Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Teresa Escapes from the Undisclosed Location

posted by Jazz at 10/20/2004 02:49:00 PM

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There was a big gap in posting on Running Scared today, and for that I apologize. Sadly, I was busy applying ice and bandages to my head. You see, I'm afraid I injured it a bit while smashing my forehead repeatedly into the keyboard after reading this interview with Teresa Heinz Kerry in USA Today. I had hoped over the last few months that the Kerry campaign would have seen the light and sent Teresa on a good will tour of Antarctica until November 3. Sadly, it was not to be.

This election is still running neck and neck, and there is still a very real chance that Kerry can lose it. In fact, several polls are now showing him lagging behind Bush again. If he does manage to lose and saddle us with Bush for four more years, it will undoubtedly be by a slim margin. Analysts will be able to point to any number of factors that might have swung the tide against him: these could include the effect of Ralph Nader, failure to capture the women's and minority votes solidly enough, or an overall image problem. One other factor should be worth consideration though, and that is the prospective first lady. We need look no further than my home state of New York where we were saddled with Hillary Clinton in 2000 to see that.

In today's interview, Teresa comes across just as I've come to expect her to perform. I was wincing through the entire thing. She starts off with that cocky, Eurocentric attitude that has continually hurt Kerry's image. In response to being asked if some Americans might have concerns about a foreign raised daughter of non-American parents as First Lady, she says:

"Well, Americans who pause probably don't know history very well, because we are all from somewhere. We are continually being from somewhere. And in such a young country as this � it's not like we're talking, you know, old Europe."

Translation in many voters' minds? "My, isn't America a cute little young country. Of course, you don't have the refinement and history of old Europe, but you're just doing splendidly." The key part here is "YOU" are doing great - not "we". She's speaking as a European.

Then, as if the ship wasn't already taking on water, she decides to comment on Laura Bush and her employment history.

"Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job � I mean, since she's been grown up."

This little slip-up has already been commented on over at Captain's Quarters and every other conservative pundit will pick up on it quickly. Laura Bush has advanced degrees in both education and Library Science. (Which is a tough degree to get.) She has worked as both a teacher and a librarian - poor paying and largely invisible, thankless jobs that are vital to the country's educational system. And she did it for years. To have Teresa "overlook" that, when she herself has led a comparative life of privilege without ever, to coin a phrase, having to dig any ditches.... well, it's staggering.

Kerry has zero wiggle room at this point if he still wants to pull off a win two weeks from now. His wife, though I'm sure he loves her dearly, is busy pounding nails in his political coffin.