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The Politics of Style

First ladies, dating back to Jacqueline Kennedy, and current candidates' wives ranked by respondents who said they are "stylish."

With the race for the White House in full swing, WWD wanted to see how Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain stack up against first ladies of the past, in terms of awareness, appeal, influence and, of course, style. E-Poll Market Research questioned 1,100 respondents on their perceptions of the style of first ladies dating to the Kennedy administration. More than 40 years later, Jackie reigns as the ultimate fashion icon. “She was the first to set the tone, in terms of fashion and style,” said Gerry Philpott, president and chief executive officer of the firm. The scores for Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of Lyndon B. Johnson, kept her out of the top 10. Where would GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin rank? Tied with Rosalynn Carter, with 17 percent of respondents finding her to be stylish. As far as appeal goes, she would place eighth with 42 percent.

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