updated 7/26/2004 11:51:24 AM ET 2004-07-26T15:51:24

Guest: Teresa Heinz Kerry

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Good evening, I‘m Chris Matthews.  This is HARDBALL‘s live coverage, in you can see, on the eve of the Democratic Convention here in Boston.  We are at Faneuil Hall, outside the Salty Dog (UNINTELLIGIBLE).  And an institution here in Boston. 

Well this week, the Democrats will nominate Senator John Kerry for president.  Earlier today, I spoke with a very interesting woman, the wife of the candidate, Teresa Heinz Kerry.  Let‘s listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re here in Boston with Teresa Heinz Kerry.  Thank you Teresa for doing this. 

TERESA HEINZ KERRY, WIFE OF SEN. JOHN KERRY:  Thank you, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  It‘s great, because this is our big first night here in Boston.  And we want to hear you, about the big week it‘s going to be for you and your husband, John.  What do you think he has to accomplish this year—this week with maybe 20 or 30 million people watching? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I guess what any politician wants to accomplish, and wants to and needs to accomplish is to bring in to the listening fold people, either who have given up on politics, who are discouraged by politics, who are afraid of politicians or what they do, and also those who are interested, but undecided.  I mean, I hope those are the people he can reach, and of course, reach the faithful who want to hear good stories? 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, why does he want to be president? 

HEINZ KERRY:  Why does he? 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

HEINZ KERRY:  John has always wanted to serve, from what I understand.  I have only known him a short time—ten years or 11.  But certainly, his idea of public service is an idea that‘s much more—that‘s much broader than what one would normally think. 

He believes, for instance, that Peace Corps volunteers are a public servant.  In that sense, informally, a nurse and teacher are public servants.  Doctors and priests and nuns, they are all public servants.  They took care of the well-being of people. 

And in the larger context, we all have not only have an opportunity, but really a society has a need for our involvement through works as a volunteer, which Americans do, in hospitals and auxiliaries and symphonies to enhance the quality of life for everyone. 

It is a great way to do it.  And so, going to government to do that is an extension of that sense of opportunity and responsibility. 

MATTHEWS:  People say that he‘s not very passionate in public.  When he talks about these things in private, do you have a sense of how—how can you convey his passionate love of the country? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I don‘t think he would have volunteered to fight if he didn‘t believe passionately in his country, and that he had a duty to his country.  I don‘t think he would have become a prosecutor and pursued the law, and brought women lawyers to almost 50-50 in his Middlesex County—in the office. 

And it was a pursuit of justice.  And I don‘t think that he would have joined the Vietnam Veterans when he came back to try to stop the war.  Which was not an easy thing to do, it was hard.  And I did it because he felt an obligation. 

So there is passion.  People show their passion in different ways, you know. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about probably the most important question of the campaign, although who knows what it is.  I think it might be leadership in a time of crisis, even fear in the country.  In it were 9/11 and your husband were president of the United States.  You remember how you imagined—we all saw a bit of how the president behaved.  He was in a schoolroom, there was some hesitation and then they tried to protect him and then by two or three days later, he seemed to be in charge.  How do you think your husband would have behaved in 9/11? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I think the president behaved correctly in terms of being quiet amidst stunning news like that in a classroom of kids.  You know, what can you do?  It takes you a couple of minutes to digest what you have just heard.  And then he was not not his—not in his White House and in his office with all of his people.  He was in the school in Florida. 

I know that there are all of these people are always available to the president, it must have been terrible.  I don‘t know that anybody would have done what they normally would do perfectly under those circumstances. 

John is a soldier, though, and someone who is kind of had to have quick reactions, probably would have reacted a little differently because as a captain of his boat, of his swift boat, it was his job it protect his men.  It was physically to protect them. 

And but actually, that‘s a good question.  I have never asked him, what would you do.  I think he would have gone to the site immediately, and if he was persuaded not to by other people, tried to, I think he would have persuaded them that he had to. 

MATTHEWS:  Be more aggressive.

HEINZ KERRY:  He would have gone there immediately. 

MATTHEWS:  Why do you think he would have done that? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I think it comes from that thing, protecting—you have to go.  I have to go see my men.  I have to see the people.  But that‘s how he is. 

Now, you know, in hindsight, how can you tell?  But I don‘t blame the president for being stunned at all, as we all were, almost paralyzed.  But I remember John feeling that you know, I hope he goes, I hope he goes, I hope he goes quickly. 

MATTHEWS:  I would call that grace under pressure.  Does John have that? 

