This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, January 31, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: After a two-week hiatus, it's back. You know it, you love it, you're bound to have missed it.
It's this week's edition of the trail dust.
Ever since Hillary Clinton (search) said in '92 that she and her husband were a two-for- one package, special attention has been paid to the spouses of the presidential candidates, especially by Mort and myself.
And depending on the person and how she's managed by the campaign, it could be a huge political plus or a major liability.
Let me start, Mort, with Dr. Judy Steinberg (search). You know, she actually makes house calls. I think early on in the Dean campaign, she should have made a house call on the campaign and prescribed Valium.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Yes, I think she, she's not likely to be the first lady of the United States. I had a long chat with, with Elizabeth Edwards (search), John Edwards's wife, at the Manchester Airport ... and she, she's very nice lady and fully up to speed on all the issues. We sort of discussed education policy, et cetera, et cetera.
BARNES: Oh, that must have been fun.
KONDRACKE: ... But the most interesting thing was about the Edwards's decision to have two children after their son died in an automobile accident at her age, 48 and 50, which is, which is pretty risky business.
KONDRACKE: And the reason she said that they had two was that she didn't want the one child to have what's called a replacement child syndrome, where the child feels that the only reason it was brought into the world was to be the replacement for the child who died. So they had a second one.
You know, she's a totally genuine kind of person. And, you know, if he got elected, would make a great first lady, I think.
BARNES: Yes, no,I find her very appealing as well. But did you notice, Mort, that she is a gazer? You know, when her husband's speaking, she's gazing lovingly at him, even though his speeches were, you know, word for word what the previous speech was...
KONDRACKE: Nancy, Nancy Reagan-style.
BARNES: ... yes, Nancy Reagan-style gazing ... and I like gazers myself, actually. You know who is...
KONDRACKE: Barbara Barnes? She's a gazer, is she?
BARNES: She, she's not a gazer. But I love her anyway.
The, but Theresa Heinz -- oop ... I almost mispronounced her name, or for the campaign Theresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of John Kerry, is lovey-dovey with him on the stage some, but she's not a gazer half the time.
While he's speaking, she's off talking to somebody else, wandering around the stage. And then you never know when she's actually going to say something at some of these rallies, at, speaking with her, I would call it an exotic accent, you know, she was born and reared in Mozambique in Africa. You know ... you'll notice it, and I'm sure you've noticed, she always wears this shawl, which is sort of her trademark ...
KONDRACKE: You have something against shawls?
BARNES: No, no, no, I don't have anything against shawls. But she's the only possible first lady who's actually wearing one. She will be, if John Kerry's elected, she will be a highly unusual first lady, I ...
KONDRACKE: I would call her a ... house afire is what I would call her.
BARNES: Yes ... well, what will her, you know, every first lady has to have an issue. I don't know what hers is going to be. What is ... Elizabeth Edwards' issue?
KONDRACKE: ... I think it's education, yes. And it's a, I think it's a - - homeless children and stuff like that.
BARNES: Well, we didn't go into the other first ladies. But the truth is that, that having a wife with you ... if the candidate is a male, with you on the stump is something that I think people have come to expect.
And Howard Dean's wife was not there in the beginning, and, I mean, she does have a, a full-time job. I think that hurt him a little. When she came, it humanized him some.
It actually, with John Kerry, having his wife on the stage, you know, sometimes he'll go and hug her, and, she sometimes she sort of looks depressed being there. And he'll go and cheer her up, and it works.
KONDRACKE: Well, I like feisty women, and Theresa Heinz definitely is one.
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