A Political Spouse Defies Norm ; Teresa Heinz Kerry's Unabashed Approach Is a Plus for Some Voters, a Concern for Others

By Harry Bruinius Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 27, 2004 | Go to article overview

A Political Spouse Defies Norm ; Teresa Heinz Kerry's Unabashed Approach Is a Plus for Some Voters, a Concern for Others


Harry Bruinius Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


When Teresa Heinz Kerry speaks, there's often a glint of mirth in her eyes, as if she were aware that she doesn't fit the classic template for American political wives.

Oh, she understands the game. But in this era of slick political image-making and carefully planned spin, she just rolls her eyes and refuses to play. Her easy self-confidence and exotic looks - not to mention her Portuguese lilt - make Ms. Heinz Kerry seem more a character from a European novel than a future first lady. And her startlingly straight answers to questions most would evade are enough to make any campaign handler squirm.

Botox injections? Of course. Actually, she says she may need another soon. A pre-nup with John Kerry to protect her $500 million- plus fortune? Absolutely, a must. Her husband's running mate? "I have to say that John Edwards is very beautiful," she says.

So Tuesday night, when Heinz Kerry takes the podium at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, many people across the nation will catch their first glimpse of one of the most unusual would-be first ladies in the nation's history. Born in Africa, fluent in five languages, her unruly hair a copper color more common with women half her age, she strikes a figure rarely seen in US politics. "She is absolutely her own woman," said Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill at a Monitor breakfast with reporters.

That's both good news and bad news for political staffers. Asked if the campaign is trying to control what their candidate's wife says, Ms. Cahill offered an indirect answer. "There are those things you can do, and those you can't," she said.

Today some see Heinz Kerry's sometimes blunt candor as a refreshing departure from scripted talking points. Others worry that during a time of such rancorous political divisions, such independence could only inflame the raging culture wars.

"She is definitely a change," says Myra Gutin, a professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., and author of "The President's Partner: The First Lady in the 20th Century." "She would be only the second foreign-born first lady we'd have. She's been very candid - some might say unguarded.... Even in her most flip moments, Hillary Clinton was never like this."

Take her name. She freely admits that her legal name is, and will remain, Teresa Heinz. The addition of "Kerry," she says, was simply a nod to the needs of the campaign. "Now, politically, it's going to be Teresa Heinz Kerry," she once told a woman's magazine. "But I don't give a [expletive], you know? There are other things to worry about."

She is far from a demure spouse. Instead of gazing lovingly at her husband while he's speaking, she can fidget and even frown. In one of their first interviews, before Senator Kerry had announced his presidential bid, she flew into a rage in front of the reporter, prompting a less-than-flattering story of the couple. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Political Spouse Defies Norm ; Teresa Heinz Kerry's Unabashed Approach Is a Plus for Some Voters, a Concern for Others
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.