HEINZ KERRY:  Yes.  Cool.  John is very cool under pressure.  He‘s a graceful person, too. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about the campaign.  You know, in the course of doing our show, HARDBALL, I have had a chance to talk to him off camera.  And when he came to me about a year ago, I remember him clearly standing in the hallway outside of our studio and looking me in the eye, almost dramatically saying to me, I‘m going to win this election.  Maybe he was trying to sell me like he does with other reporters.  What do you think—directly saying, Chris, I‘m going to win this thing. 

HEINZ KERRY:  It may be a survivor‘s instinct.  Also it‘s knowing where your strengths are when you need them.  And he obviously knows where that box is, somewhere he has the stuff.  He is always very good when he‘s under a lot of pressure. 

And whether it‘s developed through wartime or whether it‘s through skills just growing up, I don‘t know that.  But he does, he gets very cool and very focused when he‘s under fire, particularly if it‘s a fire that is not positive, you know, correct.  He really fights.  Remember, he‘s also competitive like heck.  I mean, look at what he does with himself.  The sports he does generally are with himself.  But...

MATTHEWS:  Why do you think he chooses to do these very gutsy kind of sports.  They‘re not sports.  They‘re almost survival tests.  He goes out over the ocean.  He must be a hell of a swimmer.  He goes out there, he does this wind surfing.  He does the snowboarding. 

HEINZ KERRY:  He likes the feeling—he likes the water.  He grew up by the water.  He loves the mountains, too.  And he loves nature. 

And I think that being out there in the water or hiking or skiing gives people time to recollect like a meditation.  Peace.  He finds peace there. 

But I have to say that not long after his prostate cancer, so, he was operated in February, in June, I forget—I think it‘s June when they had the race for the cure, he biked from here to Hyannis.  I was livid.  I thought he was going to start with ten miles, hello.  No, he came 31 out of 2,000 or 5,000 or something. 

MATTHEWS:  Why do you think he‘s driven to get into these tough rigorous pastimes rather than...

HEINZ KERRY:  Who knows. 

MATTHEWS:  A lot of people like to play golf with their buddies and drink a couple of beers. 

HEINZ KERRY:  He likes that, too.  He‘s not a good golfer and golf takes a lot of time.  But he likes golf.  I shouldn‘t say he‘s not a good golfer.  He‘s not a proficient golfer, he can play.  But he‘s a good athlete. 

MATTHEWS:  But you said he liked to perform alone.  He likes to compete against themself? 

HEINZ KERRY:  You know what?  My late husband, who was an only child, also did some of the things that John does.  He excelled at these sports where he had to depend on himself.  As opposed to a lot of other people.  Although, he could play with other people and he loved people so, maybe John because he‘s been away from his parents so much growing up for a variety of reasons, foreign service, et cetera, maybe he had to find a ways of satisfying his needs alone. 

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s talk about the competitive part of it.  I mean, everybody does—I have watched his political career.  He‘s pulled it out when he went against Governor Weld up here.  All of the guys in the bars loved Weld, and he beat him. 

Let me ask you about the toughest part of the campaign.  When he was down, everybody in the media was looking at Howard Dean, falling in love with him.  Everybody was saying Kerry‘s out of it.  He came again, to my show, he looked across the desk at me and said, Chris, don‘t count me out of this thing.  I‘m going to win this thing.  That decision of his to go to Iowa, borrow the money, remember, as you recall, what was that like?  To risk everything, to go win in Iowa. 

HEINZ KERRY:  I tell you something, we knew in the beginning of December that John would come high second or win Iowa.  There was not—people out there had him dead and not yet buried.  We knew differently. 

And for, you know, I‘m not going to go into all of the reason, I could tell you, but we did.  And I felt so, and John would not have assumed those responsibilities if he didn‘t think they were achievable. 

I remember going and spent two days at Christmas holiday, that was it, and I told my friends, I‘m leaving, I‘m going to New Hampshire and then I‘m going to Iowa.  And we spent New Year‘s Eve in Sioux City.  In fact, we were in Sioux City yesterday.  We had a great rally. 

And we did that because we knew we could.  And the last thing I said to my friends is, we are going to come I have high second or win Iowa.  And we didn‘t know we would win by that much.  We won very clearly, and handily. 

But if you have been in politics as long as I have, talking to people, campaigning, and looking at the organization that John has put together in Iowa and in New Hampshire, I knew from New Hampshire that people‘s reaction in the polls was that everyone told them John couldn‘t win, so they were shopping for a second person.  But also, if he won Iowa, then New Hampshire would fold over and come say, yes, he can win.  And...

MATTHEWS:  But it was kind of a dramatic decision, to invest that money, borrow the money and invest it and say, I‘m not going to wait back here in New England and try to win in New Hampshire.  I‘m going out there and fighting them.

HEINZ KERRY:  Correctly so. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think that was a smart move at the time? 

