She Knows Best

Paul Ryan, Hillary Clinton, and More Politicians and Their Moms

From Paul Ryan to JFK, see more pols who tried to persuade the electorate that mother is always right.

Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan took his mother out stumping with him in Florida this week. The 78-year-old Betty Douglas hit the trail on her son’s behalf as Ryan and presidential candidate Mitt Romney make their own Medicare pitch to voters. “My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida,” Ryan told voters in The Villages. Here are some other politicians who tried to persuade the American electorate that mother is always right.

Doug Mills / AP Photo

Al Gore and Pauline LaFon Gore

The Democratic vice president and presidential candidate thanked his mother for her campaign efforts on his behalf in a 2000 dinner at Union University held in her honor. “There will never be a better campaigner than Pauline LaFon Gore,” he said of the woman who helped both her husband and son as they ran on numerous tickets.

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Jimmy Carter and Lillian Carter

The Georgia-born mother of the 39th president of the United States, Lillian Gordy Carter was a tireless campaigner for her son, frequently speaking on his behalf at campaign events.

Tim Sloan, AFP / Getty Images

George W. Bush and Barbara Bush

Wife to one president and mother of another, Barbara Bush aided both her husband and son when they contended for the presidency. She spoke at both the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions when George W. Bush ran for president.

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John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Rose Kennedy

Surrounded by politicians—her father was a congressman—practically from the cradle, Rose Kennedy became famous for her Democratic Party–sponsored “Kennedy teas” when her son was running for Senate in 1952. She regularly met with female voters when JFK ran for president in 1960.

Paul Sancya / AP Photo

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Dorothy Howell Rodham

It’s not just sons who love their mothers. Dorothy Rodham turned out for her daughter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, when the former first lady mounted a run for the White House in 2008.

Henry Griffin / AP Photo

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Sara Delano Roosevelt

The second wife of James Roosevelt, Sara Delano supported her only child on the trail when he first ran for president in 1932.

Doug Mills / AP Photo

Michael Dukakis and Euterpe Dukakis

The 85-year-old mother of the Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential nominee made regular campaign stops—including one at a retirees’ luncheon in Pennsylvania—on her son’s behalf.