BOSTON—This didn't take long. You don't even need to say, "Shove it," any more. You just say, "Teresa Heinz," and everyone knows what you mean.
I barreled up to a former celebrity peace activist--Jane Fonda's ex-husband Tom Hayden--to ask a couple of questions and he cut me off, invoking John Kerry's outspoken wife.
Hayden is in Boston to promote a new book and to speak against the war in Iraq. When he told me to "Teresa Heinz," he was about to address some peace activists and Dennis Kucinich delegates.
NO-SHOW: Actor Sean Penn, a Kucinich supporter, was supposed to be on a peace panel with Hayden and others, but there was "an unanticipated schedule conflict on his part."
For celebrity-watching purposes here, thank goodness for Bono, Glenn Close, John Cusack, Jon Stewart and Ben Affleck, who is getting more airtime than Tom Brokaw.
NAME GAME: Some television anchors might still be having trouble figuring out how to pronounce it, but on the street here, Illinois Senate candidate and convention keynoter Barack Obama has entered the no-last-name needed Madonna/Bono/Beyonce world. One well-heeled delegate was name-dropping, "I hear Barack is having a party tonight."
POLICE BRUTALITY: I saw a Boston cop exiting a stall at the Sheraton Back Bay ladies' room, struggling to wrestle back into her belt that had a Glock, handcuffs and a bunch of other stuff attached.
"You've got to take twenty pounds on and off every time you go," she said. She ought to know. She's weighed the thing. As if this is news: It's still a man's world.
CASHING IN: The Sheraton has the most comprehensive selection of fairly routine Kerry-Edwards campaign junk, selling briskly at a table in the lobby.
This stuff is really expensive--$10 for a shot glass and $22 T-shirts. Best bang for the buck: bumper stickers (3 for $5) that say, "Democrats are HOT. Ever hear of a 'Fine Piece of Elephant'?"