Kerry-Bush Marriage?

Posted March 10, 2004 at 6:36pm

Move over, James Carville and Mary Matalin. There’s a new political odd couple merging just in time for this summer’s national political conventions.

Chris Black, who’s firmly in the camp of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), has gotten engaged to B. Jay Cooper, a longtime ally of President Bush’s family.

“We like to think of ourselves as the thinking person’s James and Mary,” the always-salty Black, a former star political correspondent for the Boston Globe, cracked to HOH.

Black is now a top adviser to the Democratic candidate’s spouse, Teresa Heinz Kerry, as spokeswoman for the Heinz Foundation. In addition to her time at The Globe, Black made her mark as a White House and Congressional correspondent for CNN (in addition to once penning an online column for Roll Call).

Cooper, who’s now vice president for crisis communications at APCO Worldwide, served as a deputy to then-White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater during the Reagan years and the first Bush administration. He also worked alongside Matalin at the Republican National Committee during the first Bush presidency.

Black and Cooper attended Northeastern University at the same time, though they didn’t date one another then. They lost touch for about 30 years before recently getting together. “It’s amazing to find the right person at this point in life,” said Black. “We’re both in our 50s.”

With the couple planning a summer wedding in Massachusetts, and Kerry set to be coronated in late July at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, it would seem like a safe assumption that the nuptials would occur in August — before the GOP convention in New York.

“We’re actually thinking of July — before the [Democratic] convention,” said Black.

Sealed With a Kiss. Basketball fans at Tuesday’s Washington Wizards game at the MCI Center were stunned to see what appeared to be the face of Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) pop up on the scoreboard.

During timeouts, the Wizards play that sultry song “Kiss Me” and put couples on the big screen with a giant heart animation wrapped around their faces. It’s all an effort to get a few couples to lock lips in front of thousands of screaming spectators.

The visage of a man bearing a close resemblance to Moran suddenly appeared on the screen with a woman sitting next to him.

“He pretty much attacked her — they were absolutely sucking face,” a special kissing correspondent e-mailed to HOH on Wednesday morning. “They made Al and Tipper Gore look like a couple of prudes.”

The Hotline was in hot pursuit Wednesday, revealing: “The crowd went wild; there were whispers of ‘Was that Congressman Moran?’ and then the PA announcer said, ‘Way to go, Congressman.’”

Just to be clear, Moran’s office said the lady on the receiving end of the smooch was LuAnn Bennett, the Congressman’s fiance.

Political Food Fight. It was just a matter of time before the no-carb revolution made its way to Capitol Hill.

While several lawmakers have already slimmed down on the Atkins or South Beach diet plans, the calorie counting has taken a political twist: Democratic strategists are circulating an e-mail which suggests that taking out President Bush and his administration in November will be good for the nation’s health.

“You owe it to your fellow Americans to go on the No-CARB Diet in 2004,” says the e-mail. “No Cheney, No Ashcroft, No Rumsfeld, No Bush.”

Variations on the CARB acronym are being fitted for bumper stickers and campaign buttons. But Republicans say voters will be left feeling unfulfilled on the Democratic diet.

“Since the attorney general is still in intensive care following surgery and the vice president has well-publicized heart issues, you could easily mistake their slogan for NO CLASS,” cracked GOP aide Stuart Roy.

What’s in a Name? David DiMartino recently made a triumphant return to Capitol Hill after helping to revive the Kerry presidential campaign, and now the Senate staffer has something even bigger to celebrate.

The Senate aide’s wife, Kitty Bartels DiMartino, gave birth to a brand new baby girl at precisely 3:29 p.m. last Thursday. “Just in time for CNN’s ‘Inside Politics,’” joked the proud political papa.

The couple decided to be traditionalists and learn the gender of the baby at birth. The father, a Boston native who’s a sports fan, had wanted “Bruin” for a boy or “Dora” for a girl.

But the Red Sox fanatic, who has returned to his job as communications director for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) because of family considerations, quickly squashed “Dora” when a New York Yankees fan pointed out it was an anagram for “A-Rod,” who’s now hated in Beantown.

Since they had a girl, new name suggestions from the good-humored Nelson and his staff started pouring into the hospital via BlackBerry. Everything from “Delores DiMartino” for Seinfeld fans to “Kerry DiMartino” for campaign pals was on the table.

The suggestions got progressively worse, with “Chardonnay” and “Pinot Noir” being mentioned. Upset over the wine industry’s influence, hard liquor lobbyist David Culver e-mailed in “Mrs. Distilled Spirits DiMartino.”

The couple finally decided on Nora Caroline, who weighed in at 7 pounds and 14 ounces. The mom, a former Clinton administration aide now working at Discovery Communications, and baby are both doing fine.

Don’t Plan on It. While Planned Parenthood is trying to expand its reach in the November elections, it’s probably a stretch to think the group can sign up Senate GOP aide Mark Rodgers as a new member.

Celebs Kathleen Turner and Gloria Steinem announced last week that they are merging Planned Parenthood (where the actress serves as national chairwoman) and Voters for Choice (which is run by the feminist icon) to try to defeat Bush.

“It’s our job to tell voters specifically where he wants to take the country on reproductive rights,” Steinem told HOH. “He opposes the fundamental freedom.”

That message will undoubtedly sell with hard-core Democrats. But Rodgers, who serves as staff director for the Senate Republican Conference, isn’t buying it.

At his Senate office this week, Rodgers received a temporary membership card identifying him as “a friend of Planned Parenthood and family planning.”

A colleague told HOH: “Rodgers said that he’s not finished paying his dues for Handgun Control Inc. and People for the American Way, but will put them in queue.”