To get through the grueling media scrutiny that goes with running for office, the wives of political candidates need more identities than, well, Mitt Romney. If they suffer in silence like Pat Nixon, they come off as throwbacks. If they are doggedly independent like Judith Dean, they are tagged as uncaring. If they are too involved in policy, they seem as threatening as Hillary in her headband era. And if they dress too well, they menace the requisite air of concern about the unemployment crisis. In Michelle Cottle’s shrewd look at the dilemmas facing the real running mates in 2012, the mother of former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford says she wouldn’t wish her daughter’s life on a dog. And Cindy McCain describes it as like “being catapulted off an aircraft carrier; they fling you off and expect you to fly.”
Also, NEWSWEEK shows exclusive satellite imagery exposing a new nuclear facility in Khushab, Pakistan, which now has the fastest-growing nuclear program in the world—hardly a comforting thought given that they actually want us to believe they didn’t know the most dangerous terrorist in the world was hanging out less than a mile from their military academy and how deftly our Navy SEALs penetrated their airspace. In his first piece for a Western publication, A. Q. Khan, the “father” of the Pakistani bomb, writes for NEWSWEEK about why we shouldn’t be afraid. We let readers decide whether to buy his line.