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Two different models for First Lady

Posted by Joanna Weiss  June 19, 2008 10:51 AM

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Michelle Obama played up her campaign-headliner status yesterday on "The View," fist-bumping the ladies on the panel and talking about her eye-catching wardrobe. This morning, Cindy McCain did a more low-key turn on "Good Morning America." She appeared in a short segment taped in Vietnam, where McCain is doing charity work for Operation Smile, a group that helps provide operations for children with cleft palates. She talked with ABC's Kate Snow about her husband and the daughter she adopted from Bangladesh.

These women clearly represent two different first-lady molds, and it will be interesting -- in this campaign year filled with gender talk -- to see which type the public warms to as the race goes on. Obama talked yesterday about taking cues from popular first lady Laura Bush, but it was McCain who seemed more naturally cut from L.B. dough: She was soft-spoken and charity-centered, and unapologetic about lingering in the background. "I don't think I'm very mysterious," she said. "I've led my life differently. I'm not the candidate, I've never been front and center."

Needless to say, Obama's "View" performance, fist bump and all, has so far generated much more buzz. But if there are headlines tomorrow, they'll surely focus on the ongoing excitement over Obama's four-month-old statement about being "really proud of my country" for the first time. "I don't know why she said what she said," McCain said of Obama, when prompted on "GMA.". "All I know is that I've always been proud of my country."

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