A sidebar on that Times piece on Judith Steinberg Dean; the piece notes:
Dr. Steinberg said she planned to keep practicing medicine if her husband is elected, but she had seen enough episodes of “The West Wing” to know that were she to become the real-life version of Stockard Channing’s Dr. Bartlett–wife of the fictional President Bartlett–she would “certainly have to do some public events.”
I’ve actually thought more than once that one of the useful aspects of West Wing is to show how influential a political wife can be (i.e. not always for the good)–Bartlett’s is quite the activist when it comes to her issues, sometimes making him more radical than he would have been. Considering that, I was a tad selfishly relieved to read this, again from the Times piece (even, again, if it sounds a little odd):
He calls home nightly unless he is on the West Coast and fears waking her, but rarely shares tales from the trail. “I don’t talk politics,” he said, “with people who aren’t interested in politics.”
Of course, in the end, in the case of Dean, I doubt his wife, even if she is an ardent pro-abortion feminist could take him much more left on “women’s issues” than he already is.