HEINZ KERRY:  Absolutely.  We had a superb organization.  I knew from my work in people with campaigning that we had a lot of strength.  Now, in Iowa, and I respect them for it, you never know—because you never know in politics until the last vote is out.  But Iowans when they give you their support, they mean it.  And they don‘t give it to you easily.  They give it you to when they are convinced. 

So, when you know you have a whole body politic that is committed,  when you know that 16 out of 17 Democrat college presidents and university students, et cetera were all for John, all but one, and these—these are kids that know issues and are interested in issues.  I spoke a lot at the universities, and so did two of our kids. 

You begin to know what is the makes.  How do you build this castle, kind of a thing, how do you build this house, how do you build this campaign up.  And you know the parts are there. 

You know, interestingly, there was also a very interesting poll I thought, which Pew did in the beginning of December which said in the labor households, John beat Gephardt 4-3 and Dean 2-1, but John had the firefighters on his side. 

MATTHEWS:  I know that, ma‘am. 

HEINZ KERRY:  So, whatever John was talking about, appealed to these

people

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go back talk about—we‘re with Teresa Heinz-Kerry.  Let‘s talk to Teresa about what one Republican, in fact the top Republican in the Bush campaign calls the most important state, your state, Pennsylvania. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re back with Teresa Heinz Kerry, talking about her husband. 

This is a big week.  I‘m going to go over it again.  This is a big week for HARDBALL on MSNBC and much bigger for you and your husband. 

Let me ask you about John Kerry in private.  I‘m not going to get weird about this. 

HEINZ KERRY:  I won‘t let you. 

MATTHEWS:  What turns him on? 

HEINZ KERRY:  He likes fun—funny enough.  He loves poetry and music and he loves beauty, nature.  But he also likes competition and games.  He is an aficionado of the Tour de France.  I mean, he has been watching all these cyclists and Lance Armstrong.  He even talked to Lance Armstrong him last week.  He was so excite, he was like a little kid.  He says, I talked to Lance Armstrong.  I said, that‘s good. 

MATTHEWS:  He‘s the most successful athlete in the world. 

HEINZ KERRY:  I think John admires someone who survives adversity like he has.  No bitterness, no feeling sorry for himself, just discipline and focus.  John admires that. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about the other thing about him, about Vietnam.  I guess the one thing that your campaign and he wants us to know about him is that he served the country.  But there‘s a down side to war.  We are reading about people who are coming back from Iraq who are emotionally upset, to say the least. There‘s flashbacks and things like that.  Living with John Kerry, do you live at all that memory of Vietnam with him in any traumatic way? 

HEINZ KERRY:  Not in a specific way of saying people getting—get—flashbacks Agent Orange, or the thousands and thousands of homeless out there who have become alcoholic or drug dependent because of Vietnam.  You know, unfinished business, unfinished therapy.  I think Los Angeles alone has 49,000 homeless Vietnam veterans,  today. 

So, John obviously doesn‘t have that, because he‘s harnessed his resources, and his emotions to do something about these problems.  But not everybody is able to do that.  And not everybody‘s hurts are terrible. 

But let me tell you, when you have been—what you have been with your friends and you have lost as many friends as he did, personal friends from childhood, and you see them killed, and you see them dead and you yourself are shooting people you don‘t know, they‘re just called the enemy, and sometimes the one that‘s your—on your side looks just like the enemy and you don‘t know—it‘s got to be awful. 

I mean, you know, if you—I remember once my late husband—shooting—shooting a B.B. gun with a mouse that was in the house, or a rat in the house and I got all upset, not because I like rats but—you killed a rat.  And so for human beings to kill and see dead others, it has got to be terrible. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, when I see him with the Vietnam vets like Max Clelend, I get it, they‘re political, they‘ve got their act together.  Even though, Max, of course, was terribly injured.  But then when I see him with the bikers, the guys with the pony tails, the guys that have had it hard for the last 30 or 40 years, does he really connect with those guys out there on those bikes? 

HEINZ KERRY:  Yes.  And they with him.  And that‘s the one thing that surprised me when I got married and used to come to Boston on weekends with John.  Is if you were driving a car, or walking, people driving by or walking, they would stop.  Hi, senator, give him five.  People he didn‘t know, but they liked him. 

MATTHEWS:  You mean the street guys. 

HEINZ KERRY:  People on the street, anybody.

MATTHEWS:  Oh, everybody.  You‘re not talking about the Vietnam veterans especially.

HEINZ KERRY:  No, no, no.  People.  And I was stunned by that, because I had never seen that before.  And I thought, mmm—maybe—I thought to myself, maybe because he was a vet, maybe because here in Boston when you did that—I didn‘t know why?  But it was different. 

