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Guests at Helen Thomas' Book Party Hedge Their (Political) Bets

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Janet Donovan
    Author Helen Thomas and columnist Kiki Ryan.

    Guests at the book party in honor of Helen Thomas and Craig Crawford at the Kalorama home of Gloria Dittus last night had a bad case of predictors' remorse: that ever-present reluctance among Washingtonians to forecast the outcome of an election whenever one is afoot.

    Politicians and media types celebrated the launch of Thomas' tome "Listen Up, Mr. President" as she signed copies of her book in Dittus' living room.

    But the topic of conversation for the mostly media crowd was the Massachusetts election -- and most everyone correctly predicted GOP Scott Brown's victory in the bid for the seat left vacant by Sen. Ted Kennedy, however reluctantly. Mother Jones' David Corn and CQ's Craig Crawford predicted the win after hedging their bets. CBS TV host Andrew Roane's answer was concise: "Brown." 

    "It's very exciting," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said before Brown's victory was announced. "If in fact Scott wins, I think it sends a very strong message to Washington, a message against unfettered one-party rule and for more checks and balances in the system. It reflects how appalled the public feels about the healthcare bill, which is riddled with special interests."

    Brown's victory was sealed just hours after the launch of the party, which host Dittus was pleased to arrange for one of her heroes.

     “I’ve know Helen longer than she has known me,” she said. “I had admired her for years and then met her at a luncheon when I first moved to Washington, found my way up to shake her hand and initiated a friendship. She was very gracious.” 

    So what’s it like to work with Helen?  According to her agent, Diane Nine: “It’s  a laugh a second.”