Spare them the spotlight

Do the spouses and kids of candidates have to be paraded all around at these conventions? The recent Democratic convention saw families of the John Edwards and John Kerry actively participating in “pitching” for them. It is more than likely that the same will happen at the Republican convention. The argument is that this is an opportunity for the country to get insights into the personal side of these candidates. Unfortunately, these events are so scripted like “product demos” that even if these individuals wished to reveal something new about their spouses, its more than likely that it will be staged and crafted. The net effect is that we have speeches from family members that hardly come across as genuine, but instead appear fake and untrue. We know they love their spouses, we know they think their spouses are the greatest (even Hillary told us that!), we know they will do anything to impress us to vote for them, then why bother? Moreover, it puts so much pressure on these individuals to be dragged into this whole drama that the candidate is involved with as they run for public office.

I watched Teresa Heinz Kerry’s speech the other day at the Democratic convention. She is not exactly a great speaker, didn’t exactly reveal anything personal about John Kerry, and is hardly qualified to talk policy. I think the same is true of Laura Bush. These are two women who are probably more comfortable doing their own things, than making speeches at political conventions. It would be better off if they stuck to press interviews and appearing in public with the candidate and stayed away from giving speeches, especially at conventions. This way, if you really care about the candidates personal background you are likely to research it and find out for yourself. At the same time, it will make sure that people don’t end up casting their vote after falling for a dog and pony show at a convention.

Finally, here is what I think is interesting about Teresa Heinz Kerry and is likely to appeal to most Americans — She appears relatively simple and certainly does not look like a woman who has over $500M+ assets. She wears minimal make up and does not fuss over her hair. She can speak five languages, was born and raised in Mozambique and is not afraid to ask people to “shove it” (which BTW is both good and scary at the same time!). What I knew about Teresa Heinz Kerry, I knew even before her speech and I think that was more than sufficient. I would have preferred (and the DNC would have been better served in my opinion) instead to hear a few more up and coming stars of the democratic party like Barack Obama.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

2 thoughts on “Spare them the spotlight”

  1. I meant few more up and coming stars like Barack Obama. You can follow the link to see his speech


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