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CNN Discusses Treatment of First Ladies

Reported by Marie Therese - July 28, 2004 -

At 11:25 AM EDT July 29, 2004 CNN did a short segment on the role of First Ladies, entitled "Lady in Waiting". It was presented by CNN Senior Political Analyst, Bill Schneider, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank. (William Schneider). Schneider commented on the roles of the two most recent first ladies, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, and then discussed Teresa Heinz Kerry.

He explained that, by her decision to become politically active in her husband's administration, Hillary Clinton opened herself up to analysis and criticism by the media and Clinton's political foes. Hillary has an 88% approval rate among Democrats and an 87% disapproval rate among Republicans.

Laura Bush, on the other, maintains a lower profile, choosing the "more traditional" role as First Lady. Although she defends her husband's positions in her scheduled appearances, she does not engage in openly political activity.

On the subject of Teresa Heinz Kerry, Schneider points out: "She intends to define her own role. More activist than Laura Bush, but not as political as Hillary Clinton."

In a clip Mrs. Kerry says "All I ask for is to give me a chance."

Schneider ends by saying: "It's fine for a First Lady to speak her mind. That's expected these days. But, if she assumes political responsibility, she'll have to face a difficult questions: Who elected her?"

Is this CNN's shot across the bow? Are they saying, in essence: Teresa, stay out of politics and we'll hold the conservative dogs at bay....do what Hillary did, and we let loose the pack?

What do you all think?