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October 3, 2004
Democratic Strategists Hiding Teresa Until Election?

The London Telegraph, reporting out of Miami, says that Democratic strategists have ordered Teresa Heinz Kerry to take a lower profile and only appear at small gatherings of the true believers until the election:

Democratic election advisers have ordered Teresa Heinz Kerry to adopt a lower profile in the final stages of the campaign by her husband, Senator John Kerry, for the White House because they fear that she may be alienating voters.

Mrs Heinz Kerry, who as the heiress to the Heinz fortune is one of the world's richest women, has been told to keep out of the spotlight because her outspoken and unpredictable manner is regarded as an electoral liability. ...

Mr Kerry drafted veterans of the Clinton White House, including the former press secretary Joe Lockhart, into his team last month to reinvigorate his campaign. They warned that his wife appeared to be costing him votes and have instructed Mrs Heinz Kerry - who was born in Africa to Portuguese parents - to confine herself to mostly low-key events with only small numbers of voters.

"Teresa simply does not come across well to the general public," said a female Democrat strategist. "Part of that is a suspicion of her foreign roots, I'm afraid. But it's also her manner that puts people off and that has been very frustrating. So now her job is to speak to specific and carefully-chosen groups rather than general campaigning."

I guess that Teresa didn't tell Joe Lockhart to "shove it" or call him a "scumbag" when he made that suggestion. As Philip Sherwell notes, apart from her silent appearance at the debate, she has only spoken to small groups of people in little-covered engagements while John Kerry heads to larger campaign rallies. Instead of introducing her husband after an opening speech -- which is how the events were structured earlier in the campaign -- Teresa now sticks to the small, humanitarian photo-ops that are likely to attract little attention and less controversy:

Between meeting a group of Cuban pensioners and victims of the recent hurricanes in Palm Beach, she spent an hour at a community centre in Miami's Little Haiti district, a rundown quarter of dollar stores and car repair yards.

Elegantly dressed in a brown trouser suit and pink pinstripe blouse, Mrs Heinz Kerry switched seamlessly between English and French as she asked people about the devastating impact of Hurricane Jeanne on Haiti. Neither she nor the immigrants from the Caribbean's poorest country seemed to find the encounter incongruous, and the audience was clearly delighted to receive such a prestigious visitor.

National media has been kept apart from Teresa, as only local reporters have been given access for interviews. No one wonders why, either.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 3, 2004 11:06 AM

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According The London Telegraph, we may be seeing less of Teresa Heinz Kerry in these final few weeks leading up to election. Why in the world would Dem strategists want to keep this wonderful woman under wraps? [Read More]

Tracked on October 3, 2004 12:09 PM

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