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Who’s Whispering Sweet Nothings in the President’s Ear?

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In Dr. Lauren A. Wright’s latest book, On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today (Praeger, April 18, 2016), she argues that first ladies are far more than a decorative political spouse, but rather an essential team player who is mobilized to enhance the public reputation of a presidential candidate and their policy agenda and, according to her data, they make a profound influence on public opinion. No first lady better typifies this than Michelle Obama who made more speeches and public appearances in her first six years than any other presidential spouse in history. The book also documents the growing presence of the presidents’ wives in the communications strategies of the last three administrations (Clinton, Bush…

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