And there is that feeling out there, maybe it‘s not translatable to most people sitting in their living rooms, but you walk on the streets with him, and you will see it. 

MATTHEWS:  Because the question arises whether you like to have a beer with the guy.  Do you think that‘s a fair question? 

HEINZ KERRY:  You wouldn‘t want to have a beer with John, because John is not a beer drinker.  He doesn‘t drink much period, he‘s boring that way.  I‘m not saying that you should have a drink, but I can have a glass of wine or two and enjoy it with my dinner and John will have one.  So, he‘s—measured. 

MATTHEWS:  But isn‘t he the kind of a guy that would go to a bar for an hour after a golf game and talk about girls and sports.  Is he that kind of guy. 

HEINZ KERRY:  I hope he‘s not talking about girls now. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, most guys do. 

HEINZ KERRY:  Yes, well—I don‘t need to know that. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, what do you make of that personality test for a president of the United States?  Is that a stupid question? 

HEINZ KERRY:  No, you tell you what—maybe it‘s my character.  My late husband was the same way.  He was not going to—going to the bar and have a beer guy and he was not funny.  He had a great sense of humor, he made fun of himself, but he was not funny.  He couldn‘t make jokes.  I used to tell him, don‘t make jokes.  Just talk from your heart.

MATTHEWS:  You said that to Jack Heinz.

HEINZ KERRY:  To Jack Heinz. 

MATTHEWS:  What about John Kerry, can he tell a joke? 

HEINZ KERRY:  Better than Jack Heinz, but still, it doesn‘t—they‘re too serious in some ways.  Not that they don‘t have a sense of humor, but when they are talking—I used to tell Jack and I tell John, when you are out there talking to people, talk from your heart, make fun of yourself, be yourself.  That‘s all you can be.  Just be. 

MATTHEWS:  And what does he is a say? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I remember—do you remember—I remember Jack doing that in Philadelphia.  He giving a foreign policy speech, not at the academy but one of those prestigious buildings and I went with him.  And I listened to him.  And he had—of course, he had a text and he just spoke.

And he was great.  And he didn‘t crack any jokes in the beginning.  I said, you don‘t have to joke.  You‘re not paid to joke.  And, you know, Bill Green was—from Congressman. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes. 

HEINZ KERRY:  Was a great, funny, wonderful Irishman.  He had just had a gift.  OK.  So...

MATTHEWS:  How about this week when we get out in the 20, 30 million of us are going to be watching Senator John Kerry at the podium give the speech of his life, I guess, will he tell crackers up front?  Will he give some side-splitter, some icebreakers or anything like that? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I don‘t know that. 

MATTHEWS:  You don‘t recommend he try? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I think this is a pretty momentous place to be in your life.  And I think he‘s very moved by it, actually.  And he‘s contemplative.  And I think that he‘s trying to balance being—weighing the responsibility of it and the gift that he has to enjoy.  And so, he‘s been writing and rewriting and writing and rewriting.  But it‘s...

MATTHEWS:  Has he tried it out on you yet? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I have heard him do about half of it.  I have read all of it.  But it‘s being changed as we speak.  I mean, he constantly is adding on and taking off, so...

MATTHEWS:  Is it getting better? 

HEINZ KERRY:  It better. 

MATTHEWS:  We‘ll be right back with Teresa Heinz Kerry talking more about her husband‘s big week and her big week at the Democratic National Convention up here at Boston. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. it‘s live coverage from Boston. 

Senator John Kerry is here in town, actually.  He has made a major change.  His plans to attend tonight the Red Sox game against the Yankees out at Fenway Park.  HARDBALL election correspondent, David Shuster has the hot story from Fenway—David. 

DAVID SHUSTER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well Chris, in fact most of the press corps that is with John Kerry is actually in Florida expecting that that is where he is tonight.  But in fact, about 45 minutes ago, the Secret Service showed up here at Fenway Park, and a few minutes ago we saw John Kerry and his motorcade show up into the grandstand. 

It‘s expected that he will actually be in the stands when the game starts at 8:00 in 35 minutes.  Chris this is not—this is actually by accident.  The Kerry campaign—and in fact, there you‘re seeing some pictures of his arrival—the Kerry campaign had volunteers showing up at Fenway Park with these signs.  The signs say Sox Fans for Kerry. 

They have been passing them out to all the fans.  So, you will see some of that in the grandstands.  So, clearly, a political effort.  And this this may not be Bill Clinton in 1992 showing up to the convention a day early, but nonetheless, some deft maneuvering by the Kerry campaign to get the picture of him tonight, at the Red Sox-Yankees game—Chris. 

MATTHEWS: Well, you know David, there‘s a red hot rivalry here in Boston against the Yankees.  There‘s no love for the Yankees as we saw in the brawl in the beginning of the game yesterday.  Is he taking a risk?  I‘m serious, is he taking a risk in taking sides in the battle between the Sox and the Yankees? 

