With California’s Democratic primary now six days away, the Los Angeles Times’ Robin Abcarian today contributes her two cents to the manufactured media debate, Teresa Heinz Kerry: Help or Hindrance? Abcarian tells us that Heinz Kerry, unlike her husband (“Vietnam veteran,” “has gravitas”) or John Edwards and his wife (he: “son-of-a-mill worker” who “offers hope to the working class;” she: “former lawyer” and “harried mom and self-deprecating helpmate”) is “not as easy to pigeonhole.”

That doesn’t stop Abcarian from giving it a shot. Like those before her (as Campaign Desk has noted), Abcarian mentions the usual physical and biographical details: the scarves, the Botox — “She looked at least 10 years younger than her age (she has admitted to Botox but not to plastic surgery) and wore minimal makeup” — the “whispery — some might say sexy — ” and “soft accented voice,” the inherited fortune, the childhood in Portuguese-controlled Mozambique.

Abcarian also offers readers this little insight (admission?): “For journalists anyway, Heinz is a refreshing departure from the reined-in candidate’s wife. Last week, Laura Bush told the Associated Press, ‘I’m actually very disciplined. I don’t really have to watch everything I say because I’m pretty well-behaved.’ Deliciously, Heinz refuses to stay above the fray.”

Some of the tastier morsels of late, to Abcarian’s tongue: Heinz Kerry saying Walmart “destroy[s] communities” and calling Drudge “a smudge.”

So there’s the pigeonhole: Heinz Kerry gives political reporters, their palates numbed by weeks of digesting the same stump speeches and rote answers from prefabricated candidates, something juicy to chew on.

Liz Cox Barrett

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.