Teresa Heinz Kerry (search) said Monday she would continue philanthropy work and avoid a policy-making role in the White House if her husband were elected president.
Heinz Kerry, head of the $1.2 billion Heinz Foundation (search) endowment, said she prefers advocating for education, health, the environment and urban redevelopment through philanthropic projects.
"That excites me, because I learn a lot from that, and I can give my own perspectives of how we did it or failed or whatever," she said. "That's the kind of thing I like to do. I do not need a job. I don't want a job."
During a campaign stop on behalf of her husband, Democratic Sen. John Kerry (search) of Massachusetts, Heinz Kerry visited St. Jerome's Head Start. She read stories to a group of young children, some of whom listened while others squirmed during the 20-minute event. One child, 3-year-old Raven Laprade, fell asleep in her lap.
Heinz Kerry, who is the daughter of a Portuguese physician, said the United States should devote more attention to education and health care for young children.
"It is blessed work, and I believe that our teachers and our nurses are the most important of public servants," she said. "They serve the well-being of the public."
If her husband defeats President Bush, Heinz Kerry said the only extra job she would gain would be the role of supporting him as president.
"I think anyone in that position needs extra support, but I don't want to formulate policy," she said.
Heinz Kerry has a long record of advocating for the environment, health care, human rights and women's issues. She donates money to such causes as head of the Heinz Foundation endowment, a job she inherited when her first husband, Republican Sen. John Heinz (search) of Pennsylvania, died in a plane crash in 1991. John Heinz was the heir to the Heinz Co. food fortune.