SHUSTER:  Well, he‘s taking a risk, perhaps there, but also with the chance that he might get booed.  I mean, remember, Dick Cheney when he went to Yankee Stadium a couple of weeks ago with Rudy Giuliani, he got booed.  I don‘t imagine that John Kerry will get the same reaction from his hometown fans here, but there‘s always a risk when a politician shows up at a sporting event. 

Most of these people at Fenway Park, they are not going to be convention.  These are sports fans, a lot of whom just sort of feel inconvenienced by everything that‘s going on this week.  So we‘ll see. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, it‘s going to be a hell of a crowd.  I know it‘s sold out now, 106 games in row.  It‘s a sellout tonight, right?  About 39,000 people? 

SHUSTER:  It‘s a sellout.  In fact, we tried to get tickets.  It‘s twice the face value, so $70 tickets are going for $140 and up.  This is the last game in the Yankees-Red Sox series.  Last night was a thrilling game.  So, it‘s a jam-packed stadium. 

MATTHEWS:  All right.  I would reach into that expense account for NBC right now, David, and get in there and join the candidate.

It‘s great having great reporting, great scoop from Fenway Park, David Schuster. 

When we come back, more of my interview with, John Kerry‘s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.  You‘re watching HARDBALL‘s live coverage from Boston.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re back with Teresa Heinz Kerry.  Her husband is, of course, accepting the Democratic nomination in Boston.  You are were a Republican for a long time.  Now you‘re a Democrat.  I understand being married to a disparate (ph) husband is part of that.  But what‘s changed about your thinking about the two parties? 

HEINZ KERRY:  Well generally, what‘s changed in politics is that the discourse isn‘t the same that it used to be 30 years ago.  And it‘s a pity, because I think an American democracy depends on thoughtful, respectful interchange of ideas.  The art of the possible, truly.  And that‘s what‘s so beautiful about American politics and has been. 

Today that‘s not the case. 

MATTHEWS:  Whose fault is it?  Republicans—you switched from Republican to Democrat.  Do you blame the Republicans for it? 

HEINZ KERRY:  No, I stayed a Republican for about eight years until Max Cleland‘s race.  And I was so upset at the way the party treated Max Cleland and Jeanne Carnahan and other.  But they had an ad in Georgia that showed Max Cleland, Saddam Hussein and bin Laden, and called him, like them, dangerous and unpatriotic. 

And you know, Max Cleland is a happy warrior.  He‘s a good human being.  He doesn‘t feel sorry for himself.  He left three limbs in Vietnam.  He takes him two hours to get dressed every morning to go to the Senate as he did.  And I found that just not American.  Just not good enough. 

And I thought, irrespective of positions, I don‘t want to be associated with that kind of politics, period.  And so, I left.  Then I debated whether I would become an independent or become a Democrat, because I really don‘t think of myself as being very, very partisan.  I‘m more interested in something beyond that. 

And maybe because I didn‘t grow up early in my first 24 years not in this country, so I don‘t have an association historically with my family as being this or my family is that. 

MATTHEWS:  That‘s the way a lot of people become what they are. 

HEINZ KERRY:  Yes.  So, I decided, you know, I wanted to vote for my husband.  And in Massachusetts, as in Pennsylvania, you have to be registered in the party to vote.  So, I reregistered a Democrat.  I feel much more at home now than I could possibly feel in the present leadership of the Republican Party. 

MATTHEWS:  Come back and talk more with Teresa Heinz Kerry about the big week up here in Boston.  Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re back with Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of John Kerry, who, of course, is accepting the Democratic nomination this Thursday night. 

Let‘s talk about you for a couple of minutes.  Which I find—I find you fascinating.  First of all, if you win this election, you will be the first lady who was not born in America.  What is the significance of that to you, the way you look at it? 

HEINZ KERRY:  If I may correct you, I think the second first lady was not born in America. 

MATTHEWS:  Abigail Adams. 

HEINZ KERRY:  No, not Abigail, her daughter-in-law.  She was born in England.  English. 

MATTHEWS:  Really? 

HEINZ KERRY:  But she was.  John Quincy...

MATTHEWS:  John Quincy Adams, from Massachusetts. 

HEINZ KERRY:  Yes.  She was born in England.  But I‘m certainly the first one from say, south of the equator.

MATTHEWS:  In modern times. 

You know I know you grew up in Mozambique which was under Portuguese rule, of course, was colonial.  And I was in Peace Corps at the time.  I left there in 71.  When did you leave that area?

HEINZ KERRY:  Well, my parents left, finally in 1976.  But I was—I went away from Africa in 1960 when I went to graduate school abroad and then I went to America in ‘64.

