Speed Reads

here come the spouses

Bernie Sanders' secret weapon on the campaign trail: His wife

As the Iowa caucus closes in, Hillary Clinton hasn't hesitated to trot out her husband on the campaign trail. However, her primary competition for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, has his own trick up his sleeve — his wife.

While Jane Sanders might not be a household name on the level of Bill Clinton, she's helped her husband to political victories in the past. An estimate by The New York Times suggests she could be "the most politically active and experienced spouse in the 2016 presidential election," after only Bill Clinton.

When her husband was first elected to Congress in 1990, Ms. Sanders attended orientation not as a spouse, but as a chief of staff who vetted potential aides for congressional experience and ideological fervor. She went on to be a press attaché who smoothed things over with reporters irritated by her prickly husband and who, according to other members of Congress, kept the professorial Mr. Sanders down to earth. As a media consultant she worked on his re-election ads, and as a political fellow traveler she participated in the formation of the House's progressive caucus.

"She has his ear like no one else in discussions at a very high level," said David Weinstein, the senator's senior policy adviser. "She speaks for Bernie, and it's not just because she's his wife. It's because she is his confidante." [The New York Times]

Read more about Jane Sanders in The New York Times.