October 23rd, 2007
01:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Shriver: First ladies should influence husbands

Watch Wolf Blitzer's interview with Shriver in the Situation Room.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Maria Shriver, wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday she hopes political spouses influence their husbands’ decisions and strategies.

“Do they influence their husband? I hope so. I hope so,” California's first lady said. “I hope that that is the kind of marriage that political leaders have, where they listen to their wife or to their husband.”

Shriver, who is hosting a joint discussion Wednesday in Long Beach, California with the spouses of the leading presidential candidates, also said she believes first ladies are taking on more substantive roles than in the past.

“I think the days of the ceremonial first lady are over. These are independent women. Several of them have had professional lives long before they found themselves in this situation,” she said. “And they don't need advisers to say, ‘Don't say this and don't say that.’”

"And they are not shy about saying that they have influence and that they are involved in the strategy of the campaign," she added.

Of the presidential candidate's spouses, only Judith Giuliani, wife of Republican Rudy Giuliani, and former president Bill Clinton, husband of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, are not slated to attend Shriver's event. Both cited scheduling conflicts.

– CNN Producer Xuan Thai


Filed under: Maria Shriver
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Dave, Alpharetta, GA

    I am a white, moderate male that lives in GA (Red State!) and I am VOTING FOR HILLARY.

    One reason why is the insight she had to the office when a qualified leader ran it – Bill Clinton.

    In addition, she has shown leadership well before seeking the office. Why do you think Republicans are so afraid of her? Such a classy group of white, rich guys.

    Go Hillary!

    October 23, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Bill , Covington,LA

    I would hope that someone would remind Ms. Shriver that the spouses of presidents are NOT elected officials.

    October 23, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Lance in Monrovia CA

    Does America really need another dynasty in the White House? Just because you're the spouse of a President, does that really give you the authority, the knowledge, the steel to be a President yourself? If I'm a brain surgeon, does that give my wife the skills to do surgery or even comment effectively on a brain illness beyond a most trivial way?

    Watch this video on youtube, "History Repeating", then tell me that political dynasties in America is what America needs right now.

    October 23, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Lance in Monrovia CA

    Does America really need another dynasty in the White House? Just because you're the spouse of a President, does that really give you the authority, the knowledge, the steel to be a President yourself? If I'm a brain surgeon, does that give my wife the skills to do surgery or even comment effectively on a brain illness beyond a most trivial way?

    Watch this video on youtube, "History Repeating", then tell me that political dynasties in America is what America needs right now.
    Does America really need another dynasty in the White House? Just because you're the spouse of a President, does that really give you the authority, the knowledge, the steel to be a President yourself? If I'm a brain surgeon, does that give my wife the skills to do surgery or even comment effectively on a brain illness beyond a most trivial way?

    Watch this video on youtube, "History Repeating", then tell me that political dynasties in America is what America needs right now.

    Here is the link! It's two minutes of your time!

    October 23, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Sandollar, Tempe, Az.

    Hey Bill, Did you know that the Sec. of State, President's Chief of Staff, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sec. of Defense, etc. are not elected officials either?

    October 23, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Mary Beth Armstrong

    I am an black woman, an have been a Democrat all my life. My parents were Democrats, and so were my grandparents. I voted for Bill Clinton in the 90s, as well as Gore and Kerry in 2000 and 2004.

    But no more. This time, I'm voting Republican. Hillary Clinton does not represent me, my interest, or the interests of blacks and women. Nor do any of the other Democratic candidates, who are simply capitalizing on a core constituency (African Americans) who they have taken for granted for too long.

    October 23, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. AJ, Chicago IL

    As I have said before and will continue to say, Hillary has no political experience to be president. In fact, none of the candidates have any political experience to be president. Being president takes judgement, character, conviction, and leadership. Let history be your guide. Look at past presidents from Washington to Bush Jr.

    Hillary has exposure to the presidency. Spouses have impact on household decisions. Spouses are not elected officials. I'm sure when Arnold has a policy decision he doesn't run to Maria to ask her what she would do (so to with Bill Clinton). Stop buying into the fact that Hillary is claiming to be in the White House conference (and engaged in robust conversation) room every time a major Bill Clinton policy was discussed during the Clinton Presidency.

    October 23, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Don, Los Angeles CA

    Well then Ms. Shriver, you should assume partial responsibility for the utter failure of your husband. He has gone back on his promises to improve LAUSD and he is all for the continuation of illegals coming in to CA and taking advantage of the tax payor public services. All Arnold cares about is changing the constitution so he can run for president. He has done NOTHING to improve the lives of California residents. LAUSD is one of the most poorest performing school districts in the country yet it is in one of the most affluent states in the country. Gangs have all but taken over the San Fernando Valley and the crime rates continue to escalate. Look at whats happening now. There aren't enough Fire Fighters to fight the wild fires burning across the state and why you ask? Because Arnold failed to investigate charges of workplace mistreatment, and violation of civil rights laws. Many have quit. That is what your husband has done for CA.

