In this year's run for the White House, Michelle Obama has received more coverage than Cindy McCain. Enough has been negative that Mrs. Obama has launched a public relations offensive. How much do we know about either potential First Lady? Why should a presidential candidate's spouse be the object of so much attention? Also, Congress agrees to re-write wiretapping rules, and entrepreneurial barons made the banana the most popular fruit in the US, but that household habit may the next victim of rising prices.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The House has approved what amounts to a major White House victory on the contentious issue of wiretapping without court orders. Before today's vote, President Bush urged passage because of the bill's value to the intelligence community in determining terrorists' activities and identities. Eric Lichtblau, who covers the Justice Department for the New York Times, is author of Bush's Law, about the history of wiretapping in the war on terror.
In White House history, there's been more than one kind of First Lady. Laura Bush and Bess Truman, for example, have played very different roles and projected very different images from Eleanor Roosevelt or Hilary Clinton. The next First Lady will be either Cindy McCain or Michelle Obama, and American voters are sizing them up along with their husbands. "Fair game" is what one Republican group calls Obama, leading her husband to demand that his critics "lay off my wife." Though Cindy McCain says spouses and families should not be "fair game," Mrs. Obama has taken a lot more media heat, even from Mrs. McCain. If they get the White House they are likely to play different roles and project different images. Is that what makes for differing treatment? We look at the news coverage, the commentators and the blogosphere.
Carroll Doherty, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (@CarrollDoherty)
Gina McCauley, Founder, MichelleObamaWatch.com
Mona Charen, Ethics and Public Policy Institute / National Review Online (@monacharenEPPC)
Wayne Bennett, TheFieldNegro.com (@fieldnegro)
Kathy Spillar, Executive Editor, Ms magazine
Americans eat as many bananas as apples and oranges combined. Given that bananas are grown far away and have a shelf life of just two weeks, it's astonishing that they've become a cheap staple. But that's a thing—both good and bad--that may be coming to an end. Gasoline is more than $4 a gallon. Bananas may soon rise to $1 a pound, according to an op-ed piece in this week's New York Times by Dan Koeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Change the World.
Dan Koeppel, author, 'Banana'