Deborah Rhodes (b. August 5, 1965 as Deborah Carr) is a Georgeland politician who has served as Prime Minister of Georgeland since August 2, 2015. She is Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of the United Islands. Since 2005, Rhodes has been a Member of the Georgeland House of Commons, representing Santa Christina. She has been married to Campbell Rhodes, himself a former Prime Minister since 2004. In 2017 Rhodes' government controversially appointed her husband as President of Georgeland . They are the first married couple to serve as head of state and government anywhere in the world.
Early life & education
Born as Deborah Carr, Rhodes was named for her grandmother, Deborah Anne Cummings (1910-2001), a Welsh migrant who arrived in Georgeland during the Great Depression. Her mother, Susan Cummings, was born in 1935 and her father, Wilfred Carr, the same year. Wilfred Carr was the child of fourth-generation Georgelanders, his family having arrived as settlers in 1865.
Deborah Carr was born in Leicester, West Mainland, at the time a satellite city of Santa Christina but now considered part of its metropolitan area. She moved to Doubledance when her father, a joiner, took a job there in 1974, but returned to Santa Christina in 1977. She was educated at St. Clare's College, Santa Christina and then Santa Christina University. She graduated with a journalism degree in 1988.
Deborah Carr began working for the Sergiocitta Chronicle in as a sub-editor in April 1989. In 1990 she began her career with the Santa Christina Herald, initially as a sub-editor, then as a junior sports reporter from 1992 to 1995. In 1996, after a seven-month posting at the Globe and Standard's office in London, Carr returned to Georgeland after breaking up with her boyfriend at the time. She went back to work at the Herald as science reporter before being attached to the paper's Topstad office as a politics reporter in 1998. In 2000, she was promoted to become the paper's senior lobby correspondent.
Entry into politics
For the 2005 election, Rhodes served as her husband's campaign media director. Following his loss and retirement from politics, Deborah Rhodes announced (August 10, 2005) that she would seek Liberal Democratic pre-selection for her husband's old House of Commons seat of Santa Christina. She was known to have had the backing of several key LDP figures, including her husband and Prime Minister Zoe Parker. Mrs. Rhodes won the nomination comfortably, and did not suffer any serious swing against her in the by-election.
Mrs. Rhodes was the first woman ever elected to the Georgeland parliament while pregnant, excluding women who were re-elected. In her maiden speech on October 16, 2005, Mrs. Rhodes paid tribute to her husband's leadership but, according to members of the press gallery, showed 'true independence of mind', highlighting very different stances on certain issues than her husband.
In 2006, Parker appointed Rhodes as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Science and Youth Affairs. She remained in this position until July 2007, after the party's election loss (at which Rhodes suffered a small but notable swing against her). She was made Shadow Minister for Employment in the new Shadow Cabinet.
In 2007, Rhodes' husband announced his campaign to become the next President of Georgeland. Mrs. Rhodes campaigned for her husband but refrained from mentioning the election in her official capacity and, according to the wishes of the party's executive, did not attend any campaign events until after her husband was adopted as the official Liberal Democratic candidate. Ultimately, Mr. Rhodes lost the election to Lois Daniels.
When Robin Sales was replaced as leader by Lawrence Porter, Porter removed Rhodes from the front bench but gave her the arguably more powerful position of Chief Opposition Whip, charged with maintaining party discipline. After the party won the 2010 election, Rhodes became Chief Government Whip. She was promoted to the Cabinet in 2012, being appointed Minister for Culture.
Rhodes was the first candidate to announce her candidacy to succeed Porter when he announced his retirement in 2015. Initially considered an outsider, Rhodes' ability to organise and strong media appearances soon made her a front-runner, and on June 29 she won the party-room vote against Robbie Jones, the party's deputy leader, by a considerable margin. Although there was supposed to be a second round of votes from party members, Jones withdrew from the contest on July 17, allowing Rhodes to be elected unopposed. There was considerable criticism of this process. Rhodes was sworn in as Prime Minister by President Eileen Purves on August 2. She was the second woman to become Prime Minister.
Prime Minister 2015-
Deborah Rhodes has shown herself to be more enthusiastic about her support for the alliance with the United States than her husband, and has also revealed herself to be further to the economic right.
Personal life and family
In her capacity as the Herald politics reporter, Carr first met Campbell Rhodes when he was Prime Minister in 1999. When promoted the following year, she began regularly interviewing and socialising with him - in his autobiography, Rhodes said the couple were immediately attracted to one another. In 2002 she began a relationship with Rhodes; he had recently returned to the office of Prime Minister following eighteen months out of office. The relationship caused her to be fired from the Herald, a decision she initially appealed but later dropped the civil suit after a settlement.
In 2004, the couple married; a daughter, Phoebe, was born five months after the wedding. Their second, Alexis, was born in January 2006.
During her husband's time as Ambassador to the United Nations, Rhodes resided primarily in their house in Weston. In late 2011, the couple sold their Weston house and moved to more middle-class Birmingham, where their daughters attended school. After Campbell Rhodes was elected Mayor in 2012, the couple split their time between Santa Christina and Topstad, a decision both have described as very difficult. When Campbell Rhodes became President, the entire family moved into Martin Hall , maintaining the Residence only as a workplace.
Political and public image