I love presidential election years. I know, I know: many people hate them, but they just have a excitement for me. It’s our American system at work! 2012 will be especially interesting to me, since I’m hoping for a change from our current leadership.
We’ve heard quite a bit about the candidates. How about some info about the potential first ladies? Today, let’s look at two of the front-runners’ wives.
Ann Davies was born April 16, 1949, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Her father was a businessman, and the family rarely went to church, although they went on occasion at Ann’s request. She attended a private girls’ school in Michigan, and she got to know Mitt Romney during her school years (he attended a private boys’ school in the same town). They informally agreed after Mitt’s senior prom to marry. Mitt’s dad was governor of Michigan.
After high school, Mitt was on a 2-year mission in France (2-year missions being standard for members of the Mormon church). During this time, Ann joined the Mormon church as well. The two married in 1969, three months after Mitt returned from France.
Between 1970 and 1981, Ann and Mitt had five sons: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, and Craig. She also finished her college degree during those years, majoring in French.
In 1998, Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In 2008, she fought breast cancer. She has battled MS with a combination of traditional and Eastern treatments, both of which she has claimed are very helpful. She enjoys riding horses, and has credited horseback riding with much of her improvement from MS.
Ann is dedicated to improving children’s welfare through various avenues. After 42 years, she is still the apple of Mitt’s eye: “I think at least 99 percent of my life could be explained as Mitt trying to impress Ann,” he has said.
Callista Bisek was born March 4, 1966, in Wisconsin, where she was valedictorian of her high school class. She graduated from Luther College in Iowa, and went to work as a congressional staffer in Washington, D.C., in 1988. She is a life-long Roman Catholic.
Callista began a relationship with Newt Gingrich, 23 years her senior, in 1993 (he was still married to second wife Marianne at the time), and the two married in 2000. Callista enjoys playing French horn in the volunteer City of Fairfax Band, and she sings as a paid alto in the choir at her church, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. She and Newt have authored several books together, and recently she wrote a children’s book as well.
Callista Gingrich with her father at her 2000 wedding to Newt Gingrich
Callista is known for her jewelry, polished suits, perfectly-in-place hair, and bright lipstick. “She actually describes herself as being a cross between Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush with just a slight bit of Jackie Kennedy tossed in,” Newt Gingrich told ABC.
He added that his wife “would be very musical in the White House and music education orientated” and “she would likely want to focus on cancer awareness, with family members having been impacted by the disease.”
Who’s your choice for First Lady?