The Most Colorful Presidential Campaign Spouses
1 year ago
A look at the candidate wives who faced criticism before Ann Romney and Michelle Obama
The firestorm sparked by remarks about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife Ann, have re-ignited the debate over how much coverage and criticism the families of presidential candidates should have to endure. Below is a look back at some of the most colorful presidential campaign spouses over the years.
Rachel Donelson Jackson (1767-1828)
The wife of Andrew Jackson, who was elected president in 1828, is widely recognized as the first political spouse to be the target of high profile, negative attacks. Jackson, one of the first divorcees to become First Lady, (and one of only a handful of divorcees to hold the title to date) initially married the future president in 1791. It was later discovered that her divorce had not been finalized at the time, requiring them to remarry in 1794. Jackson’s political opponents seized upon what has been dubbed unintentional bigamy on the part of the couple, making issue of it during the presidential race. Tragically Mrs. Jackson would die shortly after purchasing her gown for her husband’s inaugural. President Jackson would blame the criticism she endured during the campaign for her death.
Florence Mabel Harding (1860-1924)