What can we tell about the possible future leader of the free world from his or her spouse? Barbara Kantrowitz, a senior editor at Newsweek magazine, stopped by this morning to discuss just that. WATCH VIDEO. Barbara says that marriage is a prism of one's character, and especially when it comes to a possible President, it is a very pertinent factor for judgment. Furthermore, the spouse can be very influential behind the scenes, as demonstrated by powerful first ladies of the past like Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton.
We didn't have time in the segment to get into all the details, but Barbara devised a ratings system for all of the marriages. The categories on which she evaluated them are:
Charisma: Are they compelling to the public?
Stability: How solid is their relationship?
Chemistry: Do they have a palpable romantic spark?
Visibility: Can they keep their political and personal scandals out of the headlines?
Synergy: Is the candidate's spouse a campaign asset -- or a liability?
So who passes Barbara's test? The couple that Barbara's rates the best is John and Elizabeth Edwards, with an overall rating of 4.8. Rudy and Judith Giuliani came in last, with a score of 2.4. Another interesting point that Barbara illustrates is the fact that all of the top Democratic candidates have only been married once, while the top GOP contenders have only one single-marriage guy (Mitt Romney). Does this tell us anything about who will eventually be elected, or be popular in the Oval Office? Only time will tell. For example, George W. Bush and Laura Bush, by most accounts, have a very stable marriage, but Bush's approval ratings are some of the lowest in history. And the Edwards' are passing the marriage test with flying colors, but John Edwards is still mired in third place among the Democratic contenders. So we have to stay tuned to see if any of Barbara's theories come into play in the race for '08.