Opinion: Point/counterpoint: The ketchup lady

David Chen

David Chen

By Zachary Schuster

There is an old saying that behind every great man is a great woman. Both President Bush, and his wife Laura, and Senator Kerry, and his wife Teresa, show that this is certainly true.

Before I sing the praises of Teresa Heinz-Kerry, I would like to say that I have nothing but respect for the current first lady, Laura Bush. She has been fully supportive of President Bush’s political career despite her desire to stay out of the spotlight. Mrs. Bush has shown strength as both a mother and wife, and has provided an excellent role model for women.

With no disrespect to Laura Bush, hopefully the stars will align themselves properly and on January 20, 2005, Teresa Heinz-Kerry will become the next first lady of the United States. Heinz-Kerry – who some might affectionately know as “The Ketchup Lady” – was married to Sen. John Heinz until he tragically died in 1991. After her first husband’s death, she became a professional woman, running her late husband’s philanthropy foundation.

While watching cable news, I have gotten the impression that Republicans are more into mustard than ketchup. Perhaps this could be because Teresa first met John Kerry at an Earth Day event. A liberal and a tree-hugger? Some hate it, I love it.

One reason I admire Teresa Heinz-Kerry is for the amazing job she has done as a mother. Conservatives like to think they have a monopoly on “family values,” holding the belief that independent, professional women cannot raise good families. Much like Hillary Clinton’s outstanding job of raising Chelsea, Teresa has done a spectacular job raising her children. Her son Christopher Heinz is running for Congress in Pennsylvania – albeit as a Republican – and her stepdaughter Vanessa Kerry is an eloquent spokeswoman for her father’s campaign.

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On a lighter note, earlier this summer, John Kerry said he finds his 65-year-old wife “sexy.” Frankly, I could not agree with the senator more. There are three things I find sexy as hell: women who dig history, women who play hoops and most of all, women who speak their minds. While our Republican friends might view Teresa’s outspoken nature as appalling, I love it! I love it! I love it!

After all, watching just 15 minutes of the presidential debates shows the kind of crap that we let the husbands of these wonderful women get away with saying. Heaven forbid a woman like Teresa would say something with the slightest tinge of opinion. She might be a little outspoken, but whoop-de-do! Nowhere in the Constitution is the position of first lady spelled out. I applaud Teresa Heinz-Kerry for not being afraid to speak her mind.

To be honest, I can’t wait to see Teresa Heinz-Kerry waltzing with President Kerry at the inauguration ball. Why? It seems Republicans are scared senseless by liberal women who aren’t afraid of being independent and speaking up. Take, for example, Hillary Clinton, who is known in many Republican circles as “the anti-Christ.” It is going to be rewarding to watch Republicans go madder than King George at the thought of having the sexy, free-speaking Teresa as the first lady of the United States.

Zachary Schuster is a senior in engineering. He will appear next Wednesday. He can be reached at [email protected].