This book explores the possible reasoning and motivation behind why political wives stay with their husbands after the husbands cheat. Hillary Clinton couldn’t have known in 1998 how her husband’s high-profile philandering would play out. Would he be rehabilitated in the public eye? She took the gamble. Had she left the marriage, she might have become the spurned wife of a retired politician, instead of the history-making first woman to run for the U.S. presidency on a major party ticket. Looking back on the path chosen by nine political wives, we have the evidence to see a pattern—as old as the dynastic maneuverings of England’s medieval queens. Why They Stay argues that the women married to the “royalty” of our times—politicians—make similar cold calculations in order to hold onto their “thrones” and their family’s history-making potential. The author draws from multiple sources that span the Roosevelts’ marriage to the more recent scandal involving Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin (wife of “sexter,” Anthony Weiner) and more.
It’s a story we’ve heard often: Prominent politicians suddenly find themselves ensnared in humiliatingly public sex scandals, but their wives decide to stay with them. With a prodigious amount of research and deft storytelling skill, Anne Michaud goes beyond the headlines and explores the stories of both spouses, on both sides of the Atlantic, revealing the pain, the loyalty, and the calculations behind the wives’ decisions. Every political couple should read it.
Anne Michaud breathes life into headlines that I thought I knew so well with fresh details about well-known political spouses like Hillary Clinton, Silda Wall Spitzer and Huma Abedin. Her thorough reporting helped cast them into an entirely new light and see how their personal struggles reflect the internal struggles women have faced for centuries.
Marriage is a mysterious thing and political unions are even more so. In the engrossing and important Why They Stay Anne Michaud peers into the heart of some of the most famously troubled political marriages of the past 100 years in an attempt to understand why accomplished women ranging from Hillary Clinton to Silda Spitzer put up with men many others would have quickly kicked to the curb. Her answers will no doubt influence how we think about these scandals going forward – not to mention the ones still to come.