Monday, November 01, 2004

Kerry's Prior Restraint: Teresa's Little Nuts

by Sherry Eros, MD and Steven Eros

Three groups of recent press accounts offer an idea of what to expect if Sen. John Kerry wins the presidential election and his wife Teresa becomes First Lady of the United States. "Prior restraint" may shed its legal significance and become a description of how Kerry handles his wife.


When the wife of John Kerry, leading contender for the presidency of the United States, has to be physically restrained from kissing another man on one night, and then on another night, while the couple is on their way home, again has to be restrained by her husband from hopping into a cab with a group of single reporters, pressuring them, "Where's the bar? Where's the bar?"--all under the watchful eye of an accompanying reporter--you know the campaign has a serious problem.

As reported by the AP's
Nedra Pickler, the presidential pretender was fine dining with his wife at a leading Ketchum, Idaho restaurant when Kerry was asked to join a just-married couple's party out on the restaurant's terrace and extend his congratulations to the newlyweds. The Kerrys own a vacation home in Ketchum and were there, taking a bit of time off from the campaign, getting a bit of R&R.

The attending reporters who stayed behind, Pickler included, were treated to an expansive Teresa expansively imitating the relaxing sound of rushing water as a thoroughly satisfying substitute for psychotherapy and psychotropic medication, explaining, "When I get here, and I listen to the river.... That's all I need for therapy. No doctors, no drugs, just the water." (Which begs the question, What about when Teresa can't manage to be in Idaho?)

When Sen. Kerry returned to their table, his wife teased him about having kissed the bride, and then asked, seemingly innocently, if she might kiss the groom.

While in the company of a gaggle of reporters, and not wanting to seem anything less than the perfectly politically correct and perfectly liberated husband, Kerry replied, "Absolutely," assuming she was joking. Added Kerry nonchalantly, "You can do whatever you want."

Kerry may have been joking, but Teresa wasn't. Or, at least she was unconcerned about the impression on the amazed reporters when she actually rose from her seat and headed toward the reception to get her kiss.

At that point, according to Pickler, Kerry grew concerned and had to physically restrain her. Even then, Heinz Kerry was not to be deterred. She tried to bull her way toward the wedding party. Kerry grabbed her hand and pulled her back, while she laughed and uninhibitedly insisted, "I want to kiss the groom, I want to kiss the groom!"

The other incident requiring restraint occurred as the couple was emerging from a Boston restaurant not far from their home. Teresa insisted that they walk home and, as the reporter describes it, danced a jig to entertain the assembled media and onlookers. Then,

The couple recognized a few young reporters in one passing cab, and Heinz Kerry leaned in the window playfully asking, "Where's the bar? Where's the bar?" as if she were going to join them. Her husband finally pulled her away by the hand with a broad smile on his face.

What, we may well ask, are we to expect if John Kerry is elected president, with Teresa unrestrained, released from her "handlers" and no longer motivated to be on her best and most self-restrained pre-election behavior?

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Having studied New Age Medicine, Teresa Heinz Kerry has convinced herself and husband John Kerry that she is a health expert. Our analysis of her ideas on health and their influence on her husband's health care policies is discussed in an earlier article in this series, entitled
TeresaCare: Department of Wellness.

Known to staff, friends and family as "Dr. T," Teresa frequently dispenses New Age remedies and health advice to others, and claims to have diagnosed her husband's prostate cancer, even though she relied on a highly unreliable PSA test. John Kerry's physician also hopes to share a bit of the credit for making the diagnosis.

To prove to the world that she really
knows her stuff when it comes to medicine, Dr. T not only lectures physician groups but recently shared her remedy for arthritis, consisting of gin-soaked raisins,

You get some gin and get some white raisins — and only white raisins — and soak them in the gin for two weeks. Then eat nine of the raisins a day....

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Teresa might have needed quite a few of those raisins. It might have been expected that there would be a bit of
friction when John Kerry and Teresa Heinz married, each bringing children from prior marriages.
Kerry came to the wedding with two grown daughters, Teresa brought three grown sons. Friction quickly ensued, with Kerry’s two daughters vying with Teresa for their father’s attention,

There was family friction. It centered particularly on Teresa Heinz and the Kerry daughters. Little dust-ups -- Alex or Vanessa calling after Teresa's bedtime, showing up unannounced when there was company -- would escalate. The macro issue was that all parties expected to be Kerry's first priority. He would always drop everything for Alex and Vanessa who were 18 and 21 at the time of the marriage. But if Heinz expected something from Kerry and didn't get it, she would become wounded.

In connection with her step-daughters, her behavior appears not only needy but transparently manipulative and infantile.

"I'm a real needy person," Heinz says, "and that's because of loss. ... It's like when you say to a child you're going to do something and you don't, they're very threatened. For me, it's a loss.

"It's hard," she says, referring to her relationships with Kerry's daughters. "When they want their father, they want their father, same as I want their father when I want their father, because I don't have much."

Heinz Kerry explains that she may have gone into the marriage and the step-parental role suffering from overly high expectations. Nowadays she appears to reproach herself for treating Alex and Vanessa as if they were human, rather than house pets,

"Because I thought, I love kids, kids love me, I’ll be fine. Baloney." She says that a friend gave her some useful advice: "You have to treat stepchildren like pets. You’re nice to them, but you don’t get too close, or they chew you up. Well, I did it the other way."

Word is, Kerry’s daughters refer to their step-mother in revenge as "step-money."

Then again, by Teresa’s own
account, her own sons consider her their "witchy mother."

Consumed by a supposed loneliness and racked with self-pity, she explains to a Washington Post reporter the craving she has for attention,

Kerry has plenty for himself, she says. He has his daughters, his mother, three siblings, dozens of cousins. "When I go to Boston, he has family and friends and everything," she says. "I have to make everything up. He's got all his classmates he went to school with, they're all in America. I have no classmates. I have no cousins."

In yet another of Teresa's bizarre characterizations of her family, this one during an interview with Oprah's protege Dr. Phil, Teresa calls the babies she miscarried her little "pinkies." Nobody can blame her for feeling attached to these lost babies she failed to bring to term, but doesn't referring to them publicly as her darling pinkies, as one might refer to a collection of dolls, just make you want to cringe?



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