Presidential candidates’ Mother’s Day traditions include lilacs, ‘something handmade’

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The president said Wednesday he was expecting an “arms race” between his daughters in constructing their Mother’s Day presents for first lady Michelle Obama.

“I’m sure some aspect of it will be handmade. Malia and Sasha — it’s sort of like an arms race who can make the bigger, more creative card,” President Obama told ABC News.

{mosads}The president also said that the first lady “deserved to be spoiled,” and praised her “extraordinary work” on initiatives to address veterans and childhood obesity.

Meanwhile, the president’s campaign is looking to capitalize on the holiday to fundraise for the campaign, raffling off Mother’s Day tweets from the president to donors.

“Still not sure what to give this year for Mother’s Day?” the Obama campaign asks on a new website. “If you get 5 or more contributions to your grassroots fundraising page by the end of the day Thursday May 10, 2012 you could be selected to have President Obama tweet to your mom on Mother’s Day.”

Meanwhile, Ann Romney, the wife of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, penned an op-ed in USA Today Thursday about the importance of family and some of the Romney’s own Mother’s Day traditions.

“On Mother’s Day, Mitt always brings me lilacs, a tradition he started the year I became a mother,” Ann Romney writes. “When our home is filled with their fragrance, it reminds me of so many things, and stirs so many emotions. I think of my five sons and the women they married, whom I love as if I had raised them. They have become my daughters.”

Ann Romney goes on to reflect on her own mother and the recent birth of her two new grandchildren, saying she’s “lived through three seasons of motherhood, and I have seen the beauty in each.”

“Cherish your mothers. The ones who wiped your tears, who were at every ball game or ballet recital. The ones who believed in you, even when nobody else did, even when maybe you didn’t believe in yourself,” Romney continues. “Women wear many hats in their lives. Daughter, sister, student, breadwinner. But no matter where we are or what we’re doing, one hat that moms never take off is the crown of motherhood. There is no crown more glorious.”

Ann Romney has been a dynamic force for the Romney campaign in recent months as the Republican nominee has leaned on his spouse to help humanize him on the campaign trail — and appeal to female voters, whom polls show are breaking significantly for Obama.

Similarly, first lady Michelle Obama continues to hold sky-high approval ratings, giving both candidates further incentive to pay tribute to their better halves as Mother’s Day approaches.

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