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Thursday, October 07, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Nicole Brodeur / Times staff columnist
Mixing it up with Heinz Kerry


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My version of covering the election has been standing in big rooms filled with big music: Pearl Jam, the Presidents of the United States of America, Mudhoney, the United States of Electronica.

And they've been put on stage by big Democratic causes: Vote for Change, Kerry-Edwards Victory 2004, No Vote Left Behind. Whether Republicans have this much fun raising money and awareness, I couldn't tell you. They never invite me.

Oh, the GOP works the columnist circuit, all right, one colleague assured me. But only those friendly to them.

Am I that obvious? I support a woman's right to choose, civil unions. I've taken on President Bush since Day One, when he blocked U.S. grants to international family-planning groups that support abortions.

But as Election Day looms, I'm more aware than ever that I've never moshed with the other side and that while Democratic party favors have been offered up like free condoms, the GOP has been holding out on me. What gives?

There are GOP things I would like to write about, like its "W Stands for Women" initiative. Molly Bordonaro, the Northwest head of the Bush-Cheney campaign, didn't know what I was whining about. She said the campaign reaches out to all media all the time — not just to the conservative Washington Times and Bill O'Reilly.

And her party knows how to party, too: "We have a whole effort reaching out to young professionals in the state of Washington," she said. "Meetings, fund-raisers... "

With music?

"Some of them have bands," she said. "I will make sure you get invited to every event from here on out."

That settled, I was off to Bellevue, where Teresa Heinz Kerry was speaking at the Eastgate Public Health Center — and where I got five minutes to get personal.

If I was 80 cents short at the grocery store, and John Kerry was behind me in line, would he cover me, or pity me?
 
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"Before me, he probably would have asked you out for a cup of coffee and paid the bill," Heinz Kerry said. "Today, I don't know what he would do, he doesn't even go shopping anymore, the poor guy."

Would he help if my car was broken down on the side of the road?

"Sure. He volunteered to go to war. That shows a sense of being aware of his place in the world."

How does he snap you out of a bad mood?

"He probably prays that he didn't get me into it. He's always an optimist and tells me it's gonna be OK. In that sense, he's very much a man. He doesn't go into those places where women sometimes go."

Just outside the room was Christina Bellantoni, a Washington Times reporter who has been traveling with THK.

"I wish Teresa would talk to me," she whined. "I've been trying to get five minutes all week. And I've been nothing but nice."

Yes, but is she perceived as a liberal scum? Works for me.

Nicole Brodeur's column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or nbrodeur@seattletimes.com.

Happy belated.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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