GUESS YOU HAVEN'T come such a long way, baby. Teresa Heinz -- the wife of Massachusetts senator and (not coincidentally) would-be president John F. Kerry -- has said that she will begin using her husband's last name and will henceforth be known as Teresa Heinz Kerry. Mrs. Heinz Kerry (Mrs. Kerry? Ms. Kerry?), nee Teresa Simoes-Ferreira, was previously married to John Heinz, the late senator from Pennsylvania and heir to the ketchup fortune. Famously outspoken and independent, she had announced on marrying Mr. Kerry in 1995 that she planned to stick to the Heinz name. "Someone my age who has a professional life doesn't change her name," she said at the time. Now, Mrs. Kerry plans to remain Heinz for professional and legal purposes but will tack on the Kerry for campaigning. (She previously switched her registration from Republican -- John Heinz's party -- to Democrat so she would be able to vote for Mr. Kerry for president.) "It's another sign of his wife's support for his campaign, and it pleases him greatly," said Mr. Kerry's spokeswoman, Chris Black. Ms. Black said the switch came after his "political people" said that not to do so could be a liability. As Sen. Kerry explained it to Don Imus: "So many people would just call you that anyway and it's simpler and it's more direct and off we go."
Mrs. Kerry's election conversion, if you will, naturally called to mind the two-decade-old example of Hillary Rodham, who added Clinton to her name after her husband lost his reelection race for Arkansas governor in 1980. As David Maraniss recounts in his biography, "First In His Class," Mr. Clinton recalled that his wife approached him to say, "We've got to talk about this name deal" and that he (supposedly) resisted the idea of her changing her name. On a certain level, this is rather trivial. What's in a name, and all that -- and we trust Mrs. Heinz by any other name will remain as interesting. Still, nearly a quarter-century after Hillary Rodham pronounced herself "Mrs. Bill Clinton," we can't feel quite as greatly pleased as Mr. Kerry that this particular tradition lives on.