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(Oct. 21, 2004)

        Seeing as blowhard Bill O'Reilly finds himself a bit muzzled these days, allow me to pinch-hit for him a little.
        Teresa Heinz Kerry, shut up! All three of you! Just shut up! Shut the hell up! Wait till you're First Lady, then you can shoot your Botox-injected mouth off all you want.
        There, that feels better. . .
        Lady Teresa---I dunno, her body language suggests royalty---loves to yap. She loves to let her tongue flap, and the breeze that emerges is usually entertaining enough. Problem is, the Repugnicans quickly turn it into blowback.
        Which is just what happened when she told USA Today, of First Lady Laura Bush, "I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job -- I mean, since she's been grown up."
        She might as well just giftwrap her gaffes and send them straight to Karen Hughes and Karl Rove.
        The Repugnicans have turned this into a MAJOR ELECTION ISSUE, with quick help from Diane "She-Wolf of the S.S." Sawyer on "Good Morning, America." Hughes--- who, by the way, suggests an excellent image of Bush in drag---laid into THK along with her attack chihuahua, Mary Matalin. With former Nixon sycophant Sawyer chiming in repeatedly with the sanctimonious question, why didn't THK refer to being a mother as a "real job."
        The best thing I've heard about Laura Bush is that she used to be the go-to girl for a little pot, a little boo, a little muggles, back in college. Well, okay, being a teacher and a librarian is a step up from making your gal-pals jolly with a couple of nicely rolled joints. In fact, I admire and respect Mrs. Bush for her career accomplishment---every bit as much as I admire and respect any schoolteacher or librarian.
        And I don't begrudge her the facial paralysis or her secret career as a model for Red Skelton clown paintings. I would imagine that being married to George W. Bush would render anyone kind of slap-happy.
        But I am now in the position of defending her anti-stem cell researching honor, and I don't like it one bit. Neither, I would imagine, does the Kerry campaign, which had THK issue an apology for her stupid remark. Put the cap back on the Heinz lady, before Kerry starts playing Ketchup again!
        There could be more in the bottle. No one has yet groused about an even more asinine quote in the same USA Today interview:
        "I'm older," said THK, who is 66 (Mrs. Bush is a "mere" 57), "and my validation of what I do is a little bit bigger -- because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about."
        My life's bigger than your life, my life's bigger than yours! Wow. What is this, age discrimination? Sixty-six varieties are better than 57? Well, just you wait until Laura Bush hits puberty, Mrs. Kerry! Anybody know if you can get Mad Cow Disease from Botox?
        Ulp. Gag. This is rough on me. What's more, I have to actually report that the First Lady was gracious about the whole thing. "Mrs. Bush knows it's not always easy when your husband runs for president," said her spokesman.
        Talk about setting someone up to look good. Laura didn't even have to hiss to win this catfight.
        Of course, this should be no more surprising than Karl Rove whispering rhetorical nothings into the Prez's debate-bugged ear. . .
        To whit: when THK took the podium at the Democrapic Convention, surveyed her minions like a Ming potentate, and announced with every bit as much humility as, well, Bill O' Reilly, "My name is Teresa. . .Heinz. . .Kerry," I thought to myself, "Please, please, no references to eating cake. . ."
        It was only hours before Her Royal Heinzness got her first hot-air headline: the "shove it" remark to a Repugnican stooge columnist from Pittsburgh. Warranted, yes. Smart, not quite. Rather like wearing a steak suit in a kennel.
        Next on the THK hit parade: the "four more years of hell" outburst regarding a second Bush-Cheney term, which, while utterly justified, is the kind of talk that makes Middle Ameriguns nervous. Mr. and Mrs. Ohio don't like bluntspeak, see. They like their language served on lace doilies, and hold the grammar. They respond well to incomplete sentences with "dudn't" and "wudn't." They love Bible references, but not when it means accusing The President---an avowed man of Gawd---of turning the country over to the guy in the red suit and widow's peak.
        Then there was that Mad Tea Party blurt about letting the kids run around naked down in Hurricane Central. Yes, THK explained that she meant food was much more needed than clothing, in the wake of the disaster. But maybe she should say what she means.
        No, no, check that. Maybe somebody else should say what she means, and write it down for her before she says it.

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