Kennedy has been of particular importance to Kerry for a number of reasons. When Kerry's campaign was struggling in 2003, the senior senator from Massachusetts allowed Kerry, the commonwealth's junior senator, to hire away the women who are now Kerry's campaign manager and communications director.
Mary Beth Cahill, Kennedy's chief of staff, is now Kerry's campaign manager. Stephanie Cutter, who served as Kennedy's communications director, now serves in that post for Kerry.
Kennedy also took an active role in Kerry's campaign when former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean surged in the early Democratic primary polls last winter. He bounced from site to site in Iowa, hoping to woo liberals into Kerry's camp.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who endorsed Dean at the time, later laughed, "My guy was doing fine until Kennedy showed up."
Kennedy is also credited (or blamed) with leading the charge to bring the convention to Boston.
In the Boston Herald American interview, conducted by reporter Myra MacPherson, who later wrote for The Washington Post, Heinz Kerry's animus was not limited to Kennedy. The story also notes that in the interview, "[S]he also attacked machine politics — 'The Democratic machine in this country is putrid.' "
In an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters that aired on 20/20 in May, Heinz Kerry defended her outspokenness by implying a certain chauvinism in anyone who took umbrage with her remarks.
"A lot of people are not used to having a dame, a lady or something have opinions," she said.
But in the 1976 interview with the Boston Herald American, she also took on the women's movement. "I really have some anger in me right now," she said. "I think the women's movement has got to reverse itself on the motherhood thing — it's important and necessary that a mother stay home and be a mother for the first few years of a baby's life."
Kerry: ‘People Like Honesty’
Asked in January 2004, about his wife's quick tongue, Kerry told ABC News' Good Morning America he's "not going to worry about it. She's my wife. She is who she is. I love her for her outspokenness, and I think it's kind of charming and honest, and I think people like honesty."
But in a recent interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Kerry's running mate, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, joked that he was concerned about Heinz Kerry's propensity to say whatever is on her mind. "Now don't tell everything," he admonished her.
"This is the one we have to worry about telling everything," Edwards said to CBS News' Lesley Stahl.
"I know," replied Stahl. "That's why I'm interviewing her."
Edwards may have a better handle on how Heinz Kerry's candor is playing with the public.
According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, Heinz Kerry — even while not well-known — had double Laura Bush's unfavorable rating, with 26 percent saying they had an unfavorable view of Heinz Kerry, as opposed to 12 percent for Bush.
Heinz Kerry will seemingly take on any subject, whether serious ("Iraq has made terrorism worse, not better," she has repeatedly said) or frivolous, like about her husband's body. "He's too skinny," she told Walters.
"He should gain weight on all his body … about 20 pounds."
Politically Active, Confrontational
Her outspokenness has sometimes been for a cause. While married to Sen. Heinz in the 1980s, she was an activist against South Africa's apartheid, the nuclear arms race, and for human rights for Soviet Jews.