Of all the people beseeching Heather Mizeur for her vote in 2008, the most unlikely was Melissa Etheridge.
At the time a little-known freshman in the Maryland House of Delegates, Mizeur, of Takoma Park, was in an unexpectedly hot spot that spring. An uncommitted superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, she was aggressively courted by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. As chronicled in a front-page story in this paper, she fielded constant calls from the candidates and their VIP supporters (Chelsea Clinton, John Kerry) . . . and then one day, her phone rang with a message from a certain groundbreaking lady rocker.
Etheridge, it turned out, was a die-hard fan of Obama. But was Mizeur a fan of Etheridge?
“Yeah,” Mizeur told us Monday. “I mean, duh: I’m a lesbian!”
The two had a good laugh, she recalls, as they pieced together why the campaign had dispatched the singer. (“Oh, they want the gay one to call the gay one,” Etheridge joked.) Mizeur, ultimately, did not commit her vote early to Obama, choosing to wait until the nomination was determined in the primaries.
Yet clearly Etheridge didn’t hold it against her: She’s the star attraction at Mizeur’s fundraiser next Tuesday in Baltimore, where the delegate will host supporters at a backstage meet-and-greet ($1,000 per person, though small donors are eligible to win a pass through a raffle). Mizeur says they became good friends after that phone call — the star stayed with the delegate and her wife, Deborah, during the presidential inauguration, and they all get together a few times a year. “For me, politics is about friends helping friends do good things for others,” Etheridge said in an e-mail.
“I think because we’re both Midwestern girls and both interested in politics, we bonded early on — she carried around a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution when she was a kid, and I did the same because I’m a government geek,” Mizeur says of Etheridge. “She’s so incredibly supportive of the work I’m doing. . . .She still calls me her superdelegate.”