

First ladies carry a ton of weight in any administration, with a few exceptions.

Even in the campaign, the presidential candidate’s wife can spell victory or defeat in the polls.

This election is as much a battle for votes between reelectionist Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney as it is between their wives Ann and Michelle.

Who has the upper hand in the hustings will have the better chance of re-arranging the drapery in the White House as its first lady at the start of the new year.

If it is Ann, expect a new scenery; if it’s Michelle, she may choose not to re-arrange the furniture or decor.

But more than being a hostess, the first lady will stray into policy or affairs of state, and that goes with the territory.

Remember, she will have the president’s ears when he wakes up in the morning, and the last one before he goes to bed.

The Oval Office may be his playground but the bedroom is her castle.

She who rocks the cradle rules the world.

On the campaign trail, Ann Romney is a surprisingly strong pitcher for the support of women that has so far eluded her husband.

“You can trust Mitt,” Ann told a rapturous Republican convention in Tampa, Florida.

“He will take us to a better place, just as he took me safely home from that dance...Give him that chance.”

Ann was reminiscing about the couple’s high school romance, in an unabashed bid for women’s votes in her emotional prime-time speech, one of the most-applauded speakers in the GOP convention that nominated her husband as the party’s presidential nominee.

When her turn came Tuesday at the Democratic national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Michelle Obama made the case for the re-election of her husband.


Like Ann before her, the first lady conveyed a personal tone and touch, with a special appeal to women, who compose more than half of the delegates.

Like other big-name Democrats who spoke, Michelle did not address the disappointment of many skeptical Obama voters, among them the once majority of women and youth.

Their displeasure is apparently based on the President’s handling of the economy.

In this courtship for votes from the feminine powerhouse which pitch will prevail: Michelle’s struggles or Ann’s success?

The better-halves are only a subtext to the battle royale being waged by the two principal protagonists.

Rabid Romneyites think they are on the cusp of reaching the promised land.

We’ll see.

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