Who'd want to be a First Lady? Wives with careers are cast as Lady Macbeth; wives without are dubbed dull. What's more, the most casual comment about your spouse can generate headlines.
In a rare interview last week, Lyudmila Putin let slip that her husband comes home late and doesn't often discuss his day at the office. Russian President Vladimir Putin "works too hard," she said, adding that his long hours make him forget that "one needs not only to work but also to live." Judging by the recent chorus of complaints from leading ladies, there's more than one international leader who could stand to spend more time on his domestic agenda.
Cherie Blair raised a few eyebrows with a tabloid interview in which she revealed that the British Prime Minister, with whom she just celebrated her silver wedding anniversary, is "not one for flowers." Moreover, she said his fidelity was assured not by the strength of their 25-year marriage, but because if he strayed, "I would kill him."
In April, Laura Bush established herself as the best act in Washington D.C. She had White House reporters rolling in the aisles as she described an evening at home with the leader of the free world. "Nine o'clock. Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep and I'm watching Desperate Housewives ... I said to him the other day, 'George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later.'"
Veronica Lario, the second wife of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, doesn't always play along with the idyllic family image her husband likes to project. Asked by a journalist if she saw and spoke to her busy husband often, Lario, who admits to voting for the opposition, replied, "Yes, I not only speak to him on the telephone, sometimes I see him on television."