MATTHEWS:  What do you bring to the table in terms of that kind of experience?  It‘s different than other first ladies? 

HEINZ KERRY:  You know, in the world that is as globalized as it is, and I mean by that communications, travel, et cetera, and the economies, it‘s probably not a disadvantage to have a lived in other places and have other yardsticks.  I certainly do.  And I feel comfortable—you know, I feel comfortable with different peoples. 

Maybe I size up people a little differently.  I‘m less afraid of being with people who are different from me than some people are.  And in fact, I find it interesting. 

And it is in a sense a surprise that in a country that bases its richness and its wealth on diversity, you know, and the ability to live with diverse groups, that issue of someone being slightly different or from somewhere else should be an issue.  I mean, Our country is full of immigrants, first, second, third fourth generation immigrants.  And here‘s one more, you know? 

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s flip it around.  The president of the United States, whatever his strengths are, we can argue about that as the election goes on, is certainly not a kid who grew up with a tremendous curiosity about the rest of world.  He had all the financial and all the home advantage of being able to travel, see the world, go to Europe.  Go visit his father when he was ambassador to China.  He never showed much interest in the world as a kid growing up. 

In fact, right through to his presidency, hadn‘t really done much world travel.  Is that a handicap?  Has it been a handicap in this war, not being familiar with the rest of the world? 

HEINZ KERRY:  I always think that not knowing is not as good as knowing, whatever the reasons.  You know, I‘m not going to blame him for not knowing, but I think that he probably felt a little bit more comfortable initially in the beginning of his presidency in terms of understanding what isolationism means, and understanding what making good foreign policy means, being preemptive in peacetimes. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

HEINZ KERRY:  And therefore, being proactive.  You know, people‘s understanding is cumulative, and certainly reflect their lives. 

MATTHEWS:  During the early course of the war when the French were vetoing our position on the war and the Germans were not in the security council questioned us and the Russians, there was a lot of this foreigner bashing.  I thought it was stupid: freedom fries, things like that.  What was your feeling when you heard that french fries were now going to be heard freedom fries.  This sort of—we call it xenophobia, this anti-foreign attitude. 

HEINZ KERRY:  You know, when you come from poor countries and countries whose only stand—standing is the respect with which they deal with other people, you don‘t call people names.  Period.  And if you really, furthermore, know about Mediterranean people, particularly Mediterranean men, whether they be Arabic or whether they be Greeks or Portuguese or Spanish or Italians or any of them, you don‘t insult and hurt the pride of these men.  They can‘t deal with that, and that‘s the way it is.  If you know that, you deal with it differently. 

So, there are a lot of very simple things.  They‘re just—humanity rules and wisdom of knowing, and that certain things, which beyond being counterproductive, are dangerous.  And so, you know, the old saying is you don‘t catch flies with vinegar, right? 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

HEINZ KERRY:  Well, you don‘t.  You don‘t have to give them honey, you know, but you at least have to invite them in.  And I was scared when I heard those statements about old Europe, generally.  You know, old Europe has a lot of things to teach us and has.  And we have things to teach them too.  And that kind of comfort zone from knowledge and from respect is necessary if other countries are going it respect you. 

MATTHEWS:  Why do you think that the rest of the world, I was just lucky enough to be in France, I can‘t catch I lot of the on the street hostility, but certainly when you read the papers, a lot of the other countries in the world don‘t respect our position in Iraq.  There is a sense that we went it alone, we sort of were cowboys about it.  You must be hearing that from a lot from different people.  What do you think we did wrong in terms of the way we went to war?  Were we right to go to war with Iraq?

HEINZ KERRY:  I think before we went to war we set the whole thing on the bad premise, on a bad platform.  And then adding insult to the injury, which is calling the other people old or incompetent or whatever, doesn‘t help make friends. 

And I think part of the animosity today is a respect one.  You know, how can people this powerful treat those of us who have less—but we are wise, differently and arrogantly.  That is offensive to these people.  And I understand that. 

On the other hand, the issue of terrorism, the issue of danger, is very close and has been throughout time to Europeans.  You know, the Irish, English, the French with all of the North Africa problems they have. 

MATTHEWS:  The Basques. 

HEINZ KERRY:  The Basques in Spain.  So, this is not something that‘s alien to them.  And they don‘t generally go out and blame other people, they just deal with it.

To me, this whole terrible thing of 9/11 was America‘s first loss of innocence in terms of real, ugly politics that way in our own home turf.  And it was awful.  It was awful for the world. 

And when I said to someone in Iowa, someone asked me, why are people abroad so mad at us?  And I tried to think how I could explain that in human terms.  I said, well, imagine you have three or four kids and one kid is really a star.  Just things come naturally.  Whatever it is. 

