Fashion Forward: Michelle Obama vs. Cindy McCain. Who's Got the Edge When It Comes to Style?

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," June 6, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, CO-HOST: Well, now that they are constantly in the spotlight as potential first ladies, Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain, not taking a backseat to their powerful husbands when it comes to style. Look at these ladies!

Both women have been featured in Vogue magazine though they have decidedly different dress codes. Michelle Obama opts for a Jackie Kennedy chic look, described once as "Camelot with a tan." Cindy McCain prefers some of the more expensive high-end designers. But who's got the edge when it comes to first lady fashion?

"In Style" magazine's national correspondent, Katrina Szish is here to give us the lowdown. Hi, Katrina.


Video Watch Megyn Kelly's interview with Katrina Szish

KELLY: I'm doing well.

SZISH: Excellent.

KELLY: So they both have very different looks. They have very stylish looks. Who looks more first lady-ish?

SZISH: Well, I have to say that Michelle Obama has a little bit more of the kind of shift dress and big oversized pearls thing going on.

KELLY: The Jackie O. thing?

SZISH: She certainly does, especially with that purple dress we saw her in the other night when she did the little political punch(ph) with her husband.

KELLY: Here it is.

SZISH: Here she is.

KELLY: You approve of this?

SZISH: I do approve of this. I thought it was great. I loved that it was sort of a daring neckline for a potential first lady. She still had the pearls, but how the belt cinched her waist. She showed off her figure. I thought that was a little bit daring. I like to see that.

KELLY: I'm not used to seeing potential first ladies or first ladies sleeveless.

SZISH: Exactly. It shocks me and it was such a pleasant surprise. It was great to see that. And Cindy McCain has this sort of edgy, sort of Upper East Side look and she's so fashionable and so chic. I love that she wears leather jackets. She definitely makes first lady fashion sexy.

KELLY: So Cindy McCain, who is 53 years old, Michelle Obama is 44. You say Cindy McCain is edgier?

SZISH: She does. Not in this particular picture —

KELLY: No, not here.

SZISH: She tends to have, I mean, this great fitted tailored leather jackets. She loves Carolina Herrera, all the classic American designers, and she wears things that aren't oversized and matronly. She definitely shows off her great figure, which is nice to see. And of course, Michelle did that the other night as well.

KELLY: Who is she more like? I mean is she more like of a Nancy Reagan type, because she was — Nancy Reagan was all about sort of the high power but fashionable look.

SZISH: Yes. Nancy Reagan she was the ultimate in power-dressing especially in the `80s wearing red all the time. And here we see a little bit of that red adopted by Cindy McCain, red in leather, and she does that well. It looks great for her. She's very age appropriate but still shows off her figure. We're not looking at sort of a mother-of-the-bride look, which is nice.

KELLY: Is it weird to have a first lady in leather?

SZISH: Absolutely not.

KELLY: I don't remember — we're not used to seeing that.

SZISH: No, no. We're not used to seeing that, but I mean Jackie Kennedy did anything with the pill box hat. I mean we weren't used to seeing that either, and she set standards. And I think both of these women can do the same.

KELLY: How big a change would both of these women — either of these women from our current first lady, Laura Bush?

SZISH: Laura Bush is the ultimate American fashion icon. She's buddies with Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. She always looks elegant but she doesn't take any risks. And I think what we saw Michelle do the other night and what we're seeing a little bit of Cindy doing is taking risks and I think that will be a refreshing sort of infusion of style energy in the White House.

KELLY: Any chance of — you know, if they look too hot and sexy and tailored — of them alienating any of the American public?


SZISH: I think that would be unfortunate and I hope not. I hope not. I don't think so.

JARRETT: It's not going to bother me one bit.

SZISH: I think women like to have a style icon they can look up to. We're not talking about sexy, skin type dresses here. We're talking about elegant women with great style, and I think they will be women to look up to.

KELLY: Rock on! Katrina Szish...

SZISH: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: Thank you so much for the style breakdown.

SZISH: Oh, sure.

JARRETT: And from first ladies' apparel to Barack Obama's underwear, no kidding. Well, technically not his underwear, but underwear bearing his image. They're designing to the complimentary package to Obama. Got them right here. When asked if the presumptive nominee will wear his underpants, Obama's communications director Robert Gibbs answered, quote, "No, that would be really weird."

No kidding! Gibbs said it. I'm not sure I'd wear those underwear even underneath my clothes. The designer says if Hillary Clinton gets the vice presidential nod, oh, no, they're going to add a Clinton bra or camisole.

KELLY: Oh, come on.

JARRETT: Yes, and maybe some other stuff.

KELLY: Katrina, will that sell? They probably would, which would be really scary!

JARRETT: Barack Obama right here. What do you think of these?

KELLY: Oh my goodness!

JARRETT: '08 on the backside and if you're feeling really saucy, the red!

KELLY: For men?

JARRETT: Yes. Well, I wouldn't wear them.

KELLY: What men would wear these?

JARRETT: Those are like "tighty whiteys."

KELLY: They're tight. I don't know. Look at these.

JARRETT: If you make them into boxers, maybe I'll wear them.

KELLY: OK. Oh my god.

JARRETT: Breaking tonight.

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