Magazine article Newsweek

The Editor's Desk

Magazine article Newsweek

The Editor's Desk

Article excerpt

Byline: Jon Meacham

The roots of this week's cover can be traced back to Holly Bailey's observation that almost everything almost everybody seems to think about Cindy McCain is wrong. "Covering her husband's campaign, I've spent a lot of time observing Cindy McCain on the trail over the past year and I was always struck by how different she seemed offstage and away from the cameras," Holly says. "People always talk about how rich she is or how plastic she seems. But watching her interact with people, especially her kids, it was always clear there was more to her than this caricature that has really come to define her over the years. Like Michelle Obama, she chose to raise her kids outside Washington, and because of that has had to bear a lot of responsibilities and life-changing experiences largely on her own. I've found that Mrs. McCain isn't much different from her husband. He doesn't like talking about his service to the country because he thinks he's done nothing that anyone else wouldn't do. And when it comes to her own accomplishments, she's the same. She's traveled all over the world to do charity work, camping in jungles and in war zones to help people in need."

Holly finished up her reporting in Vietnam last week. In a hospital, a little girl and her family ran up to Mrs. McCain and hugged her. Mrs. McCain told Holly later that she had taken in the girl and her mother a few years ago, letting them live with her in Arizona for several months while the girl's cleft palate was fixed. (She had learned of the girl's plight from a waiter at her favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Phoenix. The man had come up to Cindy and asked for help, showing her only a picture.) "I think the story is a reminder that whether it's Cindy McCain or Michelle Obama, people shouldn't so easily try to generically categorize the women who would be First Lady," says Holly. …

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