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California First Lady Gets a GOP Cameo

August 30, 2004|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A Kennedy at a Republican convention? It's almost heresy, but Maria Shriver -- niece of Edward, Bobby and John F. Kennedy, and needless to say a Democrat -- will be a spectator at the GOP gathering.

Shriver will be on the convention floor Tuesday night to watch her husband, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, give his speech. Her expected presence is being greeted with some bemusement by delegates, while most said she was welcome.

"This is something that only Schwarzenegger could probably do, have one of the Kennedys attend a Republican convention," said delegate Josh Valdez of Los Angeles.

During her visit to New York, Shriver is refusing interviews and not participating in any public events.

An influential first lady who wields considerable clout in Schwarzenegger's administration, Shriver will be all wife and mother this week. The couple's four children, ages 6 to 14, will be with her.

"She's ... going to be there to see [the governor] give one of the biggest speeches of his life, and it's very important for them as a family," said spokesman Rob Stutzman.

This isn't Shriver's first GOP convention. As a journalist for NBC, she attended several, said spokeswoman Terri Carbaugh.

"Maria's a journalist at heart.... She will enjoy the opportunity to hear what people have to say, regardless of their party," Carbaugh said.

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