It's not just about the candidate in America, it's also about their nearest and dearest.
Ann Romney and Michelle Obama are being used in the 2012 presidential race, like no other spouses before them.
The first lady opened the Democrat convention in North Carolina yesterday, hard on the heels of Ann Romney's speech at last week's Republican gathering.
Political communications expert at Massey University Claire Robinson says political partners can no longer stand in the background.
"It's no longer simply enough just to be a presidential candidate, you have to have a really articulate and worthy spouse as well."
As to who's done a better job, Dr Robinson reckons Michelle Obama is the clear winner so far.
Photo: Michelle Obama (Getty Images)