Does the public have a reason to evaluate a candidate's spouse?
Mar 23, 2004
As John Kerry nailed down his grip on the Democratic nomination for president, Americans craned their necks for a look at his wife. Teresa Heinz Kerry, who by a previous marriage came into part of the Heinz Company fortune, was a very visible presence at each stop in the marathon of primary contests. The <i>New York Timesi> evaluated her political contribution: she “may be both an asset and a liability for his ambitions,” it said, adding that she has “a reputation as being offbeat.”
Earlier in the primary season, the media assessed and dissected Howard Dean’s wife, Judith Steinberg, who apparently violated an unwritten rule of American politics by not campaigning with her husband. Instead, she tended to her medical practice in Vermont.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).