Education Campaign Notebook

Heinz Kerry Gets Educated on First Lady’s ‘Real’ Experience

By John Gehring — October 26, 2004 1 min read

After Teresa Heinz Kerry took a swipe at first lady Laura Bush last week, the wealthy philanthropist and wife of the Democratic presidential nominee backed away from saying Mrs. Bush hasn’t held a “real job.”

In an interview with USA Today, the wife of Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was asked how she would differ from Mrs. Bush as first lady.

“Well, you know, I don’t know Laura Bush,” Mrs. Heinz Kerry said. “But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don’t know if she’s ever had a real job—I mean, since she’s been grown up.”

In fact, Mrs. Bush, who earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Methodist University, often speaks of her time as a public school teacher and librarian in Texas, where she worked from 1968 until 1977, until she married George W. Bush.

“I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a school teacher and librarian, and there couldn’t be a more important job than teaching our children,” Mrs. Heinz Kerry said in a statement apologizing for her remarks.

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