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I think Kerry’s “marrying up” answer cuts two ways. On the one hand, it was a funny way to try to acknowledge and parry an uncomfortable issue. But to the extent that the Teresa Heinz Kerry question remains in the public eye, it is very bad for John Kerry. No doubt about it, Heinz Kerry is a problem–embarrassing and off-putting in any number of ways. If people are truly interested in these personal issues, Kerry is in trouble. I suspect that this year, issues matter even more than usual. But if this debate somehow brings character back, it could make a difference for the president.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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