Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

A Quiet Observation

Reported by Deborah - August 29, 2004 -

Teresa Heinz Kerry's visit to a woman's crisis center in Pennsylvania was aired on C-Span, at 9:00PM and at the same time, George and Laura Bush were on Larry King. So, I decided to watch both, with the sound turned off because it was fascinating to observe and compare Laura and Teresa. It turned out to be quite a learning experience. 8/28/04 C-Span and CNN

Laura Bush, dressed and coifed perfectly, sat very quietly next to her husband. She retained her serene half smile and her gaze never shifted. There was a hint of discomfort and maybe fear in her eyes but that could have been the reflection from her contact lens. While Bush charmed Larry, smiling with twinkley eyes, Laura's head was not seen but her erect torso, in a well cut lavender suit, was visible. Although this was an interview supposedly of the Bush's, King seemed to address his questions directly to GW. At one point, she started to speak, but her husband jumped in very quickly and she retreated. As she sat there, she didn't seem to be responding to the conversation at all, remaining expressionless with a fixed gaze.

When I switched to Teresa, she was sitting with a group of people in a smallish room.The chairs were lined up around the perimeter and Teresa was seated in the corner with people on each side of her. Her head was bowed, legs crossed as she wrote furiously in a notebook. The young woman sitting next to her rose to speak and Teresa's changing expression, told me that she was hearing a painful story but she never stopped taking notes. Teresa had become part of the group instead of the guest of honor. She was wearing a slightly rumpled, lightweight linen pantsuit which was probably chosen for comfort. Her hair, perfectly cut, was as fluid as her other movements. It was evident that she was totally unconcerned with the stares of people who had come to see her and more interested in listening and learning.

Comment:Laura Bush seemed like a symbol rather than a real person. After four years, I know nothing about her and when she does emerge, I feel like she's stiff and contrived.What has she accomplished during her time as First Lady?I know she has been handled to death and we are not permitted to see the real Laura. I read somewhere that she smokes, which I find comforting, if it's true, At least if she has a bad habit, she shows some kind of humanity.

Teresa is a real person that I can relate to. She is not phony and seems to have trouble with superficial campaign behaviors. Teresa is never going to gush or play to the crowd and she refuses to be her husband's ornament. I love that her suit was wrinkled and her pant leg was hiked up revealing her calf. When the event was over, Teresa didn't start shaking hands but instead, turned her back on the crowd while gathering her notebooks. She's my kind of First Lady.