Heinz Kerry Defends 'Shove'

While there are few surprises at political conventions anymore -- you can still count on Teresa Heinz Kerry to say what's on her mind.

The woman who could become first lady made headlines the other day giving a piece of her mind to an opposition journalist.

Amid the convention noise and hoopla, CBS News Anchor Dan Rather asked her about that, and what she'll say about her husband in her speech at the Democratic convention tonight.

Like every speaker at the convention, Teresa Heinz Kerry will try to paint a picture of her husband that will draw supporters.

Heinz Kerry: I want them to know that he is a man who believes in public service and he is also passionate about justice and fairness and he's an optimist.

Rather:: We look out on this great hall, and two days from now they'll be nominating your husband officially, formally for president of the United States. What do you think when you look out here and you see it, hear it?

Heinz Kerry:It's very hard for me to think that it's my husband and it's very hard for me to think it's me. I've been to a few conventions over time and always find them very overpowering and a little scary.

But unlike all the other speakers, she must define herself as well as the candidate, and those who have been first lady -- like Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton -- say she won't have an easy time of it.

"Being first lady was an extraordinary privilege, but it's not a job. It doesn't have a job description, and in many ways it's a daily challenge because the expectations are both very high, but also limited because you're not supposed to do too much. But you're supposed to do enough and trying to figure out what that means is not easy. It's a very difficult challenge," Clinton told Rather in a previous interview.

Teresa Heinz Kerry is rising to that challenge in her own way. When she confronted a writer from a Pennsylvania newspaper Sunday night, telling him he printed untrue things and that he could, "shove it," she says she was defending her honor.

Heinz Kerry: You know, I defended my rights. I defended my freedom and personally I defended my integrity, and I think any American would do that. And I would certainly applaud them for doing that and find them very weak if they didn't.

Rather: Anybody who's been married for any length of time knows when you get in this situation either you call your husband and tell him, 'I've got some not very good news,' or he calls you and says, 'What's going on?' Which way was it with the two of you?

Heinz Kerry: No, I told him (last night) at the ballgame and he said good for you. That's exactly what he said, "Good for you."

From the podium tonight, Teresa Heinz Kerry says she plans to be conversational and personal about her own life and values and why she believes you should stand up for what you believe.
  • Lauren Johnston

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