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Sensible heels and a running mate

By Kerry L. Marsala
web posted July 12, 2004

The mainstream news media has finally figured out the reason Democrat nominee for President, John Kerry, picked Sen. Edwards to be his Vice Presidential running mate. It was so clever of the mainstream too; I don't know why the rest of us couldn't see it. According to the New York Times writer, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, it must be Edwards's wife, Elizabeth. Stolberg gave away Kerry's secret weapon to win back the White House for the Democrats when she revealed that Elizabeth Edwards made her debut on television wearing a "solid taupe pantsuit and sensible heels." What in the world does a 'solid taupe pantsuit and sensible heels' have to do with anything? Unbelievable that now in the world of politics we have political journalist becoming fashion gurus.

John and Elizabeth Edwards
John and Elizabeth Edwards

Sensible heels aside, Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards is the answer to helping Kerry's flailing attempts to take over our government. Think back to the election year when Sen. Bob Dole and then Gov. Bill Clinton were in the race for the White House.

Here was Bob Dole and his supportive wife Elizabeth who appeared to be the picture perfect family. Sen. Dole had been involved in politics for years as a conservative voice and his wife Elizabeth had been involved in the political arena too. She served on various boards, under President Reagan and Bush, and was the President for the Red Cross. "Liddy" Dole has many diverse accomplishments. Mrs. Dole, like most Republican wives came across as a supportive spouse who had cared and placed her family's needs above her own. Mrs. Dole would eventually leave her station as President of the Red Cross and work along side her husband to help his campaign and try to get him elected to office. Mrs. Dole never spoke of being a 'co-president'.

Contrast the Republican side to the Democrat side. In order to win the hearts of Middle America Bill Clinton had to counterbalance his image. His wife Hillary was an outspoken talented lawyer, who made no bones about the fact she desired co-presidency. Mrs. Clinton was not seen as a nurturing wife and mother by moderates and conservatives, she was viewed as a power driven woman- who was anti-tea and cookies.

So who did Clinton pick as his running mate? Al Gore and his wife Tipper. Tipper was the opposite of Hillary. You couldn't get more black and white if you tried. Tipper would be their secret weapon to help garner votes from Middle America. Mrs. Gore was petite, bubbly, cute and had fought for the protective rights of children against abusive language on music CD's.

Surprise! All along you thought the President's and Vice President's wives didn't matter. But they do matter, and America still isn't completely comfortable with domineering women. This is why Kerry had to pick someone like The Edwards.

Hence you have John Kerry and his lovely bride Theresa Heinz Kerry. Theresa comes across as a strong, aloof woman who doesn't seem to care much for American politics. To soften this harsh side of Kerry's team projection, Kerry picks a running mate that has a marital partner who is a woman of strong family convictions. Mrs. Edwards unequivocally demonstrates that supporting your husband should come first and family is what life is really all about in America.

Her strong sense of propriety of how John Edwards comes across to the American public became an issue between her and Sen. Edwards's media consultant, David Axelrod. Elizabeth Edwards didn't feel Axelrod was living up to the expectations she had for her husband's bid for the Presidential Democrat nomination. Mrs. Edwards understood and was politically savvy enough to know that projecting Sen. Edward's sunny disposition of optimism was just what needed to be done. Evidently, someone put the buzz in Kerry's ear as well; that is what his campaign needs more than anything else, an optimistic Broadway production of 'Anne'. Kerry's negativism and Mrs. Heinz Kerry's disdain for America needed a good shot of optimism.

For John Kerry, Mr. and Mrs. John Edwards, are just what might make 'the sun come out tomorrow' for the Democrats and their political chances of taking the White House back. The counter balance of husband and family first personified- worked in the case of the Clinton/Gore ticket, why wouldn't it work again?

Politician's wives play a bigger role than most will give credit. It isn't what the politicians wives wear, it isn't if they are fashionable, it isn't if they are chubby or svelte, it isn't even how many committees they have served on. It's all based upon how the general public views them. Let's face it in America still today- tea and cookies, along with nurturing and caring for our own families, still beats a sour staunch fisted, self-seeking portrayal of womanhood for most voters. The Republican Party for the most part always has had women in supportive roles, and it is something I think the Democrats are quickly catching on to.

Remember First Ladies- wear your sensible heels so you can help your mate run the best campaign possible. America isn't ready yet for a woman President or Vice President, but that in itself is a whole other topic.

Kerry L. Marsala is a freelance journalist who is terrible at being patient enough to check punctuation and grammar. She figures if Bernard Shaw can get away with it, she might have a chance too. Ms. Marsala writes for Opinion Editorials; The Rant; Canada Free Press; Independent Newspapers; EV Tribune; ACU Foundation; Canadian Free Press; Sarah's Seed Woman's Journal; A. M. Siriano; Men's News Daily; Lady Liberty; NZ Herald; Citizen Newspaper; amgoodnews.com; Americonservative; TAC; PHX News; Enter Stage Right; The Right Guys; Conservababes; The Alberta Weekly; Free Republic; Conservative Battle Line; Focus Magazine; Insight Online; GOPUSA; and The Truth Magazine.

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