And then they do something very foolish that hurts them, hurts their chances, whatever it is.  And you are especially mad and especially disappointed with that child, whereas if another child did the same thing, you would have a talk and figure it out, right?  It‘s like that. 

For a lot of people in the third world and a lot of people who never had—in other country, not just the third world, who have never had liberty, who have had members of the family who have died for the sake of freedom, the sake of votes, et cetera, who don‘t have enough health, schooling, whatever, for those people, the idea of America, of this possibility of America that you will never reach, will never go to, but the idea of it is very, very, very important.  It‘s a beacon.  It‘s a potential. 

And when you see that besmirched, when you see that diminished, far away as it may be, then you hurt and you get mad.  It‘s a child you really get mad with.  How dare you do something like this when you have so much going for you and we need you to be this beacon of hope. 

And so, I understand how people who have always thought of America as a hope in the world and as a hope and example, how disappointed and hurt and scared—scared they must be.  Scared for us.  Scared for us.  What‘s happening in your country.  I understand that. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think we should have gone to war with Iraq?  After listening to all of this, it sounds like we made more enemies than friends? 

HEINZ KERRY:  We have.  I think the world is less safe today than it was then.  Bar—no questions about it.  We have basically given scholarships to potential terrorists to become terrorists by creating this situation.  They‘re so angry. 

Now, the problem in the world is not—not that we created the terrorists initially.  We didn‘t.  But doing this doesn‘t diminish it.  And as we now know from what was said—certain things were said which were not the truth, and the Congress of the United States was led down, in my view, a path believing one thing and acting on one thing. 

But what I think is important for people to know is, in my book, anyway, as I watched it, is that the motion and the bill to allow the president to go to war as a last resort was one that meant last resort, particularly in the case when the president of the United States did not need that to go to war.  Could have gone to war anyway.  People don‘t realize that. 

Secondly, what that did was to create a forum and a demand for policy, but for diplomacy to take place.  And we did.  We had five months of peace.  Colin Powell went to the U.N. and did some of the work, et cetera.  And when the war came about at the end of February, it came about a decision over a weekend like that. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

HEINZ KERRY:  It was not anything extraordinary.  It happened.  So, it was a war that was going to happen, because that‘s what they wanted to do. 

And so I think what those senators did, and took a lot of blame for, was creating a process that didn‘t exist, forcing a process to take place, and then hope that peace would prevail.  It didn‘t. 

So, I would have not have gone to war, ever, that way.  And I know from all of the soldiers that I have talked and all of the generals and anybody I have ever talked to, military people don‘t like to go to war,  because they know what happens.  They don‘t like to see the men killed, and the women today, and they don‘t want to kill. 

And so—you also never go to war without an exit strategy and you never go to war without the ability to go and tell a parent of a child that died, I did everything I could. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you very much, Teresa Heinz Kerry.  Thanks for join being us on HARDBALL.

HEINZ KERRY:  Thank you. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  Very candid interview there.  Our live coverage from Boston on the eve of the Democratic convention continues in just a minute.  We‘ve got a live report from Fenway Park where John Kerry will be throwing out the first pitch at the Red Sox game tonight. 

And coming up at the top of the hour, the show I‘ve been talking about all day, the best hour of the week, join Tom Brokaw and myself for the MSNBC special, “Picking Our Presidents: The Greatest Moments.”  And I mean it, the greats moments.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to Boston.  As you can see everybody is here tonight outside Faneuil Hall.  And at another big point of opportunity for us tonight, Mike Barnacle is out at Fenway Park where John Kerry is making a surprise visit to throw out the first pitch.  He made a major change in plans tonight to attend the Sox-Yankees game.  Mike, take it away. 

MICHAEL BARNACLE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Chris, you‘re right.  I mean, John Kerry was supposed to be in Ohio and several other states, but here he is in the first event of his potential field of dreams in his presidential race. 

He is indeed throwing out the first pitch at this game between the Red Sox and the Yankees.  The third game in a weekend long series, it is the hottest ticket in town.  He‘ll be throwing the first pitch out to a young 24-year-old Massachusetts National Guard military policeman, Will Plumier from North (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Massachusetts, that‘s about 30 miles northwest of Boston. 

And Private Plumier has just returned from service in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He was in Iraq for six months beginning last year in April 2003.  Senator Kerry is guaranteed a huge ovation here tonight, because all of the boos are being reserved for the New York Yankees.  You can hear the cheers behind me, perhaps, that‘s the introduction of the Red Sox line up. 

The Yankees and the Red Sox have had an historic confrontation over the years, none more so than yesterday, when there was a fist fight between Jason Veritek the Red Sox catcher and Alex Rodriguez, the multi-millionaire short stop for the Yankees who nearly came to the Red Sox last winter. 

