WASHINGTON - The presidential candidates are hot on the campaign trail, and you often find their spouses right by their side. So what is it like to be the partner to someone running for the most powerful political position in the country?
Significant others are expected to be on the campaign trail, are scrutinized by the media and work tirelessly to support their spouse as they work towards the goal of becoming the next President of the United States. So let’s take a look at a few of the people who might be the next First Lady or First Husband.
Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, was born in Slovenia in 1970 and began modeling at 16 years old. She had a successful career in modeling that eventually took her to call New York home in the 90s. She’s been married to The Donald since 2005 and they have one son together, Barron. She launched her own line of jewelry in 2010 with QVC and a skincare collection in 2013.
Ted Cruz met his wife Heidi when they were both working for George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000. They married in 2001 and she has described her relationship with Ted as “love at first sight.” They have two daughters, Caroline, who is 7, and Catherine, who is 5. Heidi has her MBA from Harvard Business School and she’s currently on a leave of absence from her career to support Ted on the campaign trail.
Hillary and Bill Clinton would make history if Hillary wins the race, not only because Hillary would be the first female president, but Bill would be the First Husband. Bill and Hillary met when they were both studying at Yale Law School. They married in 1975 with just 15 guests. They have one daughter together, Chelsea, and are now grandparents as well. Bill and Hillary have worked for each other on the campaign trail through the years.
Bernie Sanders met his wife Jane in 1981, the night he won his mayoral race in Burlington, Vermont. They married seven years later and they have four children together from previous marriages along with seven grandchildren. Jane has a doctoral degree and has held various positions in higher education. She has also worked for her husband in various roles from administrative assistant to policy advisor.
Every political couple is different, but there is no doubt that a spouse who isn’t running for office will still put in a tremendous amount of effort on the campaign trail. I spoke with relationship expert, Cheyenne Bostock, about why they are willing to do this.
The sacrifice is knowing what is going to come from all of this investment of time,” said Bostock. “When you think about the big picture and the goal, which is bettering the community, bettering the United States and empowering other families to work together towards common goals.”
Do you think spouses get enough credit for all they do to support their other half on the campaign trail? You can discuss with me on Twitter at @RonicaCleary.