The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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First Lady Laura Bush favored over Teresa Heinz Kerry in polls

America has the opportunity to embrace one of two very differentfirst ladies, but it seems America has already made its choice.

First Lady Laura Bush and Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife ofpresidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, are the contenders for thiselection’s role of first lady. But unlike her husbandPresident Bush, Mrs. Bush has a sizable lead over Mrs. Kerry in thepolls.

According to the latest FOX News national poll taken on Oct. 5,American voters say they would choose current first lady Laura Bushover Mrs. Kerry 47 to 23 percent.

In a TIME Magazine Poll taken in April of 2004, of 1260 voterssurveyed, 56 percent have a favorable opinion of the current firstlady, while only 20 percent have a favorable opinion of Mrs.Kerry.

Some experts feel that Mrs. Kerry needs more exposure.

According to the FOX News Web site, voters are still learningwho John Kerry is. “They are simply not familiar with TeresaKerry yet and this accounts for her position,” FOX NewsOpinion Dynamics President John Gorman said.

But Mrs. Kerry is popular among Kerry staffers.

According to a CBS report, staffers believe that the moreexposure Mrs. Kerry receives, the more she will help to disseminateher husband’s standoffish reputation.

“Unless she says or does something truly outrageous,Teresa will do more good than harm if she occasionally strays fromthe script and gives people a sense of who both Kerrys are,”Democratic strategist Matt Bennett said.

But some feel that Mrs. Kerry should learn to be lessverbal.

According to a TIME magazine poll taken in July of 2004, only 19percent of registered voters believed that Teresa Heinz Kerry bestfits the role of first lady compared to Laura Bush’s 53percent.

But Mrs. Kerry said she is not discouraged and said she has beenwell prepared for the road ahead, according to a CBS Newsreport.

The 65-year-old Mozambique native studied at the University ofWitwatersrand in South Africa and the University of Geneva beforebecoming a U.S. citizen in 1971.

After the death of her first husband John Heinz in 1991, Mrs.Kerry inherited her husband’s $500 million ketchupfortune.

In 1992, she was appointed by then-President H.W. Bush as partof a State Department Delegation representing U.S. non-governmentalorganizations at an Earth Day rally in Rio do Janeiro.

At that same rally, Teresa Heinz met her future husband JohnKerry, and the couple was married on Memorial Day weekend in1995.

Mr. Kerry voiced his support for his wife in a recent interviewwith CBS news.

“My wife is saucy, sexy and brilliant and would make anoutstanding first lady,” Kerry said.

Mrs. Kerry is currently the chairman of The Howard HeinzEndowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies and was awarded theAlbert Schweizer Gold Medal for Humanitarianism for herphilanthropic work.

But the road ahead could be tough for Mrs. Kerry because heropponent, Mrs. Bush, placed third for most admired women behindSen. Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, according to a USATODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll.

“Laura Bush is a loving mom, loving wife and the perfectexample of a southern lady who knows how to handle herself in toughsituations,” junior education major Kendall Watson said.”She is a wonderful role-model for ambitious women of allages who want to make a difference in the world.”

Laura Bush, 57, was born in Midland, Texas. After graduatingfrom Southern Methodist University with a bachelor of sciencedegree and then earning her master’s of library sciencedegree from the University of Texas at Austin, Mrs. Bush became apublic school teacher and librarian.

Since then, Mrs. Bush has dedicated her life and her role asfirst lady to advancing reading and education in America, accordingto the Bush Cheney’ 04 Web site.

“Reading is the path to success in school and life,”said Mrs. Bush. “When children learn to love books, theylearn to love learning.”

First Lady Bush is the founder of the national initiative Readyto Read, Ready to Learn, a program to educate adults about theimportance of reading to children. She also developed a series ofmagazines called “Healthy Start, Grow Smart.”

“We know that children who have poor beginning readingskills are less likely to develop better reading skills throughouttheir school careers,” said Mrs. Bush. “We can reversethat trend.”

In addition, Mrs. Bush is the only first lady in history torecord a full presidential radio address, speaking out for theeducation of teacher-training programs in Afghanistan, according tothe Bush Cheney’ 04 Web site.

But even after all of her accomplishments, Mrs. Bush manages tostay humble.

“I’m not wild about the term first lady. I’djust rather be called Laura Bush instead.”

And when asked about the race between herself and Mrs. Kerry on”The Tonight Show,” First Lady Bush had only nicethings to say.

“I really do feel (Mrs. Kerry and I) are members of aclub,” the first lady said. “We are the only ones whoknow right now what it’s like for your husband to run forpresident in 2004.”

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