But John Kerry is here tonight.  He‘s got a big smile on his face.  He‘ll be sitting with his wife, Theresa Heinz with Red Sox owner, John Henry, sitting right alongside co-Red Sox owner, Tom Warner and Katie Couric, you might have heard of her before, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you, Mike Barnacle from Fenway Park. 

What do you think? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What kind of force do you think that Theresa Heinz is going to be behind the presidency?  Do you think she‘s going to like Hillary or a little bit more like Laura? 

MATTHEWS:  I think she‘ll be like herself, because she speaks about five languages, she‘s been all over the world, she grew up in another country, she reminded me today—there was another first lady who wasn‘t born in this country, John Quincy Adams wife was from England. 

But I think it is a big thing.  It‘s a big thing, I think it‘s good for the country.  I think they should change the constitution and let immigrants vote for president, that‘s my belief, but that‘s just my personal opinion.  Let‘s go. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hi, I‘m just looking for, where is the optimism among the Democratic nominee.  The democratic...

MATTHEWS:  Are you optimistic? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m split.  Because most of what‘s on TV she‘s days is like, I hate Bush.  You have got to run on something on more than negative. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think—how many people here think that the convention should spend a lot of time attacking the president?  So, are you satisfied with the decision made here tonight? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A bit a little more confident in my fellow Bostonians, sir. 

MATHEWS:  Let‘s go around here.  Somebody else here wanted to talk. 

You, sir. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘d just like to know, it seems to me there‘s not enough focus on...

MATTHEWS:  Are you Richard Dreyfuss?  I‘m sorry, you look like Mr.

Holland‘s Opus right here to me. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Usually I‘m told I look like Sipowitz. 

What concerns me, is there‘s not enough focus on what George W. Bush wants to do to the courts.  I‘m a lawyer. 

MATTHEWS:  Are you a Scalia guy, or a Sandra Day O‘Connor guy, or a Ruth Bader-Ginsburg?  Where do you put yourself? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A little to the left of John Paul Stevens. 

MATTHEWS:  I know where that is.  You‘re on the left, buddy.  Let‘s go here.  Here‘s a woman with a thought. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m a high school teacher, I‘m wondering if young voters should be concerned about the draft when they to go cast their vote? 

MATTHEWS:  There won‘t be a draft.  No way.  Yes, sir. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you think the...

MATTHEWS: You look like Richard Dreyfuss, I‘m sorry.  There can only be one Richard Dreyfuss, and I think he‘s coming to the convention. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When I go to Manhattan they think I am.  Do you think the country is becoming more polarized with the red and blue state? 

MATTHEWS:  It‘s very polarized.  In fact, The New York Times front page has whole account of how it‘s never in history been more of difference of opinion between Republicans and Democrats on public issues.  It‘s a little scary. 

And I was talking to Frank and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we even have different networks for different points of view, which is really scary.  We‘re going  to have an al-Jazeera mentality in this country, where it‘s all just propaganda.  That scarce me. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You think we‘ll have a civil war, you think?

MATTHEWS:  No.

Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I just want to say I think Teresa is fantastic.  And I think the more they can get her on the air the better off they‘re going to be. 

MATTHEWS:  How many people here like Theresa Heinz? 

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Anybody else?  Yes, here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce wants to know how you‘re enjoying Boston? 

MATTHEWS:  He wants to what? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Know how you‘re enjoying Boston. 

MATTHEWS:  The mayor does? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The Greater Boston Chamber? 

MATTHEWS:  Well, speaking for the Greater Boston Chamber, I think it‘s great.  I love the weather, it‘s like San Francisco when I wrote for that paper.  Another great city. 

Anybody have any other thoughts here.

Boston has never looked better. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I want to say, I got out here from Seattle, Washington last night and every moment there‘s somebody in white with red, white and blue on ready to help you when you‘re just talking. 

MATTHEWS:  That‘s another leftie town. 

Anyway, MSNBC‘s live coverage of the Democratic National Convention begins tomorrow. 

By the way, join me for a week long Eastern -- 8:00 Eastern by the way, 6:00 Eastern, for two hour additions of HARDBALL.  And then again at 9:00 Eastern.  I‘m going to be doing 5 hours a night.  The old time gavel to gavel, just like Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley days. 

And then at midnight Eastern join Joe Scarborough and Ron Reagan for -

·         and this is scary, after hours with the tonight‘s highlights. 

By the way, coming right up now, this is the best thing I‘ve ever done on television, from Brokaw picking our presidents for political junkies.  Don‘t turn your channels.  It‘s one of the great moments in television history.  Stay tuned.

END   

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