MONITOR: THE BLAIR BABY

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How the British press greeted the announcement that Cherie Blair is expecting her fourth child next May

Daily Mail

CHERIE IS very much a woman of our time, who wants to "have it all". But the new baby may well necessitate some hard rethinking on her priorities. Cherie may well display all the dilemmas of Millennial Woman. On the other hand the new baby will make her a walking icon of family values which can only be of enormous advantage to her husband. (Jeannette Kupfermann)

daily Telegraph

THE ARRIVAL of a baby will considerably boost Mr Blair's image of a family man, which Labour exploited in the run-up to the last election. Labour strategists believe the image of the Blairs as a typical Middle Britain family will have powerful appeal for the voters. This is likely to be considerably enhanced by the prospect of Mrs Blair juggling a demanding career with the responsibilities of being a mother of three children and a baby. (George Jones)

The Sun

CHERIE HAS managed the politician's wife-mum juggling act better than most. But fitting a baby into it all will still be a shock to her system. And in your thirties and forties your energy levels can't help but drop. Then again, an older mum who's been through it all before has more patience, knows sleepless babies learn better patterns, and has a special opportunity to strengthen bonds with older children, who will themselves be thrilled. All in all, late babies are a special joy. Congratulations, Cherie and Tony! (Deidre Sanders)

The Mirror

THIS IS one extremely lucky baby. The Blairs have been blessed with good fortune. But nothing, I suspect, that compares with this. Both Cherie and Tony have made much of their belief in the importance of a strong family unit, spending as much time as possible with the children despite hectic and very stressful schedules. They recognise it's not easy with the other three Euan, Nicky and Kathryn to be constantly in the spotlight, but they've successfully juggled their lives to ensure they maintain a close bond with them all, teaching them that in life everyone must learn to share. No one's ever doubted the strength of the Blairs' passion for each other. As they stood on the steps of Downing Street on May 2 1997 and hugged it was impossible to imagine anything could add to their happiness. But fate had another surprise in store for them - and what a smashing one it is. (Sue Carroll)

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