    October 23, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Ryan, New York, NY

    I would hope that someone would remind Ms. Shriver that the spouses of presidents are NOT elected officials.
    Bill , Covington,LA : October 23, 2007 1:40 pm

    Neither are cabinet members and they don't just influence policy, they pretty much make it, so what's your point?

    October 23, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Karen,nj

    I can't stand that Shriver, she looks like a skeleton with bad make-up. I can't stand her husband either with his stupid speech accent.

    October 23, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Phil Chicago, Ill

    First ladies should influence their husbands – great.

    What, Maria, is the role of the first, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th woman-on-the-side? Which one qualifies as "first lady"? The one sleeping with the President or Hillary?

    October 23, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. RightyTighty

    Shiver is a Kennedy and as liberal as Hillary. The first mates influence should not be visible outside the bedroom.

    October 23, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Ray, Rochester

    I am a white, moderate male that lives in GA (Red State!) and I am VOTING FOR HILLARY.

    One reason why is the insight she had to the office when a qualified leader ran it – Bill Clinton.

    In addition, she has shown leadership well before seeking the office. Why do you think Republicans are so afraid of her? Such a classy group of white, rich guys.

    Go Hillary!

    Posted By Dave, Alpharetta, GA : October 23, 2007 1:27 pm

    Dave,

    Republicans afraid of Hillary??? You're kidding right? Republicans are salivating at the thought of the Dems nominating this woman. She has the highest negatives of ANY candidate running for president in American history!

    Republicans are praying the wins the nomination.

    October 23, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I think we all try to convey our point about how Maria being a first lady doesn't qualify her to be the governor – and thats true....and yet...the Hillary excuse machine will defend her...at every turn....there are Hillraisers....(who will sleep in the Lincoln bedroom...yep the Clintons did that in the past) and then theres the Hillmorons...the people who defend her in the blogs

    October 23, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. bprossersme

    You are a dear, but please don't turn him into a Democrat. Have you listened to the hard-core evil coming from the Senate lately? Democrats are no more, only evil shadow managers left in their places. soras

    October 23, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Chris, FL

    Must get boring watching your crops grow Dave.

    I seriously would like to know your definition of leadership? Exactly what aspects of Bills presidency did you find a strong showing of leadership? What leadership has Hilary shown?

    I'm a white, moderate male as well. So bring on the info and convince a fellow voter to go your way.

    October 23, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Oh, I'm sorry, did Maria Shriver run for office? Is she on the governor's payroll as a consultant?

    No?

    Then she should nippit-nippit in the advice giving department.

    I don't care how "independent" she claims to be, when I want Maria Shriver's advice, consent and leadership qualities, I'll ask her to kindly put her name on the ballot and go through the meatgrinder process like every other candidate.

    No more "Hillaries" riding their spouses' coattails.

    October 23, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Then she should nippit-nippit in the advice giving department.

    I see so you think she isn't allowed to speak her mind? Or she can't give advice because she is a woman? Even President Lincoln and FDR relied on advice from their wives when faced with a dilemma. Whether a paid consultant or not, doesn't matter, she should be allow to speak, it is your choice to listen or not to listen

    October 23, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. Jack, Chicago

    All spouses of presidential candidates need to be reminded that we are only electing one president, not two. They should have no role in forming policy in any way.

    And Ryan from Ney York:
    Cabinent members may not be elected, but at least they are approved by the Senate.

    October 23, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Laura Bush, an influence on Jet-Pilot?!

    It would explain a lot!

    You go, Stepford Librarian!!!!

    October 23, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  21. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Quite a wrong view, Ms. Governatrix, because voters elect officials to exercise the powers of office, not their spouses, who should not be parties to the confidential information of government.

    October 23, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  22. John, Long Beach, CA

    It's probably OK for spouses of local elected officials to discuss subjects like poverty, community development, etc. However, when it comes to national security and classified information, spouses do NOT have a need to know since they have NO OFFICAL capacity. (How many spouses actually have Top Secret + clearances?)

    Mrs Rodham is claiming extensive presidential experience just by "observing." Was she present during all of the NSA briefings as "First Lady"? I certainly hope not – no spouse should ever be present.

    This smacks of a "I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night." commercial!

    This country is ready for a change – but no more Kennedys, Bushs, or Clintons please! Surely there are better qualified candidates in both parties.

    October 23, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. Liberal Chic

    Yeah, I would have loved to have seen Judi Giuliani there. Hee hee.

    October 24, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  24. Denise, Courtenay , BC

    Whether any of you like it or not, many husbands and wives talk...they discuss things that are important to them and use each other as sounding boards. I will bet my last dollar that EVERY Presidents wife has influenced them in some way. Some just choose/chose to keep it private. EVERYONE is influenced by people they love and/or respect. Presidents are only human remember...

    October 24, 2007 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  25. Carl, Dallas, Texas

    It's real easy.... all she has to do is tell "THE TERMINATOR" that she will not have any fun in the bedroom anymore until he does whatever she says, even if it is policy.

    October 24, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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