Skip to comments.Rich, charming and outspoken, a perfect potential first lady (BWAAAHAAA HAAAAAA!)
Posted on 02/11/2004 10:58:19 AM PST by areafiftyone
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Backed by a 500 million dollar inheritance, Teresa Heinz Kerry brings spontaneity and outspoken life to the sometimes leaden presidential campaign of her level-headed husband John Kerry (news - web sites).
No problem admitting to using botox, no problem to championing women's and environmental causes that would certainly annoy the current occupant of the White House.
The heir to the Heinz ketchup and soup fortune -- born in Mozambique and brought up in South Africa -- has crossed the US political frontier to throw herself into her husband's quest for the Democratic nomination to carry the party banner against President George W. Bush (news - web sites) in November.
She once told Time magazine the idea of becoming first lady was "worse than going to a Carmelite convent."
"Over my dead body," she would say when people brought up the possible presidential hopes of Kerry or her late former husband, Republican senator John Heinz, who died in 1991 in a plane crash.
Now she is stepping up public campaign appearances, with and without the Massachusetts senator, and is on the platform for each of Kerry's victory speeches and joins the celebratory hugs as each state has been claimed.
Heinz Kerry is 65 but looks much younger. She admitted to Elle magazine last year that she used Botox, the injected wrinkle eradicater. Her husband recently denied knowing even what Botox was when asked how he has managed to smooth his heavily-lined brow.
According to her official biography, Heinz Kerry was born Portuguese, Teresa Simoes-Ferreira, and is fluent in five languages. She briefly worked at the United Nations (news - web sites) after studying in Geneva to become an interpreter.
After John Heinz's death, she headed the Heinz family's charitable foundations -- the Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies. She has channeled much of the foundation's resources to the defense of the environment and women's rights, including abortion -- topics central to the presidential campaign.
She does not mince words when speaking about the current Republican president.
"I am very angry at the president and his economic policies," she said, "it's not just, it's not fair, it's not American. The American people are not unfair."
But Heinz Kerry was a registered Republican last year until she changed parties so she could vote for her husband in the Democratic primary.
As for Bush's tax cut, which Democrats say helps the rich more than the average American, "it benefited me, but I don't need it or deserve it."
Heinz Kerry usually wears a jacket and tailored pants with a shawl around her shoulders. With her chestnut hair often covering her eyes, she displays a natural look which belies her wealthy background.
She is not afraid of surprising people as she often speaks during electoral meetings about a certain sun screen or about the man she calls the love of her life -- John Heinz, the father of her three sons.
Her youngest son, Chris, 30, is working on Kerry's campaign. Kerry's daughter Vanessa, 27, is also working for her father.
The couple met during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. She was sent on a mission there by former president George Bush.
Kerry, who is five years younger than Heinz, divorced his previous wife in 1988. They have two daughters.
In an interview last year with Elle, the senator said he finds Heinz Kerry "definitely sexy, very earthy, sexy, European. She knows how to speak with her eyes."
Some have said the marriage has helped Kerry financially.
But Heinz Kerry says the couple have kept their personal accounts separate. Kerry had to mortgage his half of the Boston family home to finance his campaign.
Was that scoffing, sneering, chortling or a big guffaw?
The implications of including wealth as a "perfect" attribute are not even close to being subtle.
You can't get anything past some people.
Kolchak-level investigative reporting, that.
That makes them a perfect match; no butts about it!
Why would women's causes annoy President Bush? Did Clinton appoint a woman as his national security advisor? What did Clinton do about the murder and oppression that women were subject to in Afganistan under Taliban rule? President Bush liberated the women of Afganistan. He also stopped Hussein from raping and torturing women in Iraq. If the Demonrats and their Radical Leftist fellow-travelers had their way, women in Afganistan would still be forced to wear burkas, would still be beaten in the streets, and would still be executed in soccer stadiums.
That's probably why we won't.
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