Democrats Take Off

The Kid's Gloves

* Democrats in Boston cheered wildly Tuesday night, but it wasn't a veteran politician who stirred them up. It was 12-year-old Ilana Wexler.

The California seventh-grader, addressing a packed convention hall, chided Republican Vice President Cheney for using "a really bad word" recently.

"If I said that word, I would be put in a timeout," Ilana said. "I think Cheney should be put in a timeout." The Democrats roared their approval.

Ilana, founder of a group called Kids for Kerry, was invited to the convention by Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of the party's presidential nominee, John F. Kerry. Ilana skipped summer camp to volunteer with the campaign.

She says kids "can make a difference in this election" and supports a National No Name Calling Day for the candidates.

Ilana's ease when speaking before the 16,000 or so delegates and media in the convention hall has some wondering if she has political ambitions of her own. "I would love to run for senator or mayor" someday, she said at a TV news conference, then added: "President would be nice."

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Ilana Wexler, 12, supports John F. Kerry.