The following is from the June 15, 2008, edition of The Singapore Electronic Newpaper. SMU Political Scientist Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

No, not the candidates but their wives

By Jeanmarie Tan

Both possess beauty, brains and impeccable style, lending a welcome touch of flash on top of emotional support to their husbands' gruelling campaigns.

Both are also not content to play second fiddle, and are capable of making their own headlines.

And both are increasingly realising the importance of their image in the other great battle of every US presidential race: The first ladies contest.

But Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain are as different as, well, black and white. . .

Calvin Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told Reuters that Cindy falls under the "classic mould" and has her own version of the "Nancy Reagan stare," the adoring gaze that the former first lady perfected.

He added: "If you look at Michelle Obama, it appears that throughout their married life, she and her husband have been very much equals."

